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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pure Food and Drug Act - Choice Cuts – Their extended version of "Eleanor Rigby" sounds uncannily like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" with a splash of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Preferring jam over marmalade...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues