Shahrad - “Navaare Khaali”

Aavaaye Maandegaar (Iran)
2004 (1382)

Reza Gholami Mehrabadi a. k. a. “Shahrad”’s debut album “Navaare Khaali” comes in a collaboration with Raha (FREE) Shayan as the lyricist/composer and Nima Noormohammadi as the arranger. The album even contains composition by the artists himself. “Navaare Khaali” holds eight tracks and is released on Aavaaye Maandegaar.

The album starts off at a “train station” with “Istgaahe Bikasi”, a Persian TECHNO/Euro-NRG fare with throbbing beats, twinkles and scratching elements. A MINIMALISTIC, but still charming arrangement. If you liked Shadmehr’s “Zhina” you will probably like this particular track too! Ethereal choir and a short RAP at the bridge sum up this lovely song!

Now! To the Persian HIP-HOP sound a la “Eskenaas”! (ironically was this album released long before Shahkar’s album) with a twist of Black Cats’ POP-Funk, will “Negaroon” satisfy the fans of the genre. The only factor that might prevent this song to become as popular, is its lack of a (generic) HUMORISTIC theme!

“Aaroom Aaroom” …steps, ….piano, …and the second Persian TECHNO/Euro-NRG fare of the album arrives! Vocal references to Assar, Shadmehr and mainly Siavash Shams! “Boro Bivafaa! …Dige Dooset Nadaaram!”!! I must admit that I love this track, despite of it being on the MINIMALISTIC side arrangement-wise!

The 70s! …oh the good old 70s! “Gharaar” comes as mellow FEEL-GOOD song a la ARIAN/Ghomayshi as a typical “weekend morning” song! A lovely track, even here is the Assar/Siavash references tangible! The only ballad on the album!

Strangely enough, first now arrives the first PROG. POP fare of the album!! “Addresse Eshgh” enjoys Electro-BANDARI elements in its pattern and is one of the BETTER specimens I’ve ever heard! As I have mentioned before, the PROG. POP style has stuck in the same MINIMALISM lately, but this particular song is more LUSH! I’m glad that the RAP-performance is kept to the minimum throughout the album!

Now once again back to the Persian TECHNO/Euro-NRG sound! This is actually the best sound on the album, the Auto-tuned vocal suits Noormohammadi’s melodic manoeuvres just perfectly! Try to catch the b.p.m in “Hamine” now, if you can!!

“Kish o Maat” is the most surprising track on the whole album! It presents the PROG. POP in a mellowed down and smooth style of the 80s! It’s been a while since we heard the role of the “TAAR” in a GHER-alluring conspiracy with the “ZARB!! Takes me back a decade or so, …nice job guys!!

Last comes “4shanbe soori” and as the title indicates it is a VIOLIN-graced (mainstream) PROG. POP tune for THE night of the year! Now, this is still a nice track, but the WEAKEST of the collection!

This very last track happened to be the FIRST track that I heard from “Navaare Khaali”, unfortunately (or fortunately), so needless to say became I pleasantly surprised once I heard the rest of the album (since I had very low expectations overall)!! What surprised me most, was the album’s WELL-BALANCED blend of different styles and genres used in Iran! It blows a FRESH AIR into the lounges of the PROG. POP and Persian TECHNO, while doing us a kind service keeping the Persian RAP to its MINIMUM! Shahrad and his team don’t deliver anything NEW or FRESH, but what they do deliver is the BEST SPECIMEN of those particular flavours served frequently in today‘s POP-Iran!


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!