Omid - “Entezaar”

Avang Music Co.
2006 (1385)

After the success of his LIVE-recording Omid is back with his first studio-album in more than four years! Working again with a few familiar names such as Babak Radmanesh, who after Omid’s “Piroozi” had a true come-back in the industry (not many know that Radmanesh is a “veteran” and the golden oldie “Age Eshgh Hamine”, originally performed by Gita and covered by Andy, is as a matter of fact his work of art!). Along with Baroon, Mina Jalali, Mohammad Moghadam and Momen Salar. Perhaps in correspondence to the huge anticipation of the fans the new album is entitled “Entezaar, featuring 8 tracks and released on Avang Music Co.. Unfortunately the album faced a pre-release leakage on the internet, something that has lately become a rule rather than exception!

“Tarze Negaahet” starts off the album as a PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE fare with the Turkish flavour, the signature style of Radmanesh! Lately adopted by many artists and mainly Shahyad who took it to another level arrangement-wise. So its great to see that Babak hasn’t arranged this one by himself considering the arrested development manifested in his recent works! Instead another Radmanesh namely Baroon has taken over and done that very skilfully! My favourite track from the album.

Next comes a clever hybrid of STADIUM TECHNO and the Electro-FOLK! “Man Be To Na Nemigam” is one of the most PROGRESSIVE tracks I’ve heard coming from Omid and one of the better arrangements I‘ve heard from Moghadam in recent years! A GREAT energising FLOOR-FILLER. Brilliant!

Time for “Azizam”, a BALLAD of a SYMPHONIC character and a BROADWAY MUSICAL nature! A very uplifting serenade and the ONLY ballad on the album, very unlike Omid!

“Bahaar” is a POWER POP song with an OLD-SCHOOL feeling and a PROGRESSIVE Electro-FOLK vibe! Another one of my favourites on the album with FRESH elements imbedded in its production.

The Radmanesh Turko-ARABESQUE song “Entezaar” is perhaps the least innovative song on the album and served unpromisingly as the first song released from it!

An Electro-BANDARI song with the OLD-SCHOOL/NEW-SCHOOL marriage that characterises the entire album comes as “Bot“!

Things get far more interesting with the ARABESQUE/JUNGLE/BOSSANOVA fusion “Shoorangiz”! Once again I applaud Baroon for his innovation! A perfect soundscape for an adventurer like me to explore. Who knew that the world’s MOST SAMPLED BEAT (foundation of DRUM&BASS and JUNGLE) from the good old Winstons’ “Amen, Brother” would one day pop up in an Omid song, of all Iranian artists!?

And to close the album comes another POWER POP fare with old-school Electro-FOLK influences. Do you recognise the references to the good old “Leila (Leila, Leila)”? A powerful finale!

The majority of comments I’ve heard from Omid fans on this offering have been a clear manifestation of disappointment! In particular from the ”purist” fans of the man’s previously over-represented SENTIMENTAL/SOPHISTICATED songs a la Moein. It simply feels too frustrating to wait more then four years and after all the waiting and anticipating getting almost no ”reward” for it! Such a let-down it must feel like!? I on the other hand have never been a fan of this robust tradition of musical orgy in moaning and semi-religious mourning. I often quote Mozaffar, the underappreciated cinematic character of Parviz Sayyad in his immortal words (”Migam ke badbakhti ham ziaadesh tarifi nadarare haaa!!!”) when my friends somehow try to mount the pulpit and convince me to enjoy their rites of self-righteous masochism! So needless to say I ENJOY ”Entezaar”! In the sense that its the most UPLIFTING Omid ”collection” I personally have come across! But personal preference aside, there is a quality to this release that gets easily overshadowed by all the complaints and disappointment and that is the EXPERIMENTAL ambition of the album. An ambition that has in practise worked against the album, but nevertheless been initially of a good nature! Try to overlook the low-calorie lyrics and flabby compositions of the collection and you will suddenly detect some rather ”daring” manoeuvres and hybridising fusions in its arrangements. Nothing extraordinary but still tiny glimmers of hope that are of importance especially when it comes to this particular genre which has for too long been suffering from dogmatism and arrested-development on its radical right-wing! Pouya, Shahyad and Jamshid have all been lightening up musically and image-wise in their latest releases, now its time for Omid to do the same! If you are looking for a heavy-hearted and sentimental soundtrack for your sessions of self-pity then ”Entezaar” is nothing for you, but other than that its an album to be RECOMMENDED!

Overall 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!