Hengameh - “Arteshe Solh”

Taraneh Enterprises Inc.
2006 (1385)

Hengameh surprised everyone with her rather STRONG debut two years ago. Being backed-up by Ramin Zamani the production team delivered a popularly embraced and critically acclaimed album with assorted goodies for every taste! Ramin Zamani still being with Hengameh in the production of the follow-up entitled “Arteshe Solh” along with his usual and authorised employment of Maryam Heydarzadeh’s lyrics. The record company is however changed to Taraneh, surprisingly! “Arteshe Solh” consists of only 7 tracks and comes in a collaboration with Roma Kanyan and Shahkar Bineshpajooh.

The album opens with something of a disappointment! A generic PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE song that reminds of Mansour’s “Faghat Bekhaatere To” in its chanting chorus which today 6 years after isn’t exactly a positive association! Then ad a mild touch of the last album and finish it up in the same way that puts an end to Mahsa’s latest song “Ye Zarre Dootsam Dashte Baash”, also a Ramin Zamani creation! Very disappointing indeed, but still the “catchiest“ song on the album!

“Mojeze” is a song with an excellent Euro-NRG arrangement but a remarkably flat and psychedelic chorus that puts you off!

The PEACE-seeking title-track, the DRAMATIC ballad “Arteshe Solh”, is a song with a declaration of inspiration! The result is good and the chorus, unlike the previous song, manages to reach climax! Good work!

Last time we heard these words of Maryam it was in Saman’s unethical employment in the otherwise lovely “Ghanaari”! I personally like “Edeaa“, usually I’m not a fan of the Zamani versions of the Maryam pieces that have already in one way or another been employed and it did take a while before I could shake off the Saman-association in my evaluation of it but it was possible!

“Bahoone” is another one of this album’s weaker tracks, suffering from the same factors as in “Mojeze”! There is an attempt to a ” hook” but not that clean!

The BEST song on the album and ironically also another one with a bugging reference is “Aakhare Khatte Mano To”! The Euro-DANCE song is obviously trying to tail-ride the success of Kamran and Hooman’s “Fadaaye Saret”, just listen to the moment Hengameh starts to sing (khabar aavordan midoonam, kheili sholoogh shode saret/rafti namoondi bivafaa, engar asar nadaasht doaa)! This very little detail bugs the hell out of me, WHY would Zamani repeat himself in such a creatively non-fattening fashion so shortly after the original?!!! Listening to the lyrics you take it for granted that its by Maryam while it in fact is co-written by Shahkar “Eskenaas” Bineshpajooh who makes up for the horrible job he did with the “emergency-rhyming” in Arash’s WC-special “Iran Iran” (just the thought of it still sends shivers down my spine!)!

And last in the short list of tracks is the mellow nationalistic ballad “Iran” with its AMERICANA style and references to the 70’s Iranian HARMONY POP songs!

Hengameh’s “Baraaye Didane To” was clearly a successful debut thanks mainly to the HIGH QUALITY material courtesy of its composer Ramin Zamani. And although “Arteshe Solh” enjoys the very same composer it is shockingly not favoured by the same quality in its compositions! Ramin who has in recent years become renowned and acclaimed for his thought-through and commercially CATCHY compositions which also embodied the latest collection from Kamran and Hooman, surprisingly does not meet the expectations and the raised bar this time around by delivering a “mass” of uniformed and hook-less songs that not only do not stand out amongst themselves but are merely sheer hints of the previous works of the songwriter! Another weakening factor is the probable miscalculation in the style-selection. Despite several strong songs on the debut its safe to suggest that THE HIT of the album was the GITANO POP title-song “Baraaye Didane To” which many thought being underrepresented and hoped for a make-up treat in the follow-up album. But instead of an elaboration on the successful styles of the DIVERSE debut the production team has chosen to narrow down, overrate and strangely focus on the EURO-DANCE styles in a not so distinctive nor innovative fashion! Not a crowd-pleasing decision in other words!

Though Hengameh still performs and delivers her part equally great I’m utterly disappointed with this short (2006 and only 7 songs?!!!!) and CHARACTERLESS ALBUM as a FILLER-COLLECTION and mainly Ramin Zamani, whom I expect MUCH MORE from since I still consider him as one of the most skilled and musically reliable producers of the industry! Is this self-repeating a sign of idea-drought or composer‘s block? My only hope is that this album is another case of trial-and-error that would be long forgotten as soon as the next and more thought-through collection is out!!

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!