Shadmehr Aghili- ”Aadamforoush”

NAVA MEDIA CO. (Canada), World-Wide distribution by AVANG MUSIC CO.
2004 (1382)

Shadmehr is back again!! Now with his second album produced and released in Canada, entitled “Aadamforoush”! Once again is the entire collection composed and arranged by the man himself, but for the lyrical spine of the album stands a team of talented lyricists from both inside and outside Iran. These artists are Niloufar Laripour, Babak Rouzbeh, Mona Borzouie, Kia and Farhad Hasani! “Aadamforoush” too, just like “Khiaali Nist”, is released on the Canada-based NAVA MEDIA CO.!! Due to the company’s limited International distribution is the original version of “Khiaali Nist” still NOT AVAILABLE everywhere in Europe!! …Believe it or not!! But I am glad to see that Shadmehr has collaborated with a stronger distributor this time around, and hence should the 7-track-“Aadamforoush” be available in both US and Europe as we speak!! It should also be mentioned that the album comes in a very COOL and BLACK slipcase!!

Ever since his arrival to Canada, Shadmehr seems to have got himself involved in some kind of a “human-trade syndicate”!! Why, you might ask??! Well last time in “Khiaali Nist”, someone purchased his heart and later used the “money-back-guarantee”-option, and now a so called “white-slave merchant” seems to have tried to make a dollar or two at our friend’s emotional expense!!(*LOL*)! Well I’m kidding OF COURSE!! “Aadamforoush” is a lovely Electro-POP tune with some heavy CONTINENTAL HOUSE/FUNK-beats a la Mr Oizo and Benny Benassy!! The song tries to tap on the “Khiaali Nist”-success, but does not really posses the hate/love-theme and commercial appeal of last year’s SMASH-HIT!! Nevertheless is this song a MARVEL arrangement-wise!! I absolutely LOVE its high-pitched vocals and FUTURISTIC violin!!

Next comes a typical “on-a-Babak Rouzbeh-piece-based” tune!! Babak is a very talented lyricist, with an OWN lyrical style!! But somehow everyone who tries to compose on his pieces land on the same territory!! Perhaps his lyrical “attitude” invites to that!! However is “Omran” a lovely “vocoder”-touched Electro-ROCK tune with the typical Shadmehr-spices!! Shadmehr’s vocal-styling in this track reminds a bit of Ali Reza Asar’s, who himself is inspired by Amir Aram and has made a duet with Shadmehr a few years back, entitled “Baaghe Zendegi”!!

“Ashke Man” is a very STRONG and interesting song!! The famous Shadmehr-style appears here colored in some GORGEOUS SYNTH/Electro-POP arrangement!! Very 80s in fact, with a synth-line a la ALPHAVILLE!! Shadmehr has always had some tangible Ghomayshi inspirations in his sound, this song is a perfect example of that! Reminiscent of the McCrum-arrangements actually!! This song is one of my personal favorites from the album!! Shadmehr shows by this song, that a CHANGE is not always a “bad” thing!! … crispy and FRESH!!

Now, …NOW!! My absolute favorite song from “Aadamforoush” has finally arrived!! When I was a child, the silent animated-motion-picture “the SNOWMAN” made a profound impression on me! Shadmehr’s INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL ballad, “Dele Divouneh”, suddenly brought back those beautiful and innocent days through its subtle and DREAMLIKE arrangement reminiscent of Howard Blake‘s musical MASTERPIECE!! …WOW!! I’m on the cloud number-nine right now!!!

Next comes a FRENCH HOUSE/DISCO-tune with FUNKy JAZZ-influences!! This particular genre is very strong in the French part of Canada and Shadmehr’s “Tahdid” is a nod to the works of MODJO and DAFT PUNK!! The highly exaggerated and manipulated vocal maneuvers might come across as a bit “annoying” at first, but they are in accordance with the aforementioned genre and will probably grow on you eventually!! …Than again, maybe not!!

A mid-tempo and lovely acoustic guitar-driven LATIN/CONTINENTAL ballad a la Craig David, recreates the mood of Shadmehr’s last album!! The OVER-THE-TOP vocal-maneuvers are present even in “Vaghti Gofti Naro”!! Although here slightly less “provocative” than the previous track, but still something “odd” and “strange” in the ears of a Shadmehr-fan!!

The album ends with “Kal Kal”, an up-beat Electro-ROCK fare, with an EUPHORIC guitar-solo!! Another song with Ghomayshi-inspirations!! The song evokes a bunch of other songs, Mansour’s “Saayeboun” is one of them!!

As you might recall from my review on “Khiaali Nist” last year, I was very HOPEFUL and POSITIVE about the NEW direction in which Shadmehr had started to navigate the post-EXODUS-chapter of his artistic career!! And today, I am glad to say that I was right in my prediction!! Shadmehr has met my expectations, …as I knew he would!! “Aadamforoush” is DEFINITELY an accomplished MILESTONE!! Not only in Shadmehr’s own career, but for the Iranian POP-music in general!! Shadmehr is, in spite of his relatively late arrival to the “West”, one of the very few artists who has actually opened his ears and seized the opportunity to explore the vast musical landscape around him!! He has broken a way out from the GRIDLOCK of the formulaic and over-used Iranian HODGEPODGE of Western CLUB-music, a k a “Persian TECHNO”(even though it has more to do with EURO-DANCE and VOCAL-TRANCE, than the actual TECHNO-music) and DARINGLY entered a for-the-xenophobic-Iranian-music strange realm, explored it and delivered a FRESH and INNOVATIVE sound!! Maybe not for the fans of the so called “Persian TECHNO”, but definitely for those who appreciate VISIONARIES and their EXPERIMENTAL-music!!

“Khiaali Nist” and “Zhina” remain “unchallenged” though, as “Aadamforoush” features no given HIT-song in terms of commercial potentiality!! But at the same time it has also wisely excluded the less innovative styles from “Khiaali Nist”!! And that has made the new album a more HOMOGENOUS and SOLID “collection” than its predecessor!! Every single song is of a HIGH QUALITY, both technically and artistically!! But it should also be mentioned that the FRESHNESS and INNOVATION of “Aadamforoush” lays NOT in its lyrics or compositions!! Not at all, the album is rather formulaic in that sense! It follows the successful and famous Shadmehr-formula word by word!! Instead, its real POWER and UNIQUENESS lays in its GORGEOUS ARRANGEMENTS!! Shadmehr’s melodies have in “Adamforoush” changed wardrobe, to some “pure” and “rare” ELECTRONIC-ensembles!! Other than these cosmetic changes, the constructions on “Adamforoush” are the same as his earlier acoustic guitar-driven songs and definitely recognizable for his fans!! And for those who might consider his new sound as “obsolete”, I should give a reference to the current European market where SYNTH/ELECTRONICA is going through a serious revival right now! For the first time since the 80s, it is being considered TRENDY and climbing on the MAINSTREAM-charts!! So a “miscalculation” is definitely not a mark for this MUST-HAVE release!!

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!