IDIN - “the Voice”

Avang Music Co.
2004 (1383)

During its first decade of existence, AVANG has represented nothing but QUALITY PRODUCTIONS! Today on the threshold of the second decade, the company is not only consolidating that tradition, but also combining it with QUANTITY, through frequent album releases! By attracting and accommodating already established LEGENDS and having the courage and sense of responsibility to discover and endorse talented aspiring artists, the AVANG family is growing larger than ever and slowly but surely becoming the home of the “creme de la creme“! The ultimate goal of a production company would be to combine ARTISTIC AMBITION with COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL! And at the moment, AVANG is the leading company when it comes to such ventures!

The recent member in this family is the 19 years old and multi-talented IDIN, with his debut entitled “the Voice”. the album is produced by IDIN’s parents Shourangiz and Siavash Shafi-Nia, and while all the three artistic family members have contributed to the album, they’ve received assistant by other artists such as Mahin Abadani, Jonathan Moning, Roma Kanyan, Farzin Farhadi, Violaine Corradi, Hamid Jafari and Khosro Jafari and (probably the fourth family member) Bahareh Shafi-Nia. “the Voice” features 10 tracks and is released on AVANG MUSIC Co..

The already a HIT “Dooset Daram” opens the collection as an up-beat NRG track with TRANCE and Middle Eastern influences (not really Arabesque, but rather film score inspired). Roma’s gorgeous string arrangement dominates and together with the employed beat they remind of the good old WAYY/Mortazavi endeavour in the BOYZ’s “Saayeh” and the Arabian R.E.G. PROJECT. Have you ever heard a song sounding too familiar, but you just couldn’t put your finger on what song it reminded you of? Well, this was the case for me with this particular song! “Inspired by an old club song with additional composition by Idin Shafi-Nia” says the album cover and I wish that IDIN had mentioned the title of that source of inspiration for the beautiful track!

“Sedaa” is a more or less typical Farhadi creation, with a melancholic neo-NEW AGE and WORLD MUSIC aurora on a modern (industrial) CLUB-oriented body. If you enjoyed Shahrazd Sepanlou’s latest album, you’ll probably love this one! I do love the lyrical theme of this song. Such a beautiful piece!

IDIN’s vocal styling and manoeuvres have STRONG references to the MUSICAL genre. “Ballare”, a romantic and film score inspired tune, combines Italian with the beautiful words of RUMI (recited by IDIN‘s mother). The song begins as a caressing and silky smooth BALLAD but shifts soon gear to an up-beat and TRANCE inspired fare. A very CHIC fusion of the classic and modern styles and sounds!

Now to another favourite song of mine! “Setareh”, a fare signed with the Farhadi signature, is of a more commercial calibre and more MAINSTREAM oriented sound! A very CATCHY and clean HOOK, along with a coherent structure. Other than that every thing else is recognisable from the man’s previous creations. A very NOSTALGIC and lovely OLD-SCHOOL inspired track, for the fans of the 80s. There is something very familiar about this piece, but I just can‘t put my finger on “what“!

Now let’s get back to the 70s with IDIN who was not around during that time, but still has an ability to resurrect the magic of the golden decade in his “To Bekhand”! a song with subtle Andalusian influences. this is actually one of the BEST 70s-inpired compositions I’ve heard (credits to IDIN’s father) but the MINIMALISTIC arrangement doesn’t really do it justice! IDIN’s voice is like a “matador” without the company of the “picadors”! A more lush and melodious arrangement would have accompanied and underpinned the vocals better! Nevertheless, this is a beautiful track featuring an underrepresented sound on the album.

“Cheshmaat” is a TECHNO-inspired ETHNO-DANCE tune with CATAPULTING BEATS and a theme reminiscent of the 80s. Roma’s MINIMALISTIC arrangement is more appropriate for this particular style. Another underrepresented sound on the album!

Next comes the album’s first song in English “Why am I so Sad?” is a cleaver fusion of EURO-TECHNO, EPIC TRANCE and TRIP-HOP, with the album’s main MIDDLE EASTERN film score touch. The song is not as the same commercial calibre as the rest of the album, due to its hook, but still artistically beautiful!

“Zoragh” is a song that showcases Roma’s arrangement skills. An Arabo-Andalusian inspired TRACK with a heavy CLUB jargon and HI-NRG beats a la PET SHOP BOYS. The 80s …the good old 80s presented here with a BRAND NEW twist!

IDIN’s vocal orientation towards the MUSICAL genre is clearly manifested in the second English track on the album. “Unsure” is a pure MUSICAL piece with the genre’s beatless arrangement!

A not so different REMIX of “Ballare” closes IDIN’s debut album.

I was highly amazed when I heard the sampler of “the Voice” almost two moths ago, and let me tell you that I am EVEN MORE IMPRESSED now that I’ve heard the entire album! IDIN’s album is entitled “the Voice”, but the voice is not the only thing that brings grace and distinction to this collection. For once there comes someone who manages to avoid a total recycling the old formulas and lining up overused ingredients (not to mention the standard and usual creation/production teams) by introducing FRESH BLOOD and new names while branding the whole package with an own “signature”. IDIN’s album sounds NEW and FRESH, but yet so familiar and NOSTALGIC! I love the fact that you do recognise the rich influences but still can’t put your finger on the sources. This is exactly HOW they should be adopted and integrated, eclectically and rearranged beyond recognition. It’s not every day that one gets both energised and “engaged” by an Iranian album, but “the Voice” manages to do just that, through its PERFECT and unique brand of CLUB-music. Another interesting, and also important factor is IDIN’s background as a US-born Iranian, which makes him a great role model for the 2nd generation Iranians who are currently spread around the world, but yet equally passionate about their mother tongue and culture!

IDIN is only 19 and judging by the way he has and still manages his talents and administrates his career (professional training) and his belief in the artistic principles and ethics (a long and very (in our industry) rare “thank you” note, the complete list of credits on the cover, along with the following quote “…all the Persian singers are awesome in their own way so I enjoy them all very much. (from an interview with EshgheIran)”) …he has not only the WHOLE FUTURE ahead of him! …But also a BRIGHT STARDOM!

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!