When the Ayatollah Khomeini took over Iran from the Shah in 1979, the sight of a woman singing in public changed from wonderful to vile, and her nature changed from legal to illegal. So it was that the recording career of Faegeh Atashin, stage name Googoosh, stopped at its 17th studio album and went on a two-decade hiatus. The ban seems even more ludicrous when you listen to this eleven-track aperitif and notice that her voice doesn’t grab and lust for love, it yearns and longs for it, and these yearnings and longings are sung with the flexible restraint of chivalric poetry. She yearns as Juliets yearn from behind the protection of balconies. If there’s ever been a pop idol you could take home to charm and calm your sweet but worried mother, this is she.
// Notes from the Road
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