Behrouz Bahmani April 22, 2005 iranian.com
Ready? Dare I say it? Ah, fuck it, I am sick of 6/8. What was a hot bouncy beat in '78 has steadily become a drill straight into my brain, and I'm sorry but I just can't take it anymore! When are we going to be honest with the outmoded LA machine, the un-namables regurgitating the crap musical diarrhea they force us to buy?
“The Next Big Idea”
Apparently, since cheap CD burners can also burn cheap DVDs, they have now struck on packaging crap music with even crappier music videos, mostly cranked out by another un-namable enigma of bad Iranian pop videos, the one that sounds like Korean ice cream.
I am sick of the same videos of the fake brooding singer walking along the same dusty railroad tracks, or the same cliff overlooking the ocean, now they have these team singers who can't sing individually, but somehow we're supposed to believe that together they can become a duo sensation! It's like a Wham UK! nightmare that never ends! All as the same 4 hotties shake it shake it shake it? Hello? Is that all you got? Can't you tell a story at least?
“Mr Director”, we all know you borrowed the Bentley from your car dealer friend in Tarzana. the luxury home with the pool from your other friend who is a real estate agent. And just so someone tells you this, a used Bentley is a cheap Rolls! Also, the only thing that putting a singer in the back of a Hummer limo means, is that you scraped together the whopping 80 bucks to rent one! Woohoo! Such wealth! Such class!
The songwriters have to shoulder equal blame for the crimes being committed these days in the name of Pop. Are these old men who like those ancients in the miniature paintings, having finally reached the beautiful faeries of their dreams, only to have lost their, shall we call “will” power, now forever exiled to only think of love's betrayal and woe.
Can't anyone write about something other than how devastating the girl's eyes or eyebrows are, or how cruel she is to the boy, or how various internal organs burn for just one look from her, or how everything is like wings of a butterfly, or a dove? Lucky for these bastards, I don't care enough to know any of their names. So you live to die another day!
And the talent! People please, can you hold to some miniscule speck of pride principle and stop whoring yourselves to the shortsightedness and outright stupidity of the “labels”. If one can even resist the gag reflex to call them that. If you had a single un-coiffed brain amongst you, you would walk out against these pirates. Or better yet, here's an idea! Start your own music label! These vultures have done nothing but steal other peoples' work and keep the artists and the state of Iranian pop music stagnant, slowly rotting it away for 25 years. Rise up! Damn the Man! And here's a new rule, if you don't come from Khuzestan, you can't do a Bandari song, OK?
Recently I had 2 nasty disappointments in a row, which caused me to invoke the “enough is enough!' clause. The latest album by Mansour and one by Leila Forouhar.
“I am not an animal, I am an actor!”
Mansour's album “Farari” is apparently supposed to be another attempt at some sort of film role vehicle. Something to get us to think of him as an actor, I guess. Not only does it not do that, but this is not even a decent music album either.
Don't get me wrong, I love Mansour. I thought those techno remixes on “Zendegi” and “Yeki Bood, Yeki Nabood”, and “Bezan Berim” were equal to any of the catchiest euro-fag-tripe. More please! You had something nice going.
In the video (yes it's the same name), Mansour is playing this prisoner who tries to escape and yes, is shot right at the end. I think Darioush did one a few years back along the same lines. Infinitely B-o-r-i-n-g!
But I think Mansour could very well become an actor. Certainly on TV, I mean if they're hiring Omid Djalili, Catherine Bell and Shohreh Aghdashlou, there's got to be some terrorist role for Mansour, right? He could easily play the part of the “handsome olive skinned middle eastern guy”. Plus, he's got that whole Lou Diamond Phillips thing going. If he would shave. Dude, the beard's not coming out right, get rid of it.
Right from the title song “Farari” (The Fugitive, now that's original!) I wanted to “Farar” myself. The problem was I was on the freeway and jumping out of my truck at 70 miles an hour is somewhat problematic, if not cinematic. But it would have made a better video. Mansour screams “farari-am, farari, farari-am, farari!” so many times in this song, it literally makes you want to fling the CD out of the window. Which is littering. Which I would gladly pay the fine to do.
On “Azadi” (Freedom), the intro starts out OK, and for a small minute you think it's going to be another terrific techno tribute. But the song never goes anywhere, and although there is a definite need for a youth anthem, and it is obvious where this one is being pointed at, the lack of a good hook makes this another dud.
The whole sludge of songs that follow, Arezoomeh, Doorooghgoo, Yadeteh, Shirin, Mara Beboos, and Eidi Nadaram, well you get the idea. We're right back into the whole overdone self pity thing. I love her, but she doesn't know I exist. Blah blah blah. Pretty pathetic.
On “Mara Beboos”, there is an opportunity to do something new with a classic, a favorite. But once again this effort never goes anywhere. The whole album comes up short in so many ways, that it chips all it's teeth on the edge of the curb.
Mansour is better than this. This is either a fluke, or a sign of real danger. We'll have to wait and see what he comes up with next. Excuse me, I mean, what he is told to come up with next.
“Slut or Saint?”
Onto Leila Forouhar's latest “product”. Entitled “Yek Boos”, this album cover, like all of the newer ones nowadays insists on translating the trite Farsi titles into English, which wouldn't be so bad except the translations are apparently made by idiots who “think” they know “eengeleesi”.
This one is entitled “A Kiss”, which while grammatically correct, unfortunately isn't the right translation. It should actually be “One Kiss”. But who's counting? I guess just me.
Leila has been riding the fence of being a slut or a saint for years. Sometimes she's sweet and sometimes she's spicy. I like the sweet saintly Leila the best. I think she actually looks hotter than when she's trying to be the spicy slut. This album isn't so bad except that I want to hunt down and kill the keyboardist who keeps competing with her for the lead in virtually every song.
Listen pal, just because your keyboard comes with fake sounds, it doesn't mean you actually have to play every single one! Give us a break! Just play the keyboard like a keyboard. Trust me, everyone knows there isn't a full string section, and regardless what the user manual and tech support at Yamaha says, we can tell it isn't a real violin, harmonica, flute, or accordion.
On “Be Toe Taghdim Mikonam” no really that's the way they spelled it, I guess it's some sort of foot fetish, Leila does this really weird funeral aria or something, that is just, well, really strange. As you begin to process this, there is this “lalalalala” attempt at a hook that sounds like one of those weird Japanese songs for those really weird Japanese cartoons. Then, the intrusion of the ass keyboardist again, this time not so slyly disguised as an 80's guitar solo. Hey Clapton, give it up already!
There's a few more “Toe”s, one more moronic than the next. A fake saxophone this time, and, wait for it, get your drills out, now press them to your foreheads, here it comes, (trans.) “without you I am a hostage, with you I am free, without you I'll die!”. It makes you want to take yourself hostage, then kill yourself.
There is hope though, on “Hagheteh” (You deserve it, should actually be You deserve That) you do get something that is somewhat fresh, if sounding a bit similar to an 80's Pat Benatar effort. But here they've ruined what could have been a fun song with the use of sad love song lyrics once again. It's a finger snapping toe (no pun intended) tapping, ultimately happy song. And once again thanks to the ridiculous keyboarding, you can't hear it.
They have managed to throw everything into this album, the fake Spanish guitar, the fake techno drums, the fake voice box trick, I think they even used that thing that makes you seem like you are singing your own back up vocals. Horrible. Looks like computer programming is not as dead as one would hope.
The best part of this album is the part right at the end, where the music stops.
Leila Forouhar, like Mansour is much better than this. She has “the pipes”. She stands out, she's not trying to be like Googoosh, which is actually a good thing these days. But unfortunately still, this type of album has become somewhat of a trademark for her. Weirdness, a strange idea as to what makes a hook, wrong lyrics for the wrong song, and always that decision she makes you make, Slut or saint?
These 2 albums make me avoid buying Iranian Pop too often. Maybe I'll go download some Iranian Pop music from iTunes instead of buying a whole album unheard, at least you can preview the songs before you buy them. Oh wait, what was I thinking! You can't do that because the LA music labels haven't figured out how to rape us online yet!
Forget it, it's too depressing, I'll just troll the peer to peer sites for free. Anybody got anything good to listen to?
The Iranian Letters Section
the writer Behrouz Bahmani
Other Articles by Behrouz Bahmani
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