February 17, 2005
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.
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
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.
this album, Soraya is talking our kind of language. Sweet
chaie popping lyrics, to accompany a sweet bouncy melody.
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.
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!".
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.
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!
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
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
close up, over a nice martini. Possibly an apple one!