Malang – Sahir Ali Bagga & Aima Baig sound wonderful together and what a wonderful site to see Tanveer Hussain back in the studio. I like the tune of the song but am just at pains to understand the weird and distracting lighting that seems to overpower the senses and distract us from the song. I somewhat felt the 2 odd minute detour beginning with chann kithan (And the pout of Sahir Ali Bagga during this detour and largely throughout the song) was somehow uncalled for. This would have been better as a linear composition but then this season is just OD-ing on excessive ‘fusion’ I guess. A good song, just not cokestudio material enough. Nope.
Dastaan-e-Moomal Rano – begins with a lovely flute by Fakir Zulfiqar and we come face to face with Saif Samejo after many years in the studio. His voice still has that calming touch we all loved (and still do) in Mandh waai. He is joined by Bhagat Bhooro Laal who is powerful albeit not always in tune. Call it my bias towards other versions of Moomal rano songs, I found this song a bit too pacey, especially the second part of the song (aao raana) seemed just bad. That took with it all the great sound of Narr, yoodling of Saif and anything else that the studio was hoping to impress us all with. That is what seems to be the problem so far. The studio is trying too hard to impress and has ceased to just be. A below average song, at best.
Dil hai Pakistani – with Ali Azmat, Mangal, Darehan and Shayan took my breath away with the first 3 minutes when Mangal and his gang were at it and accompanying them was what is possibly the best camera use in the studio in the last 5 seasons. The way camera moves around all musicians and then pans back to Mangal and gang – was Cokestudio Gold, its old subtle glorious best. Ali Azmat‘s opening lines are just a superb message and if you forget the hyper produced sound, this is a super song. I also didn’t get the point of song beyond 6:45 mins. What I absolutely didn’t understand is – The producer duo’s need to be present on the floor, acting like conductors and playing dambora without the sound being clearly audible for most part. The best part of the song and perhaps the episode? – Mangal and gang’s opening of this song!
This episode disappointed more than it set us up for the remaining season. What is with excessive showing off and don’t even get me started about the mish mash ligting. I don’t like to quote old posts but this season so far has reminded me of what I wrote in December 2014 when Season 7 ended. It appeared on this post and let me paste what I feared then:
“Till Season 6, videos had a quiet elegance about them but in the season 7, it felt prey to over enthusiasm. God only knows why the entire artist set (more often than not), felt prey to showing they are having such a good time. It looked fake and self aware. Subtlety is dead and pobably, it is not coming back in future seasons”
I hate to see this coming true, not to mention the over-fusion-ising of most songs and evaporation of melody from songs. I can now get why the per episode 3 song policy has been introduced. May be it is done to spare us excessive produced songs overload.
After seeing such a lovely line up, I was expecting a lot from the season but it hasn’t delivered much so far. From the remaining lot – Humaira Arshad, Abrar-ul-haq, Sounds of Kolachi, Mugal-e-funk, Vishnu and Jawad ahmad are the ones I was pinning a lot of hopes on and now I am worried. MOST IMPORTANTLY – Ali Sethi, I wonder what the studio will make you do and I almost shudder at the thought of how Hassan Jehangir would be ruined. God, please prove my cynicism false. It is CokeStudio Pakistan! Did they forget it?