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Sheila - ”Emshab”

Caltex Records
2006 (1384)

Its been exactly 10 years now since Sheila started her career and she has gone from a Rubenesque brunette to a petite blonde! But though she has been a busy stage-performer she has let go of the frequent album-releases which she tried to keep close until her previous offering “Ghaasedak”! Today after four years, her brand new album is on the market entitled “Emshab”, featuring collaborations with Hassan Shamaeizadeh, Ara Hairapetian, M. Cheshmazar, Sina Bayat, Shahram Azar, Yaghma Golroie, Babak Sahraie, Siavash Ghomayshi, Saeed Dabiri, Babak Roozbeh, Karim Fokour, Shahyad and Koji Zadori. Featuring 7 tracks, released on Caltex Records.

The album opens with a PROGRESSIVE GRECO-ARABESQUE fare in style with the previous album’s HIT-song “Mimiram“. “Toro Mikhaam” is clean in production and catchy!

Next comes an OLD-SCHOOL BANDARI fare signed Shahram Azar. “Shahrhaaye Iran” is the successor of her older BANDARI songs such as “Aroose Khalij”. A commercial attempt to pack the DANCE tune with so many city/province names and ETHNIC influences as possible!

“Ye Del Daaram” is a cover on late Giti’s golden oldie. But on “Emshab” it appears strangely as a song with no ID-card! Though Sheila has declared in detail for all other covers on the album (which are relatively many) this one is marked only with a “remake” and credit given to neither the original singer nor the creators!! Well-produced and -preformed otherwise. Going well with Sheila’s voice, holding many resemblances to the original DIVA‘s performance!

Afshin Moghadam’s “Zemestoon” covered in a semi Electro-REGGAE version! The opening recital reminds of Saman’s style and so does the rest of the song as a matter of fact! Not as concise and well-produced as the previous track.

Last year’s title is back in a FOLK-inspired RETRO-POP tune! You either LOVE or HATE Sheila‘s “Baba To Dige Ki Hasti“ with lyrical references to Javaherkalam‘s, depending on whether you enjoy the style or not! One of the less commercially potent features on the album.

The title-track “Emashab” is a MAINSTREAM POP song in style with Sheila’s earliest works. We’ll probably find this tune to be featured on several of forthcoming PARTY-MIXES by independent DJs!

Last but not least comes a PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE cover on “Gole Maryam” arranged by Shahyad. Again, a song for a minority in the Iranian market!

The album doesn’t feature any music-videos, but an additional DVD filled with 19 videos and performances can be purchased in combination with the CD.

I must admit that there is something about Sheila’s voice that appeals to me! A sultry blend of modern ornamentation and classical intonation perhaps! However its not too often that we can hear her lovely voice being favoured and framed by QUALITY music, unfortunately! While the HIT-album “Cheshmoone Man” can be regarded as the MAGNUM OPUS of her career, everything post that release has just stooped in ambition and quality. Its not clear what Sheila wants with “Emshab” since its neither artistically endowed nor commercially potent! There are a couple of decent tracks that make you truly wonder why Sheila has not continued on their paths instead of derailing onto the weakest kind of KHALTOOR-oriented material!? Strangely enough are these weak tracks created by some strong names of the industry and more or less the same names who are also responsible for the stronger features of the album!! A very inconsistent collection and performance in other words, diverse for the worse! The only explanation I can come up with is that this line of songs is basically based on Sheila’s personal preference and taste! Whatever the reason might be her fifth album till date is also her “weakest collection” till date! And that’s a shame, because she has a flexible voice that goes well with most styles and constellations IF ONLY employed more calculatedly!

Note: special thanks to my good old friend Koorosh who is the walking/talking encyclopaedia of VINTAGE SONGS and OLDIES!!

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!