Valy - “After Love...”

Avang Music Co.
2007 (1386)

Ever since I heard Valy for the first time he has somehow reminded me of Afshin, his appearance and music just the same. And apparently my intuition has served me correctly with this association since the man behind Valy's music is in fact the same man who has in the last five years given tone to the sound and style that have made Afshin's music what it is today! Namely the Greek-born and Germany-based artist Kostas Karagiozidis, presented only as KO on the cover. And KO is in fact the only one who has been given credit for the co-production of the songs on the album, who really stands for the lyrics, compositions and arrangements is not really clear since there is no list of credits presented! The album entitled “After Love...” features 12 tracks and is released on Avang Music Co..

The album opens with "Delamo Shekoondi", an R&B/ETHNO POP song which doesn't really act as an adequate opener. It sounds too pale and slow to kick off an album and make a lasting impression!

All Iranian know the Afghan "Zim Zim Zim" by now, through its numerous covers by Iranian artists such as Leila Foruhar. Valy's take on it is a nice one but perhaps a bit too hectic for its own good! You cant really savour that Afghan flavour in this pace!

"Khanoomi" starts with the Zanboorak reminiscent of Kostas' arrangements for Afshin. The song sounds very early 90's with a pinch of the good old Mehrdad Zand Karimi spices.

Next comes "Dokhtare Afghani", a song which despite its title and theme sounds more Iranian than Afghan! And its mainly due to its arrangement which just like two songs ago hasn't managed to capture that Afghan essence in its musicality! It turns out to be an undertone instead of an overtone.

The Afshin connection comes across in the opening of "Hame Kaaraat Doroghaki", the song with a good initial potential tends to lose a bit in its psychedelic and minimalistic 80's arrangement style a la Shahram Shabpareh!

"Khaab" is an R&B ballad with a cool flow and groove. Unfortunately the song suffers from a flatness and monotonousness in composition, with an undertone reminiscent of Siavash's "Bachehaa".

Now to a song custom-made for Bia2! Hehe, just kiddin'! When I first heard Valy's debut "Bia Tou", I had no idea who he was and from where he came. But despite the Afghan undertone of the song the overtone was purely GREEK-ETHNO! And when being informed about Kostas behind the production things suddenly made much more sense! One of the stronger songs on the album.

"Delbare Mehrabaan" falls in the exact same category. Its a well-produced ETHNO POP song which has managed to balance the different ethnic influences in its melange!

Next comes "Doost Dokhtar", another song with a distinct RETRO orientation. 1990 maybe but it feels a bit too minimalitic too be adequate for a 2007 release!

Back to the ETHNO POP style with "Haalaa Bechesh", but this time with a LATIN overtone! I really like this song which together with "Bia Tou" and "Delbare Mehrabaan" are my favourite tracks from the album. I wish that the rest of the songs met the same quality standard!

"Dorough Nagoo" starts to blend the TRIP HOP with AFGHAN POP, a fusion I really loved to hear being elaborated on! But the song soon morphs into a POP song, a nice and catchy one but still very conventional.

The album ends with an instrumental version of "Khaab"

Still today I'm not sure whether Valy, the person, is really an Afghan or whether its a persona he has adopted and style he has chosen! Something like an Afghan version of Arash's Indian image and musicality! I hope the former but it really doesn't matter in this case because Valy, the artist, is a multi-cultural product and its reflected clearly in his music. The music is well-produced and preformed, as it is to be expected from a Kostas production, however the quality is not consistent and doesn't hold all the way through! Except for a few tracks the rest feels underdeveloped and rough. Material which bear to be reconsidered and redefined. Valy does remind of Afshin, at times, but while Afshin's albums are thoroughly planned and performed down to the minor details, Valy is more of an overall expression and impression! Each song is good but still imperfect, together however it stands firm! “After Love...” is definitely an album worthy of a VERY GOOD mark, a convincing debut album by a promising debut artist.

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!