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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Salim Ghazi Saeedi


Review by Gary Hill

Iran might not be the first place you’d think of as a hot bed of progressive rock. It is the home of Salim Ghazi Saeedi, though. This release finds him wandering an intriguing path between traditional progressive rock, chamber music and the sounds of both Djam Karet and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. In many ways it would be more natural to hear this kind of music coming from a French performer than an Iranian one. Where ever Saeedi calls home, though, the music is intriguing and never fails to entertain.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Composer's Laughter

This cut is very classical in nature. It’s based heavily on piano and quite chamber music oriented. The latter portions of this short piece have more rock music built into them.

A Satire on Hell
I can make out a lot of Red era King Crimson on this, but there are other sounds, as well. It has bits of electronic music and classical.  It’s more dynamic, working through several variants and alterations. It turns more towards pure classical near the end.
And My Heart Aches Like 100 Aching Hearts
Many of the same musical leanings are present here as on the last piece. There are definitely some Middle-Eastern sounds, too, but this focuses more on the electronica kind of atmospheric music. There is a detour into crowd sounds and other things at the end.
There’s almost a bluesy rock meets Middle Eastern sound to this. It works towards more pure progressive rock at times, too. It moves out into some seriously crunchy territory later, too. We also get an excursion that’s more like RIO later.
The Songful Song of Songbirds
While in many ways the general musical concepts here are unchanged, this piece has some space rock and even a little surf music built into it. It’s one of the most intriguing pieces on show and at times makes me think of Djam Karet.
Transcend Ecstasy with Ecstasy
More electronic oriented than anything we’ve heard to this point, this number is quite experimental and rather intriguing. It’s not all that strong compared to some of the others, but the variety that it lends adds some definite positive marks. It does get a more rock oriented reworking later with the more prominent appearance of crunchy guitar.
Don't You See the Cheerful Rainbow?
There’s a bouncy little movement that’s kind of weird and yet fun on this. It’s alternated with (and later blended with) some more rock oriented music. This one has some definite RIO-like sounds, but is also rather like Djam Karet.
Music is Haram
Mix a cool rock like progression with jazz and classical stylings and some surf music and you’ve got a good idea of what this piece sounds like. There is an ominous element to some of it. There is a noisy burst at the end.
Dance in Solitude
Starting quite sedate and somehow a little spooky, this gets quite powerful and involved later. There is, I believe, some theremin on this piece. It’s got a definite classically oriented arrangement. This tune is one of the tastiest on show and reminds one at times of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. There is a rocking section with a smoking hot guitar solo built into the middle of this thing.
Eternal Melancholy of Loving Women
In keeping with the title, this is appropriately melancholic. It is mellow and much more classical in nature, but there is some more experimental music built in to it. Again, comparisons to Birdsongs of the Mesozoic wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate. This is a short track.
Give My Childhood Back
The early portions of this have a lot of electronic music. As it builds, though, other things join and this again, at times, feels a little like Birdsongs. There are some middle Eastern elements to be found here, but there is also a bit of a weird old school rock to some of the guitar soloing.
There are no major changes in terms of the musical styles, but this track is certainly its own unique being. It’s another tasty track. There’s a cool fast paced melodic movement later that’s piano driven.
I Am Beautiful, Are You Beautiful?
This has a lot of real rock and roll built into it. It’s quite a cool tune that makes me think of Djam Karet quite a bit.
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