Dariush - “Raahe Man”

Avang Music Co.
2005 (1383)

After the tremendous success of “Dobaare Misaazamat Vatan”, Dariush is back with his brand new opus entitled -in a very SINATRA-fashion- “Raahe Man”! The album has reportedly been under progress during the last four years and was promised and due to be released at the night of the 2004-THANKSGIVING concert, but came to be postponed until now. “Raahe Man” is the result of an elaborate collaboration between Dariush and four of his long-time partners in Art, namely Farid Zoland, Iraj Janati Attaie, Ardalan Sarfaraz and Shahyar Ghanbari. The albums features 7 tracks and is released on Avang Music Co..

The title track opens the album in a mellow manner with lyrics mainly based on the "Ol' Blue Eyes"’s timeless MASTERPIECE ”My Way” (and also Charles Aznavour’s ”Yesterday when I was Young”)! Although the song is ”supposed” to serve as an autobiographic piece for the singer, I must say that I was rather disappointed to hear to-such-extent blatant lyrical references to Sinatra’s original! Especially from such an otherwise original lyricist! Musically is ”Raahe Man” a Lucia Dalla-spirited composition with a CONTINENTAL/ADULT CONTEMPORARY aura.

A smooth transition morphs into the next track. Similarly entitled ”Kaare Man”, can this song in fact be regarded as ”Raahe Man part II”! It opens as a familiar YANNI-inspired fare with the grand manoeuvres of the ORCHESTRA. The song soon drops in pace and flows autumnally to lead its artists in a walk down the memory lane.

The little bird ”Chakaavak” has become a little ballad that reminds strongly of Dariush’s old ”Aayene”. A LATINO-CONTINENTAL song carried on an updated version of the composer’s decade-old HIP-HOP inspired drum-loop. So far there has been an ADULT CONTEMPORARY touch to every song on “Raahe Man”!

Subtle TRIBAL-rhythms turn soon into the previously mentioned drum-loop, but here in its more original and REGGAE-inspired form! The guitars and the BLUES create magic in ”Rozaneh”, this neo-CONTINENTAL song with the JAZZY aura.

The fingers tango on the piano keys, dancing back and forth, intimately and passionately, in order to create a ”Moj”! A classic ADULT CONTEMPORARY song is the right mark for this harmonic song.

The album picks up the beat again in ”Rooze Avval”, a song with occasional melodic references to Ebi’s ”Goriz”! This is a romantic song with subtle ”Orientalistic film-score” inspirations!

NOW, NOW! We’ve come to my personal song on the album, or better said my personal CHORUS on the album! The ”Orientalistic film-score” inspirations are still there in ”Talangor” and more dominating this time. With the risk of being accused of heresy by the hard-line Dariush fans, I must admit that I’m a sucker ONLY for the artist’s songs from the 70’s! And if you listen closely to this song’s gorgeous string-laden chorus you’ll understand WHY exactly I love it soooooooo much! So having said that, I better go and as soon as possible seek refuge somewhere safe(*LOL*)!

No other artist’s recording AND performing career has been effected by the unfortunate absence of maestro Abdi Yamini, as profoundly as Dariush’s has! Even though Dariush’s music has never represented “innovation” per se, “musically” he became more or less marooned after Abdi’s semi-retirement half a decade ago. And “Raahe Man” is the perfect proof for the musical conservatism and traditionalism that the post-Yamini era has brought upon his works. The sound delivered in ”Raahe Man” is, although beautiful, mainly a recycling of what has already been delivered during the past 20 years by its creators. Now only polished and garnished with minor new elements. On the other hand, Dariush is an artist with a rather large “conservative” fan-base, that might not had approved any radical and liberal sound-update a la Ghomayshi‘s “Bi Sarzamintar az Baad”! Manoeuvres that make wonder for one artist might simply turn out to be commercially devastating for others! Even though in this artist’s case not even the most radical change of style can be overwhelming enough to drive fans away, at least not in the short run! Since Dariush is blessed with the kind of fans who put the “fan” in fanaticism, the etymological root of the term!

Nonetheless is “Raahe Man” a GREAT album! The album might not deliver much new musically but what it delivers, it delivers with CLASS! Indicating a clever long-term strategy, Dariush has more or less replaced the political/nationalistic theme of the previous album with a more ROMANTIC overtone in “Raahe Man“. A strategic move that not only consolidates the status of “Dobaare Misaazamat Vatan” as a unique ANTHEM-collection but it also aids “Raahe Man” in its attempt to establish an independent identity! The exact same tactic can bee seen in the transition from the mystical “Mashough Haminjaast”-project to its immediate successor.

Being mainly a fan of the 70’s Dariush, I found this album and its harmonic and romantic ballads a very soothing and nostalgic experience. The first LOVE-ALBUM from Dariush in a long time, as a matter of fact! I don’t even need to recommend this one to the regular Dariush fan who has surely by now memorised the whole album word by word, melody by melody! But if you are NOT a Dariush fan and open to new stuff, then by all means give Dariush’s latest collection a fair try and enjoy not only its beautifully crafted music but also “more, much more than this”! Because now Dariush too can say: …”I did it MY WAY”!

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!