On an almost predictable basis it seems, the carpet that is the Persian Pop landscape, is swept clean (if just into a lifted corner) by a new trend or tactic. Quality innovation in Persian Pop music is a rare thing indeed these days. There's little evidence of evolution. The continual obsessive-compulsive condition of admiring it's own Los Angeles-based ass in the mirror of 1979, has not helped matters. But, back to the carpet metaphor and the latest marketing ploy.
Now enter onto the scene, swooping like the stereotypical flying Persian carpet, seemingly woven in neon, nylon, or spandex, comes Cameron Cartio. I am not sure if the immediate gag-reflecting thought of 'Cartier' was planned in the name choice or not, but it certainly isn't an Iranian name like Gholam-Mashti-Zahreh-Mar-Zadeh.
Cartio is the latest in the re-invention of the ever femme Persian Pop Star, built specifically for and designed to make that newly chic, Encino-Euro-Emirate connection. Anyone who tells anyone that they are anyone these days, simply has to have an LA base, a European stop over, and the ultimate in destinations, a Dubai concert date. The advertising tag 'Borderless' repeated over and over again. The Las Vegas concert over Christmas break, is considered a charity event nowadays.
Cartio, the morph or schmelting accident of Swedish, or Italian, or Greek, or Arab, or Spanish, or Iranian, or whatever cheap metals he is trying to alloy into an act, depends on the morphing of multi lingual grammatically incorrect lyrics, looped grunting and Hrrrah! sounds. Accompanied by various mispronunciations of Farsi, and the latest craze, that sexy western accented Farsi, and randomly inaccurate syllabic emphasis, create an unintelligible but undeniably effective sound. Controlled cacophony for sure.
How's that for slogging my way unwillingly to a positive review!
I have tried to listen to Cartio at length, but once again, the incessant over use of the formula, can't hold my attention for more than 3 songs max. The only 3 songs you need to own from Cartio's albums, are... well, I could say what I would own, but you may want to buy them all just to decide for yourself if I'm right or wrong. I wouldn't want to sway you!
I will give you an example of the confusion the songs create as you try to listen to them. According to the hype, the songs are written in a 4/4, which is supposed to make it unique, but a 4/4 can also sound like an 8/8 which for my taste is kind of too close to a 6/8, which as you may know, is dead to me at this stage of my life. Maybe that is my own personal problem, which now as I write this, I am becoming increasingly aware of. Maybe I am too critical, expecting music to be great and made by someone who actually cares about every aspect of it, the music, the stage act, the words. Especially the words.
In Cartio's Baroon, here's what I can't get. 'Barooneh, Barooneh, baroon mibareh, do bareh az asemoon' Hmm. Rain is raining again from the sky. Hmm. 'Khoda mishenavi sedyam, nazar inja bemoonam.' Hmm again. God, can you hear me, don't let me stay here.
OK I really don't get it.
Or, actually I don't get why it's special. It seems tried and somehow familiar as lyrics go. But I guess if you infect it with 64 channels of techno-ridden Oud, Ney, handclaps, whistles, and other assorted loops from the 'World Music Sampler' Acid CD, it certainly becomes the richest sound anyone has ever delivered to the Iranian audience so far, or as I like to call us, the 'Special Ed' class of the world's music fan-sphere. As sophisticated palates go, we continually demonstrate that we are more than content with LA drive-thru than gourmet.