Album Review

Ramesh – “Ramesh” – [Pharaway Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   8/30/2013   CD, International

Right from the opening Quinn/Martin style music, your ears
feel the 70’s clinging to them like a pair of bell-bottomed
jeans. But wait for the voice and voila you are in Iran,
and the music moves eastward as the tracks move on. Dig
the dual harmonies on “Mondanam Az Bodanet” where Ramesh
(aka Azar Mohebbi) easily holds her own with Fereyddon
Farrokhzad, you don’t have to watch “A Separation” to
respect the strengths of an Iranian woman! Funk and
early synthesizer soundsploits pull at the listener’s
attention, and the production on this looked to the
West for more help than the Shah. The liners make mention
of Googoosh who is in the KFJC library (and I recall
from SoCal TV ads aimed at Persian expats), evidently
Ramesh was the more serious counterpart to Googoosh,
the latter still touring today while Ramesh is lost
to silence and speculation. Hopefully her fate did
not match that of her duet partner’s Farrokhzad. I
prefer to think of her alive and yet almost amazed
at this brief time of pop stardom as if it were a
cherished story as opposed to an actual memory, viewed
from a gate she can never cross again. Back to the
songs, boy I sure like when the production parts
and she just gets to sing her ravaan out. Like “Sharm-e
Boos-e” and “Afsoos” although music-wise the harmonica
and soul sweat-box number that closes the album is a killer.

-Thurston Hunger

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