So the 10th season has started, You can read some posts on older seasons by clicking the numbers below, didn’t want to put all of them here though.
Allah hu akbar – Shuja Haider has not only composed this brilliantly structured composition but has penned it as well and the moment it starts it takes you back to the last year’s tu kuja Mann kuja. However the most striking difference between two compositions (Apart from many others which am sure the better informed journos would point out amidst their incestuous gang of yes men/boys) – is that Allah hu Akbar is more or less quieter in its packaging. The singers – Ahmed jehanzeb and shafqat are just too powerful a combo, where shafqat is more murki friendly, the sheer energy of Ahmed is hard to ignore and well he is just as murki abled like any one else on the scene. A surefooted first song for 10th season celebration of the best music movement in the entire subcontinent.
Chaa rahi hai kaali ghata – There is a calm associated with hindustani classical music that is hard to describe and is best experienced when you play your favourite composition, it could be one alaap or one note on the flute/your favourite instrument that can quieten things down in your head. So when Hina Nasrullah starts this composition, you would be hard pressed not to sway a little. Amanat Ali sounds contemporary and youthful while retaining the balm of a voice that he has and surprises you when he switches from pop to ghazal-esque singing midway in the song. This song has been composed so well by Sahir Ali bagga that am sure to check out his work. Like Hina, I didn’t know of Sahir earlier as well. Such a comforting thought to hear a ghazal done right in the studio. The lullaby like sitar by Shehroze is just cherry on top. The ending of the song could have been managed slightly better though. I say this because this wasn’t a thump-kick sort of a song, hence the mix of pop-ghazal towards the climax was slightly off key for me.
Muntazir – A well intentioned effort marred by excessive instruments may be. Both Momina and Danyal have soft voices and thats why they sounded more like backup vocalists waiting for the lead singer to take the song higher. I won’t be surprised if this becomes the most viewed song of the season because well music has taken backseat to ‘crushworthy and hotness’ that people look for in singers these days. Momina sounds extremely weak at places here. I have never really understood the hype around strings and well here we are again!
Ali Sethi – Sings anything and it makes my heart soar and here he is with his rendition of this timeless classic by Mehdi Hasan, ranjish hi sahi. At times I feel blessed to understand a bit of Urdu so that I don’t have to look for ‘translations’. Although I feel strings botched up the production big time last season and even this episode, the sound is quite cluttered, still it is sheer treat to hear Sethi go at it. He is a legend in the making and we will all be witness to some pretty good stuff from him, inshallah. Not that I don’t want him to sing original songs but I feel he should sing all the classics of all generations, he adds so much to a composition it’s breathtakingly beautiful to hear and experience.
An overall cautious and safe start to the season with good highs and thankfully none of light circus.
That said, even as I type this after the episode one is out, Cokestudio.com.pk is grossly incomplete, there were no captions in videos…what’s happening strings? alas! there can only be ONE Rohail Hyatt.