Black Cats- ”the PopFather”

Caltex Records
2003

Is this the last album that we will hear from Black Cats?!! Considering Shahbal Shabpareh’s comments on the cover, it might very well be so!! Unfortunately! This album has been anticipated and hyped since a few years back!! Considering the worldwide attention and success that their previous album, “Cinderella” received, it is to me unclear why the release of this current album, took such a long time!! However, ”PopFather is the second album featuring the popular Black-Cats-Bros., Kamran and Hooman. It shows how well this two talented and handsome brothers have managed to shoulder the lead-singer-mantle of such a popular group, since Pirouz’ departure. It is obvious that these kittens have grown to two full-grown Black Cats and also developed to two full-fledged performers!!! It’s not an easy job to single-handedly and simultaneously cover both the stages and the walls of the girls’ bed-rooms!!! It’s a though job…but someone has got to do it!!! Mage na bacheha!?(*LOL*)

The album is compiled of 8 new and original tracks. As usual, it is produced by Shahbal himself and released by Caltex Records, in a very exclusive DVD-inspired package! Very creatively done, by an innovative Company that once shocked the market with the introduction of the 2-tape-package, containing Andy & Kouros’ legendary album ”Balla”, back in 1990!! This album features even Kamran as a songwriter, along with Shahbal and Ramin Zamani. And the excellent arrangements are the works of the very talented former group-member David Betsamo and Andy G., along with Shahyad and the younger brother himself, Hooman!!!

The first song has a Shahbal Shabpareh trademark-sound! It is the title track, ”PopFather”, which is a narrative and story-telling song!! Dressed in a simple HIP-HOP-cover, this song reminds us of the by-Shahbal-written-song, which Silhouettt once sang as a beautiful tribute to Googoosh! This song is supposed to be a tribute to the self-proclaimed (since he has written the lyrics himself) ”PopFather of Persia”, Shahbal Shabpareh, but along the main theme, the guys tell a chronological account of the history of modern Iranian music, and acknowledge its many heroes, which apparently did their parts but still the place of the PopFather was empty until the arrival of Shahbal!!! This is a good song, especially for the younger fans who’ll get a brief introduction to the history, and if anyone deserves to receive an acknowledgment and recognition for all his efforts throughout the years, it certainly is Shahbal Shabpareh! But to be completely honest, it feels a bit awkward to hear someone paying a tribute to himself!! Begzarim…

Next comes ”Ahange Man”, a typical and beautiful Black Cats-song! This sound was first established during the time of Pirouz, and it suited his smooth voice perfectly!! But it works equally perfect with the Bros.’ equally smooth voices!! This song oscillates between two different tempos, and it hits the ”Kereshmeh” and ”Eshveh”-point when it suddenly slows down, in order to invite our beautiful Iranian Ladies to conquer the dance-floors and the Gentlemen’s hearts by manifesting the climax of their unique and lovely dance-talents!!! I could suggest a WARNING-sign on this particular and romantically-dangerous track!!!

“Rendez Vous”, is a relatively new sound for the Cats, and it is a modern and, in my opinion, also successful attempt to Iranian HIP-HOP, which even manages to show the freshness of the boys’ voices! This song is already a HIT with their young fans, and its bilingual lyrics and NELLY-inspired “hollers” may have something to do with this fact! Did I mention that Hooman raps…and he does it well? I must say that I like this track and its very fresh arrangement!!

The fourth track is a ballad, and what a beautiful one! The Bros.’ voices caresses the wonderful melodies of this song. To all the separated lovers, this is the perfect reconciliation song!!! Just pick up the phone, call your local radio station and make the request!!! I swear that not even the coldest and hardest hearts can resist this one!!! Strongly recommended by LOVE-Dr. Pourya!!(*LOL*)

And now…”Yummy”!!! This LA-VIDA-LOCA-inspired and upbeat song invites all of you yummy and “Khoshmazzzzzeh” ladies…(Hey now!!!? Don’t look at me!! This is their own word!! *LOL*)…to the dance floor, why? Well to SHAKE IT AWAY!!! Or as the Cats say: Gheresh Bedeh!!! By the way, don’t forget to make a request!!! The Cats are offering you all kinds of music form every corner of the world!! “Khoshgele pas chera neshasti?…begoo baa gorbehaa chi mikhay beraghsi?!!… A well produced-fare, one of my and many DJ:s favorite songs of the album!!!

Can a good modern dance album be without a hyper-gheri and BANDARI-song ?!!! Of course it CAN’T!!! And this knows Shahbal, hence the Cats’ new HIT-song ”Aatash”, which sets the stages and dance-floors in fire!!! This song is a very catchy song, and it is almost as great as the previous album’s SUPER-HIT, ”Aaftab”!!! With parts like ”Larzeshe sine,…Khoshgelo sabze,...” can this track too require a WARNING sign!!!(*LOL*)

The seventh song is called ”Mamanieh”, and it is a mid-tempo and LATIN-inspired song, with prominent horn-sections! The beat of this song wont allow your feet to stand still!! So it’s better to give in to the temptation and grab your partner for a sensual fare on the dance floor…or wherever you might be!!! A very lovely track!!!

And now the final track, ”Cat Man”, which is supposed to be a theme song for the group. This song too, like the first track is rather naked in its arrangement! It seems that the boys have derived this song from Michael Jackson’s ”THRILLER”. It is not a bad song, but not an outstanding one either!!

“Popfather” is a very good defender of the Cats’ previous successful albums, I deeply recommend this HOT and energetic album to all the fans of Iranian dance music and modern sounds!!! Black Cats should not be considered as a regular group and band, but rather as a musical phenomenon!!! I truly wish that Shahbal and the Cats continued to bring us such wonderful music, but if now they, because of different reasons, decide to walk separate paths, one thing is certain!! Kamran and Hooman have both, together or solo, promising careers ahead!! The future is all yours guys!! GOOD LUCK!!!

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!