After his debut self-titled album Arash in 2005 and a remix CD called Crossfade, Donya is the third main album from Arash which was released in the early days of 2008 -- a successful result of a collaboration with some famous artist, like Shaggy, and a huge label, Warner Music Germany. Donya starts with a completely traditional Iranian intro and smoothly joins the title song "Donya," featuring Shaggy. There are a total of 14 songs on the album, six of which are multilingual -- five in Persian-English and one in Hindustani-Persian. Hindustani sound (melody and singing) is again a relatively big part of the album, while its weight is reduced as compared to previous releases by Arash in which it was exaggerated in some sense. There are more Persian melodies in Donya instead. After song "Donya" comes "Suddenly," featuring Rebecca (Zadig), a Swedish female singer whose previous track with Arash called "Temptation" on 2005's Arash gained much attention from some online music stores and became one of Arash's best sellers. "Kandi" and "Pure Love" are the next two consecutive songs featuring Lumidee and Helena, respectively, after which sensational and slow "Pure Love" can be considered as an interlude for the album. The next half of the album contains two other highlights: "Chori Chori," which is the only Hindustani- Persian song featuring Aneela, and "Dasa Bala" ("Put Your Hands Up") which is, in fact, some sort of Persian-English hip-hop song. The album ends with a remix of the title song "Donya." Although there are lots of sounds on the album, from reggae to (even) rock in "Naro," and to Latin in "Pure Love," the main genre is electronica while sharing lots of styles, mainly club/dance. The biggest problem with Donya is its lyrics, which tried to include some expressions and elements from Iranian modern street culture. In essence, this is a common difficulty for artists who are eager to do so while they are apart from today's culture of Iran. Sometimes this results in ridiculous verses which are completely unfamiliar with Persian listeners. Although lyrics are not "that" important in dance albums, they are in Donya, and there are some songs that lack this lyrical consistency, like "Naro," "Laf Laf," and "Dooset Nadaram." While not critical, the more coherent lyrics for "Donya," "Miduni Midunam," and "Joone Man" make them great dance songs.
AllMusic Review by Pouya Partovi