I'm a huge Turkophile. Just don't get me started, I'll bore you for hours on how amazing Turkey is. Incredible history. Sublime landscapes. Limpid seas. Beautiful weather. Exquisite food. Gracious hospitality. Some of the most beautiful women (and men, I have on good authority) in the world. One of the most poetic and beautiful languages on the planet.
Not to mention incredible music.
Ah, the music.. Until you've been at a traditional peasant wedding on the Aegean, or to a nightclub in Van where the Kurds are breaking it down the Old School Anatolian way with a traditional eight piece band, well.. you just haven't been there. You haven't really heard it. And you can't know what you're missing. No CD will replicate those sort of experiences.
Not even this one. But it comes sort of close. This disk isn't old school like the music I heard the above mentioned places. But it catches some of that same energy and soul (NB: not soul as in Marvin Gaye, but soul as in Mehmet the Conquerer & the Book of Dede Korkut.) It's froth off the top of the rich Turkish pop scene. Music that's a fusion of the traditional with international pop influences.
And contrary to our Turkish friend from Izmir commenting here, I have to say that it does make sense. It's a nice melange of tunes. A taste of modern Turkey. Afyet olsun, as they say. For someone who's never heard anything from Turkey other than maybe Tarkan, this will prove a tasty morsel. BTW, Tarkmeister's a Turkish version of Ricky Martin, only a hundred thousand nintey nine million times as good. He is the only artist with two songs on this mix.
My favorite tune here is Sinanay, a folk cover, with a great irrepressible bass line. It opens with a Latin American dude asking for directions "Donde esta Istanbul? Estoy perdido aqui!" to which the Turkish girl goes "Istanbul?" And then breaks into poetic song telling the poor goofball how to get there. Just çok comik & wicked güzel, chooch.
Atiyosun deserves special mention, as well. The lyrics- as well as I can gather with my 500 word Turkish vocabulary- are a girl telling a guy to get lost. It's bracingly laconic, relentlessly catchy.
Those are two highlights. Know that there is nary a bad track on this thing.
So buy this disk, slap it on during your next party, and everyone will dig it, I promise you. Your parents, super hip acquintances, dorky friends, annoying roomate, maiden aunt.. Everybody. Why? Because it's groovy. It's Turkish. And - Need I say it? - like all things groovy & Turkish, it rocks.
PS. And be sure to go to Turkiye someday, if only in your dreams.
The Muslims won't hurt you. And more than a few Turks will welcome, even embrace you. You will always savour & never regret it.