With a mixed bag of goodies, Cokestudio Pakistan Season 7 lead us to the last episode. Here is what I thought of it. Apologies for being late.

Hans Dhuni – It is only logical for the season’s last episode to begin with the same artist who enthralled us as he opened the season. Ustad Raees Khan gets up close and makes us sway with his brilliance as he performs Hans Dhuni. There is absolutely nothing to write about it here apart from the fact that It should have been at least 10 minute track. A living legend playing one of the most soothing ragas on Sitar in a contemporary setting with terrific musicians isn’t a daily affair these days, sadly. By giving my ‘view’ on the song, I am just trying to flatter myself. Superb presentation!

Suth Gana – Giving us the flavor from the daily lives of cinema lovers in Pakistan, the hook of the song literally means ‘throw a song’ and is uttered out rather loudly by the audience in Pakistan in cinema halls if cokestudio site is to be believed and guess what? I believe it. Sajjad ali hasn’t been particularly exciting this season but this song right here is right up Ali’s alley. The catch of the song is in its lyrics and you must totally check it out. Brilliantly aided by Mr. Tafu, Adeel and Sajid ali, this is probably a better song from Sajjad ali this season. Don’t get fooled in by the opening of the song (which I absolutely loved!), the song is not an out and out ‘Phool banro’. There is hardly any pure classical note after the song starts. I am not a fan of mixing english in a song but by the time song ends, you won’t cringe at the use of words like ‘situation’, ‘shoes’, ‘Chance’, ‘taime’ etc. in the song because it is all in good taste and you will find yourself smiling through most of it.  Much of the credit for the wonderful pace goes to the accompanying musicians. Watch how the song ends.. Everyone was top notch!

Za Sta Pasha Na Yam – And here is the song of the episode!  Naseer & Shahab give us a fantastic song that literally means ‘I am not like you’. Faraz Anwar on his guitar ensured we would get up and dance to the meaninglessness of everything and stupidity of material world. I would be surprised if I don’t hear from this wonderful duo more in future. This is a song that would make Rohail Hyatt proud!

Paani da bulbula – You don’t have to an expert to understand that this is a folk song and the intentional nasal start from Abrar ul haq just confirms it. The song is fun yet conveys the basic message of life to be happy no matter what and not be bogged down. What impressed me beyond my own expectations was the way Abrar rapped! Even in this song, there is a lot of english mixed with punjabi lyrics, but trust me you won’t mind them. The backup gang is spot on and a special vote of thanks to Hamza for playing ukulele the way old saints used to play their iktara, thereby giving an earthy touch to the song.

For a season that started being strictly average and way too loud (thanks to the theatrics by everyone in the studio), this episode is a fitting end to the season. I believe cokestudio is NOT just about the music. The videos play an equally important role and I missed Rohail’s subtle presentation all throughout. Still, to give praise where its due, Strings should be proud of themselves for doing this season.

Not sure what is in store for the next season, but this season adds to the grandeur that CokeStudio Pakistan always enjoyed thanks to the brilliant mounting Rohail and his handpicked artists gave to the show.

Thank you Strings, for not messing it up!