Shahram Shabpareh- “Aatash”

Avang Music Co.
2005 (1383)

Shahram Shabpareh is perhaps the only artist who has had a non-stop music career since 30 years back. Not even the revolution did manage to stop the PETER PAN of stages from performing and back in the 80’s, in the direct aftermath and during the time of war, in a decade when the people where IN NEED for uplifting melodies and positive energy this man stepped up to the plate and DELIVERED! However, the once Forever-Bachelor got married a few years ago and has mainly (and understandably!) spent most of his time with his little family enjoying the man’s undivided attention. But I can imagine that how great of a family-man Shahram now is, the little hyperactive artistic DEMON in him just couldn’t make a pact of silence longer than 4 years! So now HE IS BACK, the one and only KING OF POP with his brand new album “Aatash”!! An album with a beautifully colorful and nostalgic art work by Nami, reminiscent of the man’s classic albums from the 80’s. The album features musical/lyrical collaborations with Schubert Avakian, Hassan Shamaiezadaeh, Andy, Siavash Ghomayshi, Andranik, Mohammad Moghadam, Masoud Fardmanesh, Paksima and Bijan Samandar. “Aatash” features 9 tracks and is released on Avang Music Co.

Even the very first tone on this album screams SHAHRAM SHABPAREH!!! and gives away the identity of its artist! At first I thought this was a remake of Aref’s classic “Daryaache Noor”, although highly unlikely, given the extreme differences in these artists’ styles! This is a lovely track with a sweet-voiced (mystery) female cameo that I suspect being that same as in Andy’s “Aareh Aareh”!?

“Chejoori Begam” keeps up the tempo and reminds somewhat of a recently released Black Cats- song, since both share the same arranger. Sattar has a CAMEO-appearance in this lovely track!

Another highly admirable and appreciated favour the Shabpareh bros have done our music industry is to introduce new acts and artists throughout the last 40 years! Who can forget Andy & Kouros, a duo that became basically larger than life 15 years ago? Courtesy of Shahram Shabpareh! The once mentor and protege have now teamed up for the reunion in a BOMBASTIC DUET! A song in style with Shahram’s OLD-SCHOOL hits from the 80’s! You can truly sense the efforts Andy has put down on the composition of this nostalgic track, the minor details in particular, just to revive the GOLDEN SOUND in the lovely “Miaad“! Needless to say is this my absolute favourite track on “Aatash”.

The Ghomayshi-composed “Mitooni” has always been one of my all-time favourite Shahram HITS. This HIP-HOP/R&B version comes in a much slower pace and features CAMEO-appearance by the new Black Cats vocalist Kamyar. Although I still prefer the original version, I find this version very soothing and charming! Gives a hint about the new Black Cats sound to come!

“Vaaveila” is another typical Shahram song with a Moghadam twist in the composition! The song is up-beat and custom-made for frenetic dance floors!

Next comes a ROMANTIC CLASSIC that has been done and redone in different versions by many Iranian artists throughout the past 3 decades! The song is “Tamo e Tamero” and comes with absolutely no identity-tag on this album! While it is in fact the Italian artist Peppino Gagliardi, with his artistic peak back in the 60’s/70’s, that is the man behind this immortal serenade! In my opinion the best version ever preformed of this song by an Iranian artist is Kouros’s AMAZING adaptation entitled ”To Bemoon”! Shahram’s version starts off very DANCE HALL-inspired and turns soon into the LATINO-POP style of the man! Sepideh makes a subtle CAMEO-appearance here!

”Do Deldaar” featuring Pyruz as the guest artist and touching the seemingly forever unsolvable dilemma of having one heart and two subjects of affection (what a devastating dilemma! *LOL*), reminds of the songs on the man’s ”Shaparak” album! One of my favourite Shahram Shabpareh albums.

The last original song on the album is ”Hamvatan”. A nationalistic/nostalgic song in the spirit of Shahram’s older songs of a similar theme. The songs features Helen on a CAMEO-appearance at the bridge!

The album round off with a JAM with Shahram and friends (Shohreh, Andy and Kouros) performing a medley of the man’s timeless HITS (Gereftaar, Doroughgoo, Azizam, Hich Koja Iran Nemishe, Faaseleh and Bachehaaye Mahal)! I love the fact that they haven’t just polished the songs and mixed them, but rather redone and re-preformed them all over again!! I don’t usually care for medley, but this nostalgic JAM just charms me beyond words!

”Aatash” is in a sense a rather conventional Shahram Shabpareh album, a lovely collection based on his decades old and popular household flavour! And it COULD have resulted in something just too outmoded and familiar to stay durable throughout years to come! But the distinguishing factor that has helped to ”tjuzse up” the songs while blessing the album with a twist of 2005-FRESHNESS, is its innovative revival and restoration of the good old sound by Avakian! And while most of its guest appearances stay at a CAMEO-level, they do add a certain charm and commercial value to the opus! At the same time, all this guest appearances on one single artist’s album tell much about the personality of the artist in question, especially in a time when collaborations are being called off and the general atmosphere of the LA-industry can hardly be described as ”friendly”!

With ”Aatash” Shabpareh proves ONCE AGAIN, that despite his semi-absence from the market, he is STILL a serious player to count on and a worthy rival that should not be underestimated! The Iranian music industry’s very own PETER PAN may have gown up and become a loving family man, but he can still FLYYYYY and show the kids of all ages how to stay young at heart and have true FUUUUUUN!!!!

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!