Afer a superb Episode 1 it was obvious for us to wait for the episode 2 and it’s out now! Lets see the contents of this melody goodybag!

Ishq aap bhe awallaChakwal Group & Meesha shafi – Yes, Meesha shafi is back but this time it’s not just about her, its about the mind blowing Chakwal group who accompany her! The beat is very ‘Chori chori’ like in the beginning and that’s where the similarity ends. The group singers break into an excellently coordinated song. Revolving around a love struck girl who is filling water from the well the irony in this version is that the female singer (Meesha), doesn’t get ‘solo singing time’! Ok, we would have liked that a bit more, Rohail! Note. it. Excellent song! (Meesha is audible from 2 mins onwards, still).

Peere pavandi saan – The extremely talented and melodious – Tahir Mithu starts this track with such a clean alaap that you will probably drop everything you are doing to listen to the song. Then the song takes off and how! Backed up superbly by Rachel and Zoe, this track is the drug of this episode. Easily. The track although a sad song is treated exquisitely by the musicians. Repeat repeat! That’s all.

Rabba Sacheya – Atif Aslam – Starts with a very ‘Na Raindee hai’ atmosphere, Rachel and Zoe accompany Atif and navigates the suffering of humanity through the woods of religion and similar vices! The words (punjabi) are very strong and the music arrangement is appropriately subdued. Even when Atif stops for a moment or two, the music doesn’t try to dominate, rather it continues with the uniform and subtle pace. Atif adopts a very ‘word by word’ style of singing and takes the song to it’s conclusion along with the excellent Rachel and Zoe. A very different song but something that irritated was Atif’s ‘firang’ style pronunciation of  some words. May be it’s just me, but I didn’t like it. Average song on first hearing.

Larho Mujhe – Bilal – Ok, arresting (somewhat childlike) style start of the song is pleasantly different. Of course Bilal is not one o the most ‘classically trained’ singers around, still he very wisely chooses to stay close to the tune and doesn’t indulge in any hysterics. Result? – Superb song! Goosebumps. Yes. Lyrics? Beyond class! At times very ordinary, at times hard hitting! In between there is a superb (trance like?) mixing of vocals that just accentuates the whole feel of the song and takes the song to a higher level! This song should be publicized more, heard more. Superbly done!

Khabaram Raseeda – Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & friends – Anyone familiar with these singers knows that the song will start with a lot of alaaps and will be the longest song of the season. This song borrows the premise and lyrics from Hazrat Amir Khusro. This is just a near 13 mins treat, hopelessly romantic. The music arrangement mellow non intrusive. The old style of singing is a delight with the singers commentating on the various lines they sing. Charming!

The episode 2 keeps up with the melodious pace of episode 1 and doesn’t disappoint in anyway. I am getting tired of mentioning this that the backup vocals (by Rachel and Zoe) have to be applauded much more. They are an inseparable part of many songs but in this season they are continuously (And almost quietly) raising the level of every song more or less.

The choice of songs, singers and the overall set up continues to be earthy and pure, unlike some other lesser mortals who would make a big deal on ‘injecting’ an alaap or two and would go ‘Oh My God! What an experiment!

Only an institution as evolved as CokeStudio Pakistan can experiment and succeed in varied genres. I just hope that next episode is aired sooner and the goodness rubs on some lesser mortals in India as well!

Rohail, you make us lesser mortals – Greedy!

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Song links below from this episode