Friday, June 17, 2011

Fereshta - Global Citizen


Fereshta - Global Citizen
2011, Peace, Love & Bling Records

Fereshta Samah is an Afghani-born singer/songwriter who now resides in Germany.  Along with older sister Hangama, the Samah's are two of the most well-known pop singer/songwriters to come out of Afghanistan.  Fereshta recently released her latest album, Global Citizen, a collection of twelve songs that run the gamut from folk-inspired alt-pop to Runaways-style pop/metal.

Global Citizen is a schizophonic musical experience right from the start.  With a voice that's part Anabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow) and part Edie Brickell, Fereshta bullies her way through faster-paced tunes in an anachronistic style that's charming.  On slower numbers such as the anemic closer "General Breeze", her vocal imperfections are thoroughly over-exposed.  Fereshta seems to be at her best when she pouts and preens, as in the bubblegum metal of "Amends", or the Runaways/Hole inspired "Body Heat".  The standout track on the album is decorated in a polished garage rock sound.  "Wonderlust" recalls the pure sexual freedom of the 1980's and its pouty leading ladies, wrapped up in a descending bass line and big hooks.

Fereshta manages to shine at times on "Global Citizen", in spite of a writing style that perhaps isn't yet as mature as her musical ambitions.  There's real pop sensibility and room for growth here, as Fereshta shows an ability to connect with listeners through the medium of catchy pop/rock numbers that are memorable and fun.  Based on the title and the album cover, you won't be prepared for what you find here, but it's good when music surprises you.  Fereshta may have some growing to do as an artist, but she's certainly a pleasant surprise.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

 Learn more about Fereshta at www.ferestha.com or www.myspace.com/faramsey.  Global Citizen is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.