Mani Rahnama - “Tamoom Shod Taraane …”

Avangtar Music Co. (Iran)
2004 (1383)

After Hami, Mani Rahnama is perhaps the most full-fledged RETRO-ROMANTIC troubadour inside the country. After starring in Masud Kimiai’s “Eteraaz”, a homage to late VAROOJAN on “Boghz (a Various-Artist Compilation in tribute to the late composer) and the debut album “Aakharin Ghazal”, Mani has now yet another full-length album on display. The 8-track collection entitled “Tamoom Shod Taraane …” is produced in collaboration with Babak Bayat, Bamdad Bayat, Babak Rahnama, Ahoora Iman, Babak Sahraie, Bahram Dehghanyar, Dariush Taghipour and Mehran Khalili. “Tamoom Shod Taraane …” is released on Avangtar Music Co. in Iran.

The album opens with the most different track on the album and also my personal favourite. Electronic instrumentation has until now been considered “blasphemous” by the domestic “puritans” of the RETRO-ROMANTIC genre, but obviously not anymore! Because “Ghahr” is one of the best, if not THE BEST, VOCAL-TRANCE fare I have heard from an Iranian artist. The production is SO clean and in accordance to the actual TRANCE music that it blows my mind! Its quality did not only impressed me, but amazed my non-Iranian friends too! Babak Rahnama, probably a relative to Mani, should have all the credits for this fabulous gem. BRAVO, I must say!

“Gelaaye” is an ELECTRO-ROCK song with subtle LATIN influences. Although in a more traditional RETRO-ROMANTIC sound, but still with a rougher and to the genre-strange twist! The MINIMALISTIC approach can come across as a sign of underdevelopment rather than what it really intends to achieve!

Taking the steps to the traditional sound all the way out, with a little help from Babak Bayat who’s more known for his “dogmatic” approach to the genre, comes “Zang va Roozi”. Although equipped with a relatively tangible “beat” and 70’s DISCO influence, the arranger Dehghanyar doesn’t manage to put a fresh twist to this song either! A song that tends to just pass you by without engaging.

Next comes another rather refreshing feature of this album, the spring-serenade “Nazli”. Although composed by Babak Bayat in his trade-mark style, the arrangement of Bayat-junior (Bamdad) has turned it into a “musical” piece equipped with an “uplifting” energy and a “feel-good” aura! Reminds of the “Bayat & sons” previous creations for Hami, but as I mentioned before …with a rather refreshing twist!

“Ghaabe Ax”’s instant opening reminds a bit of George Michael’s enchanting “Jesus to a Child”, and its JAZZ-y approach is strongly reminiscent of Farzin Farhadi’s style and sound! This is a very familiar and cosy ballad that serves the RETRO-ROMANTIC puritans well in this collection of experimental pieces.

Now time for the title-track “Tamoom Shod Taraane”, a very MELODRAMATIC song with all the generic melancholy and sentimentalism that comes with it! Again reminiscent of Hami’s songs.

The last original track on the album, ”Taraane-khoon”, preserves the sound of the previous song but ”tries” to lift it up with a very subtle DISCO/HOUSE boost. Although the fusion is executed properly, the result is hardly engaging! …Nor impressing!

“Tamoom Shod Taraane …” ends with an INSTRUMENTAL version of “Ghaabe Ax”, perhaps the best song chosen for this purpose!

I am not going to beat around the bush, Mani does not posses a voice of the same calibre as Hami! Hardly any artist of today does, to be honest and fair. And he has a peculiar air of eccentricism surrounding his artistic persona and performance which might not appeal to everyone! But despite it all, he is an artist who has started to break free from the RETRO-ROMANTIC web of musical dogmatism and stick his head out in the open in order to breathe in the new millennium and its refreshing air! An air that can be felt in “Tamoom Shod Taraane …” even though still scented with those generic and decades-old flat scents. The overall attempt, however, deserves acknowledgement and encouragement! “Tamoom Shod Taraane …” is recommended to the fans of both “contemplative”- and DANCE MUSIC. The first song “Ghahr” alone makes this album worth the money spent!

Artistic Performance: ++
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Aesthetic Presentation: +
Ethical Adherence: +++
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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!