CD REVIEW: Abhoora - Awkward Diary
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/30/2010 - 12:52 PM EDT
Album: Awkward Diary
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Electronc Rock and Dance Rock
Sounds Like: Queen, U2, Prodigy, Stabbinbg Westward, NIN
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 4/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 4/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Drizzle Knight, Perfect Day
Weakness: Marketability, Commercial Value, Suffers from Extreme case of
Iranian 3 piece rock band Ahoora releases their third CD “Awkward Diary” in the March 2, 2010. This is the first rock production I’ve ever heard from Iran.
Logging in at just over 41 minutes the CD kicks things off with “Masks & Belefires” a interesting techno piece that serves up a barrage of electronic soundscapes, catchy keyboard accents, and rich melodic layering. Track 2:”Unattended” shifts gears a bit with driving rhythm, more aggressive guitar attach, and sinister vocal accents from lead singer Ashkan Hadavand. Track 3 “Nervous Ghost” serves up more passionate vocals from Hadavand, pulsating melody and, trance like rhythm. The passionate vocal style of Hadavand is in the vein of Freddie Mercury (QUEEN), David Bowie, Bono, and just a dash of Trent Reznor. As the CD slowly unfolds its obvious Ahoora is one band that doesn’t believe in musical boundaries of any kind. In fact “Ahoora” is extremely hard to pigeonhole. I haven’t heard anything quite like “Abhoora” before. It crosses so many musical boundaries offering everything from electronica, Jazz, Rock, Chill-Dub Out, Heavy Metal, Trance, to even pop. It definitely offers a lot of musical variety, and is something quite original and unique sounding. Many songs on this CD will take you in a million different directions. Abhoora also brings to the table a wide range of instrumentation. Besides the typical 4 piece standard - you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere - from sizzling guitar pyrotechnics, & driving electronic drums and percussion, to exotic saxophone, strings, horns, pulsating bass & exotic synthesizer and keyboard touches. The techno overdubbing is packed to the hilt, and is chopped full of exotic soundscapes that lunge at you from every which direction, and entertain the listener. From dark songs: “Drizzle Knight” and “Unattebded” to more hypnotic “Perfect Day” and “Out of the Past’ to rocking “Egoless” “Awkward Diary” will take you places you’ve never been before. Listeners should just sit back and let this CD take you where it takes you.
“Awkward Diary” is to say the least, a bit awkward. It’s definitely what I would call “art for art’s sake.” Most American or Westerner listeners will struggle to identify with it. Though it offers a huge amount of variety, and musical independence it spreads itself way too thin across so many musical boundaries. Due to this musical Identity Crisis I eventually became somewhat disenchanted 20 minutes into the experience. Ahoora is virtually impossible to classify Genera wise, and at times hard to swallow. The vocals sit so far back in the mix as a result it’s hard to hear what Hadavand is singing about. There’s a lot lost in translation with respect to their message, and lyrical content. The vital (singer to listener) emotional connection simply misses the mark. It’s fair to say “Awkward Diary” is not the most marketable record ever made, and lacks in commercial value..
From start to finish “Awkward Diary” is one of the most tripped out musical experience I’ve ever encountered. It’s extremely consistent, original, and very melodic. It’s strength - its amazing originality, rich sonic layering, and unique musical personality. Make no bones about it “Ahoora” is one of those bands that’s extremely hard to pin down. But if you want a tripped out musical experience astray from the typical mainstream - then you should definitely dedicate 41 minutes of to “Awkward Diary” When the ride is over you will be dazzled by it’s originality, overwhelmed by it’s mystery, and mesmerized by it’s sheer uncontrollability.
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