The new episode is here! Here is what I feel about this ‘light’ episode.

Nindiya ke paar – Uzair Jaswal starts this song in a light fashion with a lot of ‘first love pangs’ in his voice. The minimalist music arrangement compliments the soft style of singing and before you know Uzair weaves the timeless ‘Tere bin nai lagda dil mera sonia’ in between and takes the song to it’s peak, not before coming back to the ‘Nindiya ke paar’ melodiously. Yet again Zoe and Rachel compliment the song wonderfully well. The song is consistently ‘mellow’ and is very easy on the ears. Instantly liked it.

Aaj Rung hai – Hadiqa Kiani – To me, the song didn’t start on a very confident note. May be you will differ. The music setting (in the beginning) is exactly like her Kamlee song from episode 1, but the similarity ends here. The age old kalaam by Amir khusro ‘ Aaj Rang hai’ has been treated quite differently by Rohail in this because the layers aren’t many and it’s a fairly light on the senses. If you are one of those who like very aggressive rendition of this kalaam you might not like it. Still the ‘echo management’ in the song is just splendid. The song raises the tempo in the last 3 odd minutes with Hadiqa looking very comfortable coupled with an extremely different (And fast paced) music setting. The back up singers- Zoe and Rachel get into the act quite well. Very good effort. May be I won’t play this on and on, but is worth a ‘listen’ for it’s sheer innovative treatment to this timeless Qawwali.

Neray Aah – Rachel Viccaji & Farhad Humayun – The brilliant starting of this song will instantly arrest you. Farhad leaves the drums and gets behind the microphone with the very lovely Rachel Viccaji to sing what’ the first ‘filmi’ song on CokeStudio. You can find the filmi version of this song here. Farhad has sung this earlier as well and you can find his version here. This version is all about raw energy in the studio. Rachel raises the bar high for Farhad to match up which he effortlessly does, giving us an extraordinary song in the process. Brass band, Electric Guitar and Dhols also feature in the song by the way. The song is sung (and arranged) with so much ‘finality’ that you feel surprised on the way one sung can be interpreted. Excellent Rohail Hyatt written all over the song!

This song should be a ‘go to’ guide for the lesser mortals on how to do a ‘filmi’ song if you want to.

School di Kitaab – Hello Bohemia! Rap remains more or less the same. The lyrics, very suggestive. It’s about Bohemia telling how he has  created an industry and how crazy his fans are. Hmmmm. They remember his songs like the way they read books in the school. While in the ‘song review’ section of cokestudio.com.pk they mention that Bohemia wanted kids to go back to books and not just learn his songs. Frankly I liked the song but this message was absent for me in the song. Not a great song, but I liked it!

Taaray – Bilal on his guitar starts the song and you can instantly find out that it’s a positive and confident song. Excellent guitar play and vocally backed as usual Zoe and Rachel, this song just completes the overall light feel of this episode. Motivational lyrics and simple composition will ensure this hits the right chords with those who prefer to keep it light and listen to simple songs.

Rohail Hyatt continues to innovate and the songs of this episode seem to be carefully picked to keep the ‘light’ feel in the mind. The expectations from Coke Studio Pakistan continue to rise and rise and rise! Since I prefer the songs that touch my soul and not ‘light’ songs I wanted more from this episode.

My picks – Neeray aah, Nindiya ke paar and Aaj Rung hai

Do visit – http://www.cokestudio.com.pk for more information, videos and to just check out the awesomeness of Coke Studio, the way it is meant to be!