Gülben Ergen: Kalbimi Koydum

January 11, 2016


In an Asia Minor Key

Listening Post 29. Notwithstanding its name, the Turkish music form known as Arabesque has Byzantine and Balkan influences as well as Arabian. Over the past 20 years a new form, Arabesque-pop, has emerged with the addition of more Western instruments. On her tenth album, Gülben Ergen— the Queen of Arabesque-pop—sings across a stylistic spectrum, from traditional melancholy songs to dance-pop rhythms. Despite the plethora of instruments—including baglama, oud, guitar, bouzouki, sax, clarinet, piano and drums—her sensual, expressive voice (she is also a film and TV actress) remain the center of attention. Aşkla Aynı Değil (Not the Same as Love, video 1) is a mournful but lush duet with the song’s composer, Oğuzan Koç; “My hope is gone,” Gülben sings. “Surely the mind forgets everything/But my heart will always cling.” There’s a percussion-driven dance vibe behind Panda (video 2), in which she describes how people see themselves: fierce as a lion or cuddly as a bamboo-eating bear. The title song, Kalbimi Koydum (I Gave My Heart), is a mini-novela of shattered love in search of reconciliation; the Arabesque overtones are more prominent in Kusura Bakma (I’m Sorry, video 3), while there’s a Gypsy tinge to Sana Bıraktım (I Leave It to You). If you thought Arabesque was only artistic decoration, Gülben Ergen offers a enticing opportunity to discover the soundtrack. (Doğan Müzik Yapim)






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