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Soraya's debut album, "Saazeh Taazeh" [New Melody] brings out a bit of the old, a bit of the new, in a great sounding package.

Behrouz Bahmani
February 17, 2005
iranian.com

The new album by Soraya entitled Saazeh-Taazeh [A New Melody], actually should be entitled, "Fresh Melody", because that is exactly what it is. A fresh new look at traditional, what I am now calling, Mature Iranian-Pop.

It's Mature Pop because it is reminiscent of the usual pop music we 35-55 year olds fondly recall as Pop music from the pre-revolution days of 70's Iran. Over and over and over again.

From the very 6/8 arrangements to the sweeping orchestrations, you can almost smell the perfume of the girls walking down khiabooneh pahlavi, as you are transported back to a time before time. A place we old fogies go to for a smile and a raised eyebrow.

With this album, Soraya is talking our kind of language. Sweet chaie popping lyrics, to accompany a sweet bouncy melody.

Soraya herself delivers this with a n equal maturity, reminiscent of what Googoosh would have evolved into if she was with us during her 40's. With a hip spiky hairdo somewhere between the simple-girl of a Meg Ryan, and the impish attitude of a Reese Witherspoon, Soraya looks like a great gal to hang out with, I'd venture to guess you would order her a lemon drop martini.

The signature song "New melody" starts with the slam dunk use of the irresistible sound of a Spanish guitar and just when you think it is going to be a ballad, it strikes up the familiar beat. This one is stronger than most though as if to say, "You may think you've heard this one, but you really need to turn this up to 11!".

Armen Aharonian has arranged this album beautifully once again using that wonderful Armenian ear for Iranian Pop music, and the overall quality of his recording is superb. A very deep and high end sound. Lyrics by Freidoun Alikhani combine to make the songs simply work. This is a good team.

The song "My Diary" should really have been titled "New Melody" and for me is the album's hit single, because it has the poppiest and catchiest hook of the album, and after you listen to it once, you will find you cannot get the "Ki Mitooneh, Asheghooneh, Hamisheh Ba toh Bemooneh..." out of your head!

"Beautiful World" surprised me because it did something I haven't heard before (and believe me I have heard everything!), and that is an almost Esquivel-esque addition of hip backing vocals that gives the song a space-jazzy-lounge feel, that is quite refreshing, especially with Iranian vocals in the foreground.

The rest of the album is a continued mix of old and new, familiar yet fresh, bouncy pop songs and soft ballads. Just the right mixture for it's target audience. I liked this album a lot, and I hope we can see more of Soraya in the near future.

Preferably close up, over a nice martini. Possibly an apple one! Cheers!

You can learn more about Sorya's new album New Melody at: www.sorayamusic.com
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