Shahram Solati - “Halite”

Nava Media Co.
2004 (1383)

Ever since my early reviews I have received requests for “ratings” from some of my dear readers, but being a man who doesn’t believe in one-dimensional reviews and “SUCKS vs. ROCKS” rating-systems, as a way of constructive criticism and informative reviewing, I used to tell them: not before I find a more elaborate system that manages to cover different aspects of the product! Recently I have developed a rather simple but yet multi-dimensional system, which I intend to implement from now on! So let’s start 2005 with the rated review on Shahram Solati’s recent release:

In shape of a CD-DVD combo comes Shahram Solati’s brand new album released under the title “Halite”, despite the initial working title “Ehsaas”! The album features collaborations with Shahyad, Taraneh Mokaram, Masoud Fardmanesh, S. Ali Abadi, Mohamad Moghadam, Farshid Amin, Andy G., Schubert Avakian, Jaklin, H. Hoshyarnejad, Amir and Mohammad Sattari. “Halite” features 8 tracks and is released on Nava Media Co.

The album kicks-off PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE with the title-track ”Halite”, another piece built on Shahyad’s RADMANESH-cloned sound. And just like all Shahyad’s similar tracks, this creation too is a BOOMBASTIC HIT! It has already become a FLOOR-FILLER and DJ-favourite! The Iran-based Taraneh Mokaram’s lyrics are likely inspired by Shahkar’s 2004-HIT ”Eshghe Laati”, which itself is inspired by Mofid’s ”Shahre Ghesse”!

What better way to continue than with a ”Salam”?! A bit late, but still appreciated greeting! One perfect BANDARI-song based on the traditional recipe and spiced up with a wide range of ”KHALIJI” flavours. Spices from BOTH side of the beautiful PERSIAN GULF!

Farshid Amin is known for his RETRO/SMOOTH POP-creations and one if its excellent specimens has been contributed to Shahram’s uplifting album! ”Ye Rize” is beautifully MELODIC and NOSTALGIC! Definitely a personal favourite of mine from this album.

One of the earlier released song from the album was ”Shabhaaye Tehran”, a PROGRESSIVE ETHNO-DANCE song with a hardcore CLUB jargon! The core of the song is derived from the old FOLKLORE (Azeri, if I’m not mistaking) song ”Reyhaan”!

The first of the two remakes on this album is ”Ehsaas” which comes with credits and is a cover on REZA SADEGHI’s ”Hanooz Andar Peye Aanam”-original. Shahram has allegedly announced that he did in fact receive Sadeghi’s permission to perform this song! ”Ehsaas” is also THE ONLY BALLAD on this album (to my pleasant surprise and his old fans’ great disappointment, I can imagine)!

Next comes another cover, this one on an Arabic song without any credit to the creator! “Basse Basse” (featuring also the voice of Helen) is Nancy Ajram’s 2004 MEGA HIT “Ah Wu Nos”, which almost everyone had heard before this “rip off“! Why do I call it a rip off, you might ask? Well, it’s because when you (as a professional and experienced artist) cover a song that has been just recently released, and you only have too “google” a few minutes before you find enough information, still arrogantly refuse to give ANY credit to either the composer or the original artist, it is solely because you want to AVOID PAYING ROYALTIES!! “I couldn’t find …“ is simply no longer a valid excuse in this age of Internet and satellite-TV!! In other words, what you are doing here is “ripping off”! How would you feel if an Arab-artist covers your brand new song, and only writes “Middle Eastern Tune” or -at its best- “Iranian” in the credits?! I can’t even imagine what kind of Arab-related arguments it will raise! Some of our artists have absolutely no problem with ripping off other artists and treat their art as “beit-ul-mal“, but when it comes to their own work, they suddenly preach ethics!!? It’s not always I have the original-version of the rip-off covers in my archive, but in this case I do! So I do what Mr. Solati should have done and it is to salute the artist Tariq Madkur for his creation!

“Parchame Iran” is a song with a patriotic theme and nationalistic spirit! The song is a classic marriage of BANDARI and progressive KOOCHE-BAAZAARI! Goes well with the rest of the album!

To wrap up the whole thing, the BANDARI sound of the second track returns and delivers “Aziztarin” as a similar song.

The album-package features also the popular music-videos from the album. All in great A/V-quality! Last year we witnessed the first Iranian DVD-single (Googoosh’s “Q Q Bang Bang”) to hit the stores! And now we have a complete CD-DVD combo to pave way for future releases of the same- and more elaborate kind. Such DVD-bonuses will slowly but surely become not only a trend, but also an essential part of our industry’s way to survival! Just as vital as it has become for the Western industry today.

This is another album that marks a change of attitude via the change of title! “Halite”, as opposed to “Ehsaas”, is perhaps Shahram Solati’s most ENERGETIC and UPLIFTING album till date! By reducing the sentimental songs to THE minimum, “Halite” has managed to pack itself with durable HITS and an amazing and broad appeal! But this commercial success doesn’t come totally free of charge, rather at the cost of seriously disappointing (but not losing) the fanatic fans of the once so sentimental Shahram! Shahram Solati’s “Halite” is a GREAT album with a fantastic CHARM and numerous FLOOR-FILLERS! But despite all its glory, I’ll choose to give its Ethical Adherence “---” for the unfair employment of another artist’s creation! Something that I -from now on- intend to do with every album that features similar unethical conducts (those I become aware of by the time I‘m writing the review)! As an artist, the LEAST you can do in your attempt to prevent unfair treatment of your own pieces is to “practice what you preach” and set an example for both fans and your fellow artists!

Artistic Performance: ++
Artistic Ambition: +
Commercial Potential: ++
Technical Quality: ++
Aesthetic Presentation: -
Ethical Adherence: ---
[ +++ > --- ]

Review by: Pourya E.

Reviews described herein are mere opinions, and must be construed in that manner only! In other words they are not absolute!