You can read the review of Episode 1 here

The traditional cover of ‘Sakal Bann’ by Rizwan-Muazzam is powerful, solid and melodious. The houseband has played its part very well and they are ably assisted by super backups from the Qawwal group. Muazzam ali khan looks like a man possessed and sounds exactly how the traditional qawwals used to sound. Touching hearts and making you a ‘devotion addict’ is just a normal day at the office for him. We got a hint of that when Rohail introduced him in one of the best songs of Season 6 titled kande utte. Tanveer Tafu’s solo gives you a problem of plenty in the song. There is so much to like that you will not be able to decide what is better? It has all come out as a superb track and big respect to Strings for not getting tempted to add additional layers and elongate the piece. That could have tried some listeners because of heavy character of the composition, singing wise. Two thumbs up! The song is like  a drug for the soul.

Rockstar Ali Zafar has played a spoof on himself and the respect for him has gone up multifold! A song that spoofs rockstars and those who wear gogggggles at night. It’s a lovely mix of multiple languages at their funniest best woven into a song which is fabulous.  The tune, the pace and pretty much everything is spot on. I am not a fan of ‘performance’ by a singer. Anything that a singer does apart from singing is quite pointless, but watch the video to see the brilliance of Ali Zafar. Bollywood seems to have rubbed him off a bit, in a good way for a change. Right from the houseband to the lovely back up vocalists, everyone had a ball doing the song and the product proves it. I won’t be surprised if most of us don’t get the point of the song. We haven’t heard many songs like this anyway. Kudos for the lyrics…‘bebi you are the one but allowed to hain na mujhe chaar!’ – MAAAR DAAALA AZ YAAAR!

There are few things we can never express in words or via music. In ‘chiriya da chamba‘, Suraiya khanum and Hazrat Anwar Maqsood have proved this maxim wrong. A song about a girl remembering her family, childhood and so much more. It is like ‘Kaahe ko byaahi bides’ with a heartbreaking yet beautiful recitation by Maqsood sahab. Suraiya Khanum is wonderfully low key yet doesn’t sing a note wrong. I don’t remember crying so much while listening to a song. Towards the end, I was praying that Maqsood sahab shouldn’t get any more lines, because I was already weeping. I think it will be safe to give away all the awards and kudos to strings for accommodating a song of this genre in this season. Just hear it once and decide for yourself if all the praises to Cokestudio Pakistan are worth it or not?

I have always believed that Umair Jaswal is an excellent talent and needs to be exploited more. He can be gruffy and still hold the song. In Sammi Meri Waar, I feel he wasn’t required. The song is a bollywood-sqe composition with a twist here and a flute there. There is nothing wrong but it could have been better without Umair. The excessive ‘passionate’ singing in a sweet-ish song is about as big a misfit as casting Aashif Sheikh alongside Meryl Streep for a telugu wedding item song. Of course this could be Strings’ attempt to showcase the ‘range’ of Umair but then it doesn’t quite work here. Quratulain Balouch is the only good thing about the song and she makes you believe that she would have been alright without Umair. I wish CokeStudio Pakistan gives her a solo song. Enough of Panchi and sammi meri waar for Quratulain!

Episode 2 adds to whatever Episode 1 served us. Season 8 has so far been admirable and all it does is raise expectations from the remaining episodes. The power qawwals, the self jibing rockstar, heartbreaking recitation with soulful singing or just plain average romantic song, this episode had everything! There is excellent variety and this song set is easily the best combination we have come across in the last 2 seasons.

Thumbs up to Coke, yet again!