Amin Rostami- “Yaade Cheshmaat”

Avaye Nakisa (Iran)
2008 (1387)

The former undergrounder Amin Rostami’s legal debut was released just recently. In this album Amin has written both music and lyrics in collaboration with Milad Torabi, Masih Hamidi, Farshid Vahdat, Babak Mafi, Sepideh Ghaemmaghami, Behzad Abdollahi, Amin Bamshad, Shahab Ramezan, Mehran Khalesi, Fereydoun and Ali Salehi. The album features 10 tracks and is released on Avaye Nakisa.

As you might have noticed Iranian undergrounders have a passion for vocal presentation of the singer and the creators in the beginning of the songs! Usually with a Barnameye-Golha tone of voice. Milad Torabi, the creator of “Entezaar”, is one of the few who insists on presenting in English while not really knowing correct English. As a consequence words like “lyrics” are pronounced “lairucs” and “produced by” is uttered “produckt by” in this case! The opener is perhaps the most commercial track on the album, serving a dancefloor-oriented Turko-ARABESQUE/POP song a la Shahyad, which is cleverly incorporated in the album thanks to the more ELECTRO overtone.

Switching now over to the main style of the album, namely the guitar-driven Balearic flavor of HOUSE mixed with French DISCO a la Modjo’s “Lady”. “Tik Tik” enjoys a touch of violin which grants it an Eastern charm.

Adding a tad more ELECTRONICA to the formula and the beautiful “Yaade Cheshmaat” is born.

Opening sound-effects aren’t unusual in this album, and we get to hear the rain falling down in a couple of songs! “Be Delam Moond” drops the pace and the violin starts swaying and caressing, sensually. There is a pinch of rhythm and blues mixed in this song, which gives a smooth and soothing balance.

“Delet Miyaad” doesn’t deviate from the style of the album, however its anatomy and structure is unusual and FRESH! You detect hints of Euro-POP in its range of sounds.

Next song takes the flow of the Balearic HOUSE and mixes it with a highly compatible Mediterranean musicality. The beautiful lyrics of “Neshooni” are courtesy of my good friend Amin Bamshad, the young Iran-based lyricist who once made a name through Nami’s “Dynasty” and have since then had more and more works presented in both domestic- and LA-productions.

I don’t know if Fereydoun, the composer of the album’s lullaby “Laalaayi” happens to be Fereydoun Asrayi or not but the mid-tempo ballad for the little sister reminds a bit of his music and is coherent with the main style and theme of this album.

“Setaare” adds some more FUNK to the DISCO HOUSE and is led perfectly by the guitar. This is a perfect specimen, proving the true abilities and skills of the team behind the production!

We heard a sample of the Mediterranean musicality earlier in this album, “Mano Too Ghalbet Negahdaar” brings it back while increasing the Greek spices and ingredients. It’s a short but gorgeous track.

The album rounds off with an instrumental version of “Neshooni”.

Amin Rostami’s vocal style does remind of Benyamin Bahadori’s, but not striking enough to earn a sound-alike mark. And the voice is really the weakest link of the album, standing out due to the music being basically gorgeous and flawless! The music is as great as a domestic production can possibly get, considering the technological and financial limitations. The mélange of Balearic HOUSE and French DISCO, which is the main style of the album here, is not really the easiest to pull off cooking if you are to keep it consistent right through the entire album! It can easily turn dry and create hiccups in the flow. In this album however the pitfalls have been avoided while the consistency and continuity have been created and conducted carefully and thoroughly, even though there are numerous names involved in the creation of the songs you can’t really put your finger on the differences between the songs. That shows the ability of the producer, to forge a homogenous product! “Yaade Cheshmaat” could have reached the same level of quality and production value that graces Fereydoun’s ”Gharibe”, if only the voice too met the same standard and didn’t sound a bit contrived. Luckily the vocal performance goes very well with the featured music on the album and the feelings expressed, once again indicating a calculated project. An important characteristic of an artist is to understand and acknowledge own strength as well as own weakness! And even more importantly, to make these both ends meet!

The tiny vocal weakness aside, Amin Rostami’s debut is a GREAT album which reflects artistic awareness and production skills, qualities which have left the underground abyss and found their way up to the surface. Hopefully they will survive the legal environment, evolve and hybridize in even better albums! By the way, many of the songs which couldn’t be fit into the context of this album have been released illegally online for your listening pleasure! If you happen to enjoy this collection then by all means, hunt them down and devour!     

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!