October 4, 2000
Googoosh's new songs sad, but real
I beg to differ with Mr. Bagheri's judgment about Googoosh's new songs
and Babak Aminis compositions ["Houston,
we have a diva!"].
I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with most of the
talent traveling with Googoosh both before and after the concert in New
York. The day after the concert, over lunch and a good deal of humor, punctuated
by discussions about life in Iran, religion, music and politics; I learnt
a great deal about Babak Amini, his background, influences and his compositions.
Having heard of the five new songs at the concert, courtesy of Napster,
that same evening, I was able to form an opinion. The new Googoosh material
can only be judged against the backdrop of post-revolutionary Iran, the
lives of Googoosh, the people, their experiences and the life of present-day
Babak Amini's compositions, especially in "Zartosht" are a
magnificent synthesis of classic and modern, Persian and western, not to
mention, words that reflect the pain of the Iranian masses. That Sunday
while listening to some CD selections in the car, I was impressed by Babak's
vast musical knowledge especially, his openness and appreciation for the
1960's Jazz Guitarist John Martyn .
Mr. Bagheri' comments: "Mr. Amini does not compose or arrange at
the level of the Persian Pop masters of yesteryear such as Cheshm Azar,
Varoozhan or Shamaie-Zadeh. Don't get me wrong, I thought he played very
well, especially his guitar solos, but I was not impressed with Googoosh's
new songs -- they are all sad and obviously very political."
I say: Babak Amini's compositions are the fruit of the experience of
a generation of Iranians who are oblivious to the prosperity and relative
calm and comfort of pre-revollutionary Iran. His generation is the product
of war, hopeless frustration, poverty and humiliation.
His arrangements have the potential to appeal to a world audience; they
are a welcome and fresh departure from the tired old cliches that are still
being produced in the Los Angeles hit factories of Iranian Pop. Googoosh's
new songs are poignant and real."sad", "obviously very political",
but thankfully very TRUE.