HAFT - “Seven”

IranGaam (Iran)
2005 (1384)

Actors and musicians have gathered to form the first manufactured BOY BAND made-in-Iran! The new generation’s well-known faces such as Hamid Goodarzi, Seyed Shahabedin Hosseini have been chosen to co-lead HAFT vocally in its pioneering task. Other founding/contributing members of the band are Mahan, Meysam Pouyanfar, Mehdi Hosseini, Mehdi Ardalan and Ali Atashafrooz. One might take it for granted that the seemingly generic BOY BAND name of the group refers to the number of its members, but reportedly this is not the case! The choice was rather between the odd numbers “Se (3)”, Haft (7)” and “Noh (9)”, and they just “happened” to settle for HAFT!? Anyhow, the album comes in a double-CD package and features 18 tracks, released on IranGaam.

The album opens with the Indie-/BOBBY ROCK-inspired title-track ”Haft”. A cheerful song that is a bit too loose in arrangement and scattered in performance!

”Azize Tanhaa” is an Andalusian-inspired track, a sentimental summer serenade! Reminiscent of the late Foroughi’s songs, enjoying declamation by S. Sh. Hosseini. One of my personal favourite songs from the album.

Followed up by another great song called ”Hamnafas”, a HARMONY ROCK-inspired song for rainy afternoons! Featuring vocal performances by most of the band’s vocalists. The leading declamation reminds of the old DARINOUSH productions.

”Pinocchio” is an upbeat ROCK & ROLL tune with a NOSTALGIC theme especially for my generation who still recalls those carefree yet gloomy Friday-afternoons of the 80s and the Japanese version of the old classic tale of the wooden boy! This song is enhanced with LIVE performance-effects.

A narrative track with a socio-critical undertone is presented by S. Sh. Hosseini. ”Pesarake Rooznameforoosh” is a tragic story that is immediately followed up by an instrumental version of ”Azize Tanhaa”!

”Namehraboon” is a RETRO-tune reminiscent of the euphoric and popular Iranian POP/ROCK hybrid sound employed in the 70’s!

The so called REMIX of ”Haft” opens with a guitar segment inspired by the Celine Dion cover on ”I’m Your Lady”! This track is filed as a REMIX though its merely a horribly-mixed sample-medley of the songs featured on the first CD and is nowhere close to any REMIX!!

The first CD ends with an instrumental version of the opener of the second CD called ”Tavvalode Jashne Cheshmaat”.

”Tavvalode Jashne Cheshmaat” is a melancholic acoustic-guitar driven CONTINENTAL ballad that turns soon into a BLUES/ROCK through the raging electric guitar! The instrumental version of this song is simply amazing, the vocal version is almost just as good!

The album’s first version of ”Bigonah” is yet another declamation piece!

”Aziztarin” is a ROCK/REGGAE song inspired loosely by the PET SHOP BOYS sound of the early 90’s and of course melodic hooks from DJ BOBO’s ”Everybody”!

The only pure POP song of the album is ”Lahzeye Divoonegi”, a song with an Afghan-root and references to the LA-sound of the 80’s.

”Gharibe” is preformed by S. Sh. Hosseini, backed up by the piano!

Time for another full-length song! ”Shoomine” is a melancholic HARMONY ROCK ballad in style with the better songs on the album. Enjoy the subtle female-choir and the Latin Horn-section!

The second version of ”Bigonah” is just as short as the first version, but here graced with a Ghomayshi-an vocal performance!

Just like the first CD, this disc too is equipped with a track manifesting the misconception of a REMIX!!

”Hamnafas” instrumental version puts an end to the entire album. I must say that the instrumental pieces are the BEST features of the album!

There are officially five lead-vocalists in this band, without really mentioning who exactly performs in which songs! Hamid Goodarzi and Seyed Shahabedin Hosseini were adopted by the band in its latest stages of development as a commercial insurance! And I’m sure that their presence has contributed to the relative success of the band, perhaps more than their actual performance! The project however is enough musically ambitious and theme-wise INTERESTING to make itself heard without its decorative façade. Even though commercially risky, its experimental quality and value is worth acknowledgement and appreciation! “Seven” is HAFT’s roughly built “Trojan horse“! The commercial appearance of the group and their seemingly BOY BAND front are only there to sneak in the original band members/creators and their experimental Retro-ROCK ambition!! Their style and sound, however, are far from being fully developed and the whole concept of the group bares to be further explored if not reconsidered, but nevertheless as a whole this is a GOOD debut album that deserves to be noticed and heard! Hopefully we’ll get to hear the needed improvements in their future albums.

Artistic Performance: +
Artistic Ambition: ++
Commercial Potential: ++
Technical Quality: ++
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!