Shohreh - “Havas”

Nava Media Co.
2005 (1384)

After the success of the brother’s latest album it’s time for the sister to follow up the success of her HIT-album “Pishooni”! The brand new album, entitled “Havas”, is except for one song written and composed in its entirety by Jaklin and arranged by Schubert Avakian. “Havas” comes in a COMBO package with 10 audio-track and 5 music-videos + 1 interview on DVD. Released just like the brother’s latest album on Nava Media Co..

By now you are surely more than familiar with the Solati-siblings long-ongoing tradition of unethical employment of other Middle Eastern stars’ material! Or in other words “rip offs”, since they simply refuse to give credits! And lately a “REMIX” stamp has been incorporated for public divergence! How can one singer do a REMIX on another singer’s original MIX? Anyone with at least a clue about what a REMIX is understands that covering others material without authorization is not called REMIX, bur rather RIP-OFF! The same rule applies to “Havas” which is the Egyptian LATIFA’s awarded song " Habibi Ma Trouhsh Be'ed"! It’s such a shame because Shohreh’s cover arranged by Andy G (according to the album cover but ”REMIXED” according to the music video) is MUCH more energetic and livelier than Latifa’s original version! A great song, IF ONLY it had been covered ethically!

Next comes an ETHNO-DANCE influenced 6/8 tune. ”Sarbehavaa” is a song in style with many of Shohreh’s previous song in a similar style! Nothing new served, just the old flavour.

”Dotaa Heyroon” is one of the few PROGRESSIVE and CLUB-oriented songs on the album. A bit too MINIMALISTIC in its HOUSE groove but still with a rather good HIT-potential!

In tradition with her TRADITIONAL POP inspired sound with a twist of self-irony and a great deal of ESHVEH comes ”Dooset Daaram”. This song has just like ”Sarbehavaa” a nostalgic value but they are both far too MINIMALISTIC in the production to grant the maximum pleasure and sound experience!

”Delkhoshi” is yet another MINIMALISTIC ETHNO-DANCE tune with subtle LATIN-influences. You’ll recognise a bunch of melodic references to other traditional/folk ballads!

Starting off acoustic-guitar-centric and Arabo-Andalusian, the mellow yet rhythmic ”Baroon” develops to a lovely song with SOUTH-AMERICAN influences. One the album’s stronger features!

In accordance with the latest LA-based industry’s trend of the ”religio-mystical revival” comes Shohreh’s tribute the ”Guarantor of the Deer” …”Emaam Reza”. Although seemingly out-of-place this song will appeal mostly to the ladies of our expatriate middle-class in USA and Europe, amongst whom the old religious traditions of ”Nazr” and ”Sofreh” is still practised!

Now to a Ghomayshi-an HARMONY BALLAD with an undertone of morality! ”Khiaalbaaf” is rather conventional, but still charming.

Now to a CLUB-oriented song with a blend of Ethnic/National melodies topped with TECHNO-elements! There is something very ”outdated” about this production entitled ”Ghassame Tannaz”, allegedly dedicated to Shohreh’s own daughter Tannaz!

Now last but not least comes ”Aas” and the ACE of this album in terms of special-event commercialism! Needless to say is this an AROOSI-song not entirely different than its creator’s own ”Aroosie Irooni” song! For those who don’t know I should mention that Jaklin and Kathy (her sister and late Viguen’s daughter) were a POP-act back in the late 80’s/ early 90’s and in fact the first ever Iranian FEMALE POP-DUO!!! And this particular song reminds very much of Jaklin & Kathy’s AROOSI-related song from their debut album ”Shaazde Pesar”! If you listen closely you can even hear Shahram Solati nodding and accompanying his sister in the choruses!

The DVD with a very good A/V-quality features:
1- Interview
2- Havas
3- Emam Reza
4- Heyroon
5- Sarbehavaa
6- Baroon

Ironically unlike her brother Shahram’s latest album, “Havas” was something of an “underwhelming” experience for me personally! Especially as a direct successor to a well-assorted and PROGRESSIVE collection like “Pishooni”, the new album feels too (almost unjustifiably) traditional and dogmatic, to the extent of being RETROGRESSIVE (destination: sound and production quality of the early 90’s to be precisely). Not to mention HIT-anaemic and monotonous thanks to its compositions courtesy of Jaklin who clearly lacks the versatility needed in order to put together a 10-song-package single-handedly! The alarming sign of collection suffering from a serious lack of innovation and quality is when out of 10 full-length songs the only cover becomes the “Piece De Resistance” and saviour of all! I should also mention that I was rather disappointed in Avakian whose MINIMALISTIC arrangements didn’t meet the standard set by himself in his previous works!

So, If you are looking for a relatively “challenging” Shohreh-album filled with “minimalistic” songs, I don’t think that there has been any better than “Havas” produced for your taste and enjoyment! But if you are not a HARDCORE fan and look for a more colourful and versatile collection with a PROGRESSIVE “rollercoaster”-like music experience you better find a way to keep feasting on “Pishooni” until our SHEYTOONAK’s next album is out on display!

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!