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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Music Commentator's Criticism for Tarkan

Turkish paper Milliyet correspondent Mehmet Tez - who once called Tarkan Turkey's last greatest star, but has since become a prolific Tarkan critic - has taken Tarkan and the artist's long-time friend and producer Ozan Çolakoğlu to task about the recent rumours surrounding a follow-up album to 2007's Metamorfoz.

UPDATE: Çolakoğlu talks to Tez >>

In his 12 September dated article, Tez suggests that Tarkan needs to change producers and take a new direction, similar to Tarkan Deluxe correspondent Mark Mayhey's article published two months ago.

Tez's article is translated in English in full and given below (kindly provided by Ali Yildirim):

If Only We Could Have Listened to Tarkan's Album Too

Mehmet TezIf the album is so bad as to scrap it what were you thinking about until now? But if it was good, why did you instantly bin it because Sezen Aksu didn't like it? I am completely at a loss

This is the way things are in Turkey. Supposedly Tarkan let Sezen Aksu listen to the 786 thousand album being prepared by Ozan Çolakoğlu*. However the rumour is because Aksu didn't like it, it was scrapped...

I'm forever saying it. Tarkan is the world's loneliest person. The people around him are giving him "peace of mind" rather than a "piece of their minds"**, just because that's the way he wants it. And Tarkan continues to sleepwalk. He just isn't able to shake himself awake from his sweet slumber.

But still there's this unbelievable love and interest towards Tarkan. It means that he still hasn't bankrupt his past celebrity, so that's why he should desperately get back on track...

TarkanWhichever way you look at this thing, it's tragic. I've got no personal quarrels with anyone. But producers like Ozan Çolakoğlu have to retire. Because the things they're doing are about mass production. It's not art, or entertainment... They might singularly be good technicians, but they understand absolutely nothing about musical production. Sticking the latest gadget into your studio, using the latest programs, adapting numbers done by Madonna or Justin Timberlake a year ago no longer makes the grade.

Into the bargain, every producer has a certain style, a vision. Not like "Yeah we'll do whatever man, as long as you want we'll do anything from folk to rock" isn't how it is. Probably no one should know better than these guys that this isn't the way of the world.

A producer directs. He takes responsibility, he takes risks. He has a vision, a style. He doesn't say yes to everything, he selects. He persuades the artist to do what he wants. He knows what's good and what's not, and says it. He is creative. A lot of huge names owe their successes to good producers. There are names like Rick Rubin, Brian Eno, Bob Rock, Ric Ocasek, Nigel Godrich, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre, Danger Mouse in the world. If these men find you special enough to work with you, you've got it made. They write the prescription for success and it's impossible for them to do a bad job. Because their careers depend on it. Even U2 in every new album entrust themselves to these type of people (Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois). But Tarkan still continues with the old ways...

President Sezen Aksu Vetoed the Bill!

The second mistake is this: He goes to Sezen Aksu and Aksu doesn't like what she hears. As though the President is vetoing a bill of law. This is what happens in there is no manager, producer, music company or committee of critics in the country. Sezen Aksu decides on everything. She becomes a law unto herself. And the album goes in the bin.

But what I don't understand is this: If this album really was so bad as to be scrapped, what are Messrs Tarkan and Ozan Çolakoğlu supposed to be doing?

But if it is good, come out and say it's good. Stand behind your work. Why are you scrapping it in one swift go?

To be honest, I'd really like to listen to this album...

Ultimately: Whatever happens, whatever he does someone will give him money and sponsor Tarkan, he give free public concerts he's been paid in advance for one after the other. After 1-2 promotional deals an album that doesn't sell will start to sell. There'll be no problem to solve. It's going to be "Tarkan rocked tens of thousands" again. Making good music, being original, bettering himself and taking his listeners one step beyond with his music will be left for another day again...

In short Tarkan will remain a "local celebrity". Everyone will be happy in our own little world.

* Tez is saying this ironically to highlight that Çolakoğlu is the only music arranger Tarkan has worked with for his Turkish language albums. Back.
** Tez is using a play on words from the refrain to Tarkan's track "Verme" (Karma/2001) - "Give me peace of mind not a piece of your mind." Back

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