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World Music CD Reviews Europe

GOR MKHITARIAN

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published March 24, 2006

Yeraz
Pomegranate Music

Gor Mkhitarian is known in Armenia as a rock guitarist who has recorded several albums with bands called Snack, Lav Elie, and Force Major. On Yeraz, which translates to “Dream,” he launches a solo career with a very different approach, one that puts music and lyrics on an equal footing. Mkhitarian accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and is joined by two American musicians, one who plays percussion, the other acoustic guitar and banjo. Mkhitarian sings original songs with appealing melodies and interesting lyrics (translations are provided) as well as two traditional songs, one of which is by the famous Komitas but not credited to him. Mkhitarian cites mostly American literary and musical figures as his influences but adds just enough of an Armenian flavor to the music to give it an interesting flair. A second album, due soon, is reported to have a very different sound. Since Yeraz is on a U.S. label the producer could have provided clues as to how to pronounce Mkhitarian.