Exposé Online banner

Manooghi Hi — Manooghi Hi
((Not on label) no#, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01

Manooghi Hi Cover artFull disclosure: the members of this band are friends of mine. So it's fortunate I can honestly and wholeheartedly say it's a great CD. If I didn't think so, I'd probably keep quiet about it. Anyway... There have been many East-West fusions over the decades since the Beatles and others first introduced rock audiences to the possibilities of combining Middle Eastern or Indian music with rock, but none of them quite like this one. By a series of steps too complicated to go into here, Indian pop singer Mehnaz Hoosein ended up visiting Seattle, where she teamed up with a group of veterans of the local rock scene. Their one-off performance went so well that they ended up recording a full album. The resulting music is at times pretty heavy rock, dreamy fantasy, clever comedy, catchy grooves, and melodic invention, all delivered with a casual virtuosity borne of years of experience. Lyrics switch between various languages, featuring Mehnaz in the lead role but with three of the others providing solid backup, including some powerful group arrangements. Part of the strong appeal of the album lies in its variety, its refusal to simply fulfill expectations. You might expect rock music with tablas and exotic scales, but here those are tempered with all sorts of other sounds like proggy keyboards, string arrangements, funky bass, and complex chord progressions. Add to that the sparkling production and you have one of the year's outstanding releases.

Filed under: , Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Manooghi Hi

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Providence - There Once Was a Night of "Choko-muro" the Paradise – Some may recall the first, very highly regarded Providence CD And I'll Recite an Old Myth... from around 1990. At that point they had already released a couple cassettes, two videos, and appeared on...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues