Hossein Zaman - “Ghesseye Nagofte”

Soroush Media
2006 (1385)

The ”Shamaayel” (painted religious icon) -esque looking Hossein Zaman, the ex-revolutionary guard and one of the members of the post-2nd Khordad generation whose music had despite its explicitly religious overtone and his political status a rather large fan-base with concerts being a ring for the fight of reformists and conservative vigilantes is today a university lecturer in Kish! He is now back after four years of silence with his fifth album entitled ”Ghesseye Nagofte”. Featuring work by Mohammad Mehdi Goorangi, Mohammad Reza Cheraghali, Mohammad Reza Aghili, Reza Ashari, Akbar Azad, Afshin Sarfaraz and Soheil Mahmoodi. The album features 8 tracks and is released on the good old Soroush Media.

The album opens with a semi-PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE fare called “Sargardooni”. This is perhaps the most progressive track on the whole album, which says a lot about what’s to come!

In the socio-political “vacuum” of 1979-1997, because of the intense intolerance and harsh restrictions on the existence and performance of the so called “west-oriented” POP-music in Iran, an underground artistic sub-culture came to life and began to expand with “sound-alike” artists who performed their respective LA-based artist’s “forbidden” music in secret parties and behind-closed-doors gatherings. A sub-culture that came to practically “explode” out in the open in the aftermath of 2nd Khordad! Hence was the first generation of the new POP-movement mainly consisted of “sound-alikes”! Shadmehr Aghili was dubbed Siavash Shams, Khashayar Etemadi was dubbed “Dariush“, Ali Reza Assar was dubbed “Amir Aram/(late)Farhad”, Ghasem Afshar was dubbed “Ebi” and Zaman was none other than “Sattar“! And after having denied and rejected the similarities in a decade the cover on “Iran Iran”, originally preformed by Sattar in 1981, can be regarded as an indirect nod and conformation of the accusation! However the strange part is that the song was once written as a clear expression of an Iranian’s nostalgic sentiments and emotions in “exile” and how Zaman can explain singing and relating to this “inside” the country without implying an indirect opposition to the current regime in a “home-doesn’t-feel-like-home-anymore” way is very interesting to me!

“Assal” is a mid-tempo track with the old Sattar-inspired Zaman sound! I really like the arrangement done on this one.

The Retro-ROMANTIC “Haraas” follows a similar path with its mellow flow!

Afshin Sarfaraz, reportedly the brother of Ardalan Sarfaraz who is also the protector of his creations in Iran and has surprisingly managed to stop unethical and illegal employment of his brother’s pieces inside Iran, is the man behind the title track “Ghesseye Nagofte”! A song in accordance with the main style of the album.

Next song can be regarded as one my absolute favourite songs this past decade! Yes, it’s a sentimental ballad, but one with a Retro-ROMANTIC approach. As you surely have understood by now “Hoboot” is not a new track, but rather a song from a few years older V/A compilation “Setaaregaane Eshgh”! A GREAT compilation which I still today listen to frequently. Featuring amazing songs from Khashayar Etemadi, Ghasem Afshar and Nima Masiha, among others!

The whistle-borne “Koodake Fardaa” is perhaps the least defined track with its musical-inspired loose composition.

To take it all the way back to the 70’s with its blend of RETRO-POP sound and theme a la late Maziar and Houshmand Aghili comes “Daryaa”, which puts an end to the latest collection of Hossein Zaman.

“Ghesseye Nagofte” is not really the untold story that it claims to be! Its a GOOD album but features nothing new nor even different for a Zaman album! “Zaman (time)” has changed but not Hossein Zaman! He seems to be stuck in the same period of time, using the same by-now OLD-SCHOOL formula and mainly the same NEW WAVE-inspired lyrical jargon which characterised that early musical wave. I personally enjoy this nostalgically, since I once was a hardcore fan of the style, however it might not strike a chord with the common listener of today! It remains to bee seen whether Zaman who once so controversially lost exposure in IRIB (Sedaa va Simaa) by forbidding them from broadcasting his material is now able to regain popularity via “Ghesseye Nagofte” or not!

Overall 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!