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A much-needed breath of fresh air
Posted by: Veggiechiliqueen from: on
Several of my friends from Turkey gave me "Come Closer" as a gift after I proclaimed my love for Tarkan. I've been following Tarkan's career since 2002, after "Simarik" (Kiss Kiss) made international waves and his CD "Tarkan" was widely available in the US. Having cut my teeth on Tarkan's earlier works, I honestly wasn't expecting such a polished English-language debut.
The beauty of "Come Closer" is in the blend of East meets West. At first glance, songs that appear to be clones of Justin Timberlake or Darren Hayes slip in moments of Turkish exoticness: bellydance beats, traditional Turkish instruments and melodies, and traditional Turkish singing (Tarkan was classically trained in Istanbul in traditional Turkish song). One of the highlights is an English version of the earlier Sikidim, complete with Turkish chorus and addictive Middle Eastern beats.
As with many albums, "Come Closer" follows the tried-and-true formula of roughly half ballads, half up-tempo dance tracks. The album kicks off with R&B jam "Just Like That," which features a killer bhangra hook on some sort of traditional Turkish strings. "In Your Eyes" continues the melding of Turkish traditional with strong R&B. "Why Don't We" features Wyclef Jean, traditional Turkish modulation, and reggae rhythms. The album continues its reinvention of R&B / dance with each track featuring some Turkish touch to remind you that this is Tarkan and not Justin Timberlake. One or two of the songs seemed more like Timberlake clones, but one listen to Sikidim brings you back to Tarkan's Turkish heritage. Tarkan has taken an American style and uniquely melded it with Turkish classical influences to reinvent an ailing genre.
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