You can read my thoughts on Episode 1 here
Tinak Dhin – by Ali Hamza, Ali Sethi & Waqar Ehsin start things off with such a promise that you feel the studio will come down on its knees and then try to do floor snake dance but call it confused composition or the unnecessary addition of Waqar, the song just didn’t stick. Hamza and Ali Sethi make up for a good combo but I didn’t see any point of what Waqar brought to the song. There was too much happening, too many detours, too many alaaps and it was wrapped in the Strings’ signature bad production, such a brilliant trifecta, wasted. (Ali Sethi is the only shining star of the song but then he is always so good!)
Sayonee – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Ali Noor successfully neutralised the passion and soul of the song by their passive and almost dead singing. You really need just one Ali Azmat to bring the house down and make us feel the pain that was entwined in this timeless composition. Salman Ahmad was stuck with 2 below average singers and barring Salman’s excellent excellent guitaring and that little moment when the studio musicians were killing it, the song is a disgrace. What a pathetic self aware and subdued rendition by Mister rahat! This song belongs to a band called junoon, and you would do well to find out the meaning of the word, Mr. Khan. Side A, first song it was in those cassettes which were too expensive for their time but as time proved – well worth the investment. This song used to launch us in the midst of a chaos and make sense of things. Mr. Khan, and that other singer, you do NOT sing sayonee with smile and self aware nods. Boo! I wont even go to that third singer because he, when under Rohail’s guidance can sing a kickass ‘saari raat’ and here? Bah! It’s as if Rahat and that other singer stole the soul away! By the way – rahat used to sing garaj baras under Rohail and here? Bah bah! I have to listen to Sawaal (season 6) and cleanse myself from such awful singing. You know why? It had Ali azamat and the guy who should get all the limelight instead of Mr. Khan. He is a true heir apparent of Hazrat Nusrat Fateh Ali khan. I love Rahat’s work as far as some songs he has sung this side of continent for good film albums but he is no match for intense songs. That would only be Muazzam Ali Khan. In the middle of this mishmash of a song, that solo by salman and the studio musicians is what cokestudio pakistan used to stand for. I shudder at the thought at how they will make Arieb Azhar sound. Bad bad production.
Faasle – Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch gave us the best song of the episode by miles. Zaidi’s voice has a balm that can soothe you and leave you aching as well. It is a treat to hear QB anytime and it is so reassuring to see Kaavish use her powerful voice in a sombre tune. I have noticed Kaavish’s songs in studio more or less sound better than others, production wise. Superb song! There’s a lot to be said about Zaidi’s lyrics as well. Just how lovely is the way the song ends. Jaa raha hu main…leaving you with a sense of witnessing unrequited love in poetry.
Jaan-e-Bahaaraan – While the slow part was too good, the fast paced change saw zafar going off key slightly and whats with the elaborate ‘camera friendly’ gestures? I am sorry but we have a rich precedence set by cokestudio pakistan that totally makes us expect much more from the studio and noone can be blamed for that. They have always delivered, more or less. This sounds like a poor filmy song as a whole and thats a reason enough never to visit this song again. It takes special skills to botch up such excellent set of artists, in this case Ali Zafar.
What a colossally boring sound so far from the studio. Too self aware, much self indulgent, heartbreaking to see The team losing the plot. It’s almost like the entire team would take off their masks and we would see our lovely MTV Cokestudio guys behind those masks. I hope episode 3 is better than this. By the way, at the time am putting this, Cokestudio.com.pk is still under construction.
You have a year to prepare, the best resources and such a fabulous team (am missing tafu, among other things though), so what’s your excuse for such half baked presentation?
Bring back Rohail Hyatt.