CokeStudio11 Episode 4

You can click these links for previous episode reviews – CokeStudio 2018 explorer, Season 11 episode 1, Season 11 episode 2, Season 11 episode 3

Atish – Shuja Haider‘s voice has a calming effect on the senses and he is one of the best finds of the ‘Post season 6’ Cokestudio. Here he chooses a layered composition along with the talented Aima Baig. I loved the way the song has been penned and the way it leads you from Faraz, Meer to Faiz. It almost felt that there are two different songs in one song and the way singers have managed it is very good. The way back ups pick the song is also refreshing. A good start to the epsiode, though they could have done away with those innumerable short camera cuts. They just play with your senses and distract you from music.

Nami danam – Chand tara orchestra, under the guidance of Omran Shafique gave us the song of the episode. Nami danam. There was too much happening in terms of lighting and not in a good way. Barring that, this song soared. They should have named the song Raqs-e-bismil. I have a little positive bias to Chand tara orchestra because of their name. Before this season, I didn’t know about them. It is very very good to see old cokestudio musicians take the lead in inducting new artists. Like Babar has done in last few songs and my heartthrob Omran has done here…What a fantastic, liberating song! Me raqsam Me raqsam…indeed.

Mahi Aaja – So the ‘BTS’ has showed us a bit too much about how Asim came about with this song and how the studio gave him a bit of a long rope about ‘holding the mic’, how Momina and him are good friends. With this song, Studio is obviously trying to cash in on their ‘chemistry’ that worked in the crushingly beautiful Nawazishein in season 9. I just hope people can look beyond ‘chemistry’. The tune is simple, which didn’t make the artists work hard, not that it is a bad song. I liked the song for its simplicity but didn’t ‘love’ it. This came across as an attempt to engage the ‘it’ crowd and to tackle any ageing that Cokestudio as a brand might suffer with in the heads of the hashtag generation. The idea was engagement, I hope for their sake it worked.

While I don’t appreciate the shortening of episodes with just 3 songs since last 2 weeks, I am hoping that this arrangement, if permanent, is done only so that the season goes on for longer than it has in the past.

This episode was average again and this happened in spite of the powerful Nami Danam. CokeStudio Pakistan is as much a video property as a musical one and to have frustratingly short takes, circus like lighting (and that too in an intense song which didn’t need it!) – just made me mad.

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