Sunday, September 10, 2006

Just one look is all you're after

Tarkan is a Turkish singer who, though extremely popular in Turkey, is perhaps best known in Europe for being the original singer of the song that would become Holly Valance's "Kiss Kiss." I think I may be the only person who actually prefers his version, called "Simarik," to Holly's, even though his is in Turkish. However, "Simarik" and his other Turkish songs--though good--aren't the focus of today's post. Instead, we'll be looking at songs from his first ever English album, Come Closer, released this past spring. The Turkish influences so apparent in his Turkish language music have been toned down (though they are still clearly present) and combined with pop and some R&B to make some really fun dance songs that are unlike the music you're probably used to hearing in clubs. His songs have some really great hooks; however, I do know some people aren't fans of his voice and his style of music overall isn't for everyone--I, though, really enjoy it.

Start The Fire--the second single from Come Closer. I think I remember hearing someone say it had '80's influences and, though I wouldn't vouch for that, it is a really fun song with a sort of back and forth beat. One of the great things about Tarkan's music (and, I'm guessing, Turkish music in general) is that it seems to speak directly to the hips. Little electronic revving noises are a nice background effect, as well as some handclap-esque beats. The whole song is a fun little affair which, just when you think it's ended, comes back for a few extra seconds for no apparent reason.

Bounce--the album's debut single. It didn't do quite as well as was hoped, though it was popular enough to make it onto a German equivalent to the Now That's What I Call Music! albums. It's a little less "fun" but a little more clubbish (though still not traditional club fare).

Mine--compared to "Bounce," "Mine" is less dark. At this point, you probably already have an idea as to whether or not you like Tarkan's style--it is distinctive and doesn't appeal to everyone--and I'm running out of ways to describe his songs. Despite my loss for words, though, the entire Come Closer album manages to keep inside the Tarkan style without lacking for diversity at all--it's never a dull album and none of the songs sound the same or blend together. There are just enough ballads to offer a brief respite from the dance and fun of the rest of the album and there's only one track on it I skip.

Shikidim--doesn't the opening to this (just the first couple of seconds) remind you of the beginning of V's "Walk On?" Before you think Tarkan's stolen from V, though, this is an English remake of his 1994 hit "Sikidim," so the idea of the song itself is quite old, though more than just the language has been changed between the two versions. Though "Shikidim" is mainly in English, there are (as you might guess from the title) parts in Turkish. It's got less going on in it than songs like "Start The Fire" so, though I could see enjoying this song in the right sort of club (a club oriented towards this sort of music), and I enjoy the song on its own anyway, it's not as fun as some of his other songs.

Touch--this song is a departure from all the ones above. It's smoother and more electronic and, though it didn't immediately jump out on first listen, it's really grown on me. The lyrics "slide over here, skin against skin/melt into me, forget where you begin" probably reflect two of the most important aspects of this song--it definitely has a very smooth and melting feel to it. I wouldn't really call it a ballad, but it is more minimal and less aggressively danceish than today's other songs.

To buy Tarkan's first English album, Come Closer, go here (physical). If you live in a European country, there's a good chance you can also get it on iTunes.

Next up: if I manage to hear "Star Girl" on the radio, I'll probably write about that tomorrow and throw in a couple of other McFly tracks. Expect Tarkan to appear again here at some point, though he'll probably be combined with other artists because I know he's not to everyone's taste; I really was impressed with how many good songs are on Come Closer, though. I have a new favorite Anthony Callea song, but I'm trying to hold off on posting it until we have some official news about his new music that I can celebrate by writing about him.

9 comments:

J'ason D'luv said...

Oh wow, funny story -- a British friend made me a mixed CD back in '02 or '03 that had "Kiss Kiss" on it, and I was driving a co-worker home one day and playing it. He had been to Europe the year before and was like, "This is totally taken from another song!" He must have heard this dude's version over there...

Okay, I realize now that calling that story "funny" was a bit premature... but anyway...

Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Come Closer is one the best albums I ever heard!!!

PinkieDust said...

Thanks for this! Love Tarken...gonna try and do a post about him on PopeatsPop!

Paul said...

interesting post - of course i totally forgot all about it as soon as you mentioned Star Girl my McFly - um, yes please :)

Poster Girl said...

No, no, it qualifies as funny! And even if it didn't, just labeling it as funny gave it the added benefit of the whole ironic-defying-expectations twist, which ups the enjoyment factor of any story :) I'll take ironic-that-it-isn't-really-funny over the "and then I found five dollars" that people usually add to improve their stories.

I really like Come Closer--I know a lot of fans of his Turkish music were disappointed with it, but I thought it was great!

I'll look forward to that! I love the idea of your blog, PinkieDust; there are so many covers floating around that I didn't even realize were covers. There are also rumors that one of Rob Thomas's songs sounds like it borrowed from one of Tarkan's songs, but I don't have the musical ear to really judge for myself.

The prospect of a new McFly song is pretty distracting. I was completely useless for several hours today in the leadup to "Star Girl" getting played on the radio :) and several hours afterwards, to be honest (which isn't so good when you actually have work to do and places to go).

Poster Girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting some info about Tarkan! I love his music and am happy that other people are getting exposed to it. I agree w/you that his version of "Kiss kiss" is better than Holly's remake - it just makes more sense when you hear the Turkish version. Thanks again, Misha

Poster Girl said...

It's no problem! I'm glad to hear someone else prefers Tarkan's version of "Kiss Kiss" (it has more energy and emotion in it, feels "truer," and is, I think, actually dancier) :) I don't know nearly as much about Tarkan as I should, but I really, really like his music (in Turkish and in English)--hopefully, his next English album won't take another ten years to make ;)

Ambrose said...

It cannot have effect as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I suppose.
bethesda florists | clinical pastoral education | rochester ny catering