Muh Dikhai – Shafqat Amanat Ali

The first track is a punjabi number (maahi maahi) and even though Shafqat’s singing is flawless, the song sounds cluttered due to various instruments which are used. You can’t help but feel that the nature of the song didn’t need such a wide array of instruments. Mind you, the instruments are in sync but there is something quite off putting about everything coming together as a song. Would have liked the first song to be a bit better than this. Jaaniya is again a song with punjabi pop treatment. You will sense that the mukhdas are done up quite nicely but the antraas have a classic mish mash that could have been avoided. The singing in the antraas tries hard to catch up with the guitar that should have not been present in the first place. A song that doesn’t leave any impact.

Ratiyaan is a song that has classical undertones mixed with contemporary music. I am not sure about you, but I can never have enough of such experiments. The saxophone in the song lends depth that isn’t out of place or uncalled for, keeping the tempo and mood top class. With kickass guitars in place, Sun lo takes off and leads us by hand to a ballad-sque Shafqat. The variations are amazing but the arrangements sound chaotic especially while the singers are doing their job. Probably the only song of the album that didn’t affect me at all.

The beauty and the curse of any traditional number is that everyone has their favorite version of the same. With Aaj rang hai Shafqat has added a Thumri-ghazal-sque touch that doesn’t sound bad at all. The arrangement is light and the flute is superb. Shafqat is at ease and it reflects. A good song.  Tere liye has the iconic pop feel with which we associate non filmi music generally. Shafqat is brilliant as usual..loved the way the antras are done. The lyrics are superb. You really cant ask more in a song. The pitch is high and I doubt if anyone else will attempt this song keeping the overall structure same.

Teri khoj has an adorable folk beginning and the song in spite of being in Punjabi (which is not my first, second or hundredth language) instantly connected. I found Shafqat slightly out of breath in the first antraa of the song but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise superbly decorated song. Tum nahi aaye is wrapped in a perpetual sinking feeling with trippy musical arrangement that features a very well used Sarangi. Lyrics are soaked in grief and add to that a somewhat unconventional tune pattern, this song might not be for everyone, but remains a fantastic addition to this album.

Dil dhadakne ka sabab yaad aaya has the best opening taan you would hear this year. The unplugged feel of the song elevates the feel of the song and the piano is top class. The best song of the album without a doubt.
It took a while, but I am glad Shafqat has given us new songs. While I would have liked few more songs with classical connection and a deeper feel, I have to admit, it is quite nice to hear the album as a whole.

My picks in no particular order – Dil Dhadakne ka sabab, aaj rang hai, ratiyaan, Tum nahi aaye, Teri Khoj.

Thumbs up to the album!

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