Thursday, April 27

My Apology to Tarkan and Tarkan Fans Everywhere

In addition to receiving a comment upbraiding me for criticizing the new Tarkan CD in this post, I received this by email from Martin in Holland:

Being someone who listens to Turkish fasil music and Ottoman folk songs - I’m not surprised you didn’t like Tarkan’s album - you probably don’t like hip hop. I am a great fan of the singer and I was upset to read you say it was not good as though it was crap and give no justifcation. I have been reading your blog for sometime and I figure you to be an intelligent guy - one that would say “I don’t like it, it’s not to my taste but I can see how others might.” After all, it can’t be that bad if the single reached 15 in Germany’s charts and the album entered at 18 - can it? It is more success than any rembetiko artist is going to get.

For to you read up on Tarkan can I suggest some links?

Click here and here.

First of all, thank you for your message, Martin. I didn’t realize that my comments about Tarkan’s latest CD would be so offensive to Tarkan fans. Admittedly, instead of saying that his newest release wasn’t very good, I should have said that I didn’t like it because I found the English lyrics to be insipid and flat. I’ve always enjoyed his music in the past, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

The reason I did not say, “I don’t like it, it’s not to my taste but I can see how others might” is that I didn’t feel it needed saying. It was implied. Obviously, I know that there are people who like it. I was making a subjective statement, not an objective one, though I understand that sometimes subjective statements can appear to be objective ones. However, I’ll try to be more sensitive in the future.

Regarding Rembetika, I myself am not sure that there are any real Rembetiko artists left. There are artists that perform Rembetika, but I’m not sure that makes them Rembetiko artists. Rembetiko artists were the artists who created and invented the music. Those of us who attempt to recreate that music cannot really compare ourselves to them, no matter how talented or skilled we might be.

As for my opinion of hip hop, I’ll say only this: I’m not sure that hip hop as a genre is broad enough to encompass Tarkan, whose popularity I do not deny. However, at the risk of alienating some of my readers, I would argue that mass appeal is not necessarily a measure of quality. Nor does commercial success equal artistic merit. Perhaps I will be accused of being an elitist for saying that, but it wouldn’t be the first time. In the end, popularity means very little. It means no more in art than it does in politics. This has been amply demonstrated by George W. Bush, whose popularity (though waning as of late) is by no means an indicator of his quality as a leader.


Blogger guy among the trees said...

Speaking of hip hop.... it is Thursday and shouldn't we at least be seeing your hips or some other half-naked part? :-p

Oh, and yes, you will certainly be dinner guests when I have my garden party.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

i'm saving my hips for you when you come visit and we head up to crane's beach or, better yet, down to gay head.

i'm looking forward to that garden party :)

11:54 AM  
Blogger The Persian said...

ahhh I see how you are Dean!

2:54 PM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

what does that mean??? :)

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah you have a great site chicki!! I've been wanting to leave a comment for ages. Loved your feet last heh :)

I love the lyrics of Tarkan's Come Closer song and If Only you Knew. How can you say that such lines as:

Love is the sweetest pain inside
The answer is right there in your eyes
If I could take the sun and take the moon
And make tomorrow wait
If only I, if only I knew the way

as "to be insipid and flat"?!! :'(

Besides the lyrics were written by American artists David Werner, Billy Mann and others.

But I still love your blog! Shame I've been away a few weeks and came to the topic so late!

And you mention every Tarkan fans Turko-God Aliiii!!!!! He's the best.

Kiss Kiss Simarik boy!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

thanks for commenting and i'm glad you like my blog and my feet :)

actually, i probably should have paid closer attention to the lyrics while listening, or at least had the liner notes in front of me. the lyrics you quoted weren't bad. "love is the sweetest pain inside" reminds me of the first time i got f-cked :)

kiss kiss

3:52 PM  
Blogger castor said...

I can you understand very well, Dean, for I like Tarkan's Turkish songs too and I cannot imagine his hip hop "interpretations", but why shouldn't he do this when he is living in the hip hop country :-)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Ok pretty much the last paragraph was all that meant anything at all to me as I am not familiar with this artist.

As for Treeboy and Jim... yea... what they BOTH said LOL!

No HNT? Doesn't that cause withdrawls or SOMETHING?

10:34 PM  
Blogger kate m said...

Aman, friends, hurricanes are SEXY and so is Tarkan!

"I'm gonna make you feel good/ spinning around your brain/ like a sexy hurricane"
Track 12, "I'm Gonna Make You Feel Good"

I like things I can't understand: Mass in Latin, the Ezan (call to prayer), chanting OM in my yoga class, etc. This attitude applies to my love of world pop music. When all of a sudden, it is in plain English, the mystique is gone and we can often see pop music for the cheap ho she is. That being said, and despite the lyrics that make Fluff look substantial, the "Come Closer" CD is fun and funky. Tarkan actually wrote most of the lyrics in English. I couldn't do so well in Turkish.
"Come Closer" isn't classic Tarkan (with the exception of Track 4 "Mine" and track 8 "Bounce"). It is a serious jump into the global pop market and for pop music, it and is better than most everything else in its genre. I do object to the English/Turkish remix of "Shikidim", the song that made Tarkan a global superstar in the early 90's.
It feels cheap. "Come Closer" is currently in high iPod rotation for my workout and my T commute- where I can shamelessly look at beautiful people and sing to myself:

"I don't wanna go to work today/ call in, stay home, concentrate on me/ The only stress is we should both undress/ And deciding in which room we are going to play in (note the formal construction of an adjective clause in this line) And now you are ready for senses overload/ And all our clothes lay scattered on the floor"

The soundtrack to HNT, perhaps?!

Enjoy the new Tarkan CD for what it is, and to all my fellow Tarkan have a good weekend.
Peace, Kate

5:59 PM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

you don't disappoint. i was eagerly awaiting your comment to this post, and, well, you've outdone yourself. witty and brilliant as always.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Rhapsody Blog Directory said...

hi there,

I am creating a Rhapsody blog directory. Essentially, a collection of Music Enthusiasts who are either interested in Music or Rhapsody.

Since, you have used Rhapsody -- have listed your blog in the directory (


5:56 PM  

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