CokeStudio Pakistan Season 7, Episode 4 – Review #CokeStudio7

Shakar Wandaan Re – The track starts with Tanveer Hussain’s mesmerizing banjo and you won’t be judged for thinking there are good things in store. Asrar keeps it light and hits it out of the park! Everything is spot on and the track is ably supported by the backup trio of Momin durrani, Rachel Viccaji and the ever so over-emoting Sara haider. In fact, towards the later part of every antara, it is sheer delight to hear the backup vocalists take the song higher by their splendid singing. A job very well done, the song doesn’t sound over produced like Asrar’s first song in the season. There is a treat for music lovers towards the end of the song by Asrar. All the signs point to us that we have another singer who is ready to be commoditized like Rahat fateh ali khan. I hope Asrar doesn’t fall in that trap though.

Ambwa TalayJaved Bashir & Humera Channa lend their voices for this song. There is a goosebumps inducing quality that braj ki boli has and we saw ample proof of that in the season 6 as well. In this song, the accuracy and fondness that Humera Channa brings to the composition is delicious to say the list. The tune dovetails into the tenderly composed (In Raga Pilu, I guess) song from bandini Ab ke baras bhej bhaiyya ko babul.  Javed Bashir sounds like a jogi who provides the much needed thehraav to your senses. A special mention of Jaffer Hussain on Clarinet is very much in order because it creates the right sense of occasion and not surprisingly, it is used towards the beginning of the song. God how I wish we poach Humera Channa to sing some songs on this side of the border!

Dheere Dheere Dheere – The guest musician credit has the name Omran Shafique so not surprisingly, there is a hell lot of infectious guitar in the song but that is not the only good thing on offer here. The somewhat iconic song from the years gone by performed by Zoheb hassan introduced us to the Zoheb who grunts, dances and doesn’t mind having a great time while singing.His limitations were on display in ‘chehra’ and that hasn’t changed here but the attitude is quite nice to see. The song has cute 1990s lyrics and don’t worry if it paints an image of a red Cadillac Eldorado an  long country side road driven by a boy who is  announcing to the world that he is quite high on love. I found the clarinet in the song lacking on the impact front, everything else is top drawer. This is how you recreate nostalgia with a pinch of contemporary!

Bone Shaker – Performed by Usman Riaz, Babar Ali Khanna and the flute magician Sajid Ali, the rhythm which the trio have showered  leaves us asking for more and thereby taking me to my only grouse – the track should have been longer. It is a beautiful piece. What I would give to hear more from Sajid ali and Babar Ali khanna together for a longer duration! Usman Riaz has already made a lot of news before CokeStudio Pakistan (Google him!) and we cannot wait for more from him. The highlight of the track for me is the tarana-jugalbandi between Babar ali khanna and Usman, Thumbs up!

An episode that picks up from where the splendid episode 3  left, the creators and the musicians deserve all the praise for this one. When you come across songs like these, you just don’t want to season to end!

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