Amir - “Neverending Story”

AVAZ
2005 (1384)

Amir’s debut album entitled “Neverending Story” or better said “Unfinished Story” (if you want to stay true to the Persian “Ghesseye Naatamaam”, since “Neverending Story” basically means “Ghesseye Bipaayaan”) is with its 9 tracks released on the AVAZ record company. It wasn’t that long ago when Caltex Records was referred to as “Companye Moosighie AVAZ” as its official Persian name! The Persian AVAZ-logotype, however, has been excluded from the company’s releases in recent years and now it seems to be a new company on the market with the same name. “Neverending Story” is created by names such as Shahyar Ghanbari, Andranik, M. Cheshmazar, Mahin Abadani, Maryam Ghazi and Sepidar.

“Tasvir”, the opener of the album, is an NRG track with a tangible CONTINENTAL overtone. Unfortunately while the CONTINENTAL elements of the track are well-chosen the overall arrangement of the song is ailing and the ELECTRO/HOUSE-parts do not carry it as what it tries to be …a modern CLUB-oriented song!

Things turn more adequate in the next song, the ballad of “Gheymati”. Where the CONTINENTAL meets its long time companion, namely the ADULT CONTEMPORARY! Amir does in fact remind of Ando in both ornamentation and intonation!

“Boose Yani Zelzele” keeps the CONTINENTAL overtone and marries it with LATIN influences. Am I hearing Helen’s lovely voice in the background?!

The album drops in pace and a MAMBO rhythm allures out a sentimental moon that lilts up the JAZZy setting of this lovely tune! Unfortunately Amir’s vocal performance doesn’t quite tag along the rest of the song!

In an out-of-style SAMBA groove, “Roya” tries to engage the listener in a massive dance but fails really to engage due to its formulaic and overused approach!

“Sahne” is a MUSICAL piece with a theme a la “Yesterday When I Was Young”! Unfortunately Amir’s voice is too fragile for a MUSICAL of any calibre, therefore the result is not as striking as it should have been.

Back on the LATIN-CONTINENTAL ship with “Engaar”, a song that doesn’t deviate from the rest of the album.

Neither does the sentimental “Gerye Agar Bogzaarad”, with its romantic SCHLAGER twist! In style with the songs on Ando’s latest album. Unfortunately despite its clean and strong core, the performance is one-dimensional and comes across as a one-man-orchestrated piece!

And whatever words I have so far used to describe this album sums even up the last track on the album, “Ghesseye Eshgh” with its RUMBA flair!

Despite its impressive list of credits, Amir’s debut-album is a musically, vocally and consequently also a commercially weak album! I have numerous times before approached the shortcomings in Ando’s music (reviews on Raad’s and Ando‘s albums) but this album is the perfect showcase and sum of all these shortages! And the flat and unengaging vocal performance by Amir, despite its similarities in tone and ornamentation to Ando himself, does not really help to lift it all up to a balanced level. I myself am a big fan of CONTINENTAL and ADULT CONTEMPORARY music but this is when things basically drop in quality to a DEMO/Karaoke-level! I’m sure that there was once a more concrete ambition that got lost somewhere deep in the uneven musical- and inconsistent vocal performances! I have said it before but it bares to be mentioned again that Andranik is a very talented composer, especially in CONTINENTAL and ADULT CONTEMPORARY genres where he currently operates without active rivals! But its utterly important that he teams up with an arranger who is skilled and up-to-date with the current styles and techniques!

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!