Illallah starts with a an alaap so good, I went back to it several times. The calm start makes us buy into the song and how about those lovely set of vocalists? Easily one of the best openings for a song this season. The first pause at about 4:14 mins. made me a bit nervous as I was expecting maddening lights to take over. Alas! I was wrong…the lovely sarangi and sitar lulled us into believing that won’t happen. I must confess that I found something amiss in the second part of the song, lyrics wise. Still, Hota hai mujhme ek hungama, roke nahi jo ruka…made up for it. There are too many crescendos and mellow parts in the composition including a superb Zitar. Still, in spite of all this, the song didn’t feel overproduced or loud. Minor grouse – the aaja piya tori yaad satave part could have been done away with. That said, a brilliant brilliant song.
Hawa hawa – I cried with joy the moment I saw Mr. Hassan Jahangir appear in the teaser of the season. There is just too much at stake when an icon of your childhood makes an appearance in what is the best music platform in the region. Of course, with Jahangir in 2018, I wasn’t expecting the old innocence of composition. Still, I found it a bit difficult to understand the tribal detour and the presence of Gul Panrra in the song. Surprisingly, I didn’t find the dance of Hassan jarring at all. That said, the entire composition structure and sound had too many problems. You would definitely want to be reminded of the sound of cheap synths that opened the original version of Hassan. This on the other hand, felt like a boring re-imagination of a tune that really didn’t need any re-imagination to begin with. I would play it again to see how an old classic should not be reimagined. Lastly, those opening cheap synth notes in the original song outweigh the airbrushed sound of this re-imagination. Yep.
Ter liye – With less than impressive outing in runaway, I was quite keen to hear Riaz Qadri and Ghulam Ali Qadri again since I know what they can do to the senses. A decent opening of about 2 mins by them set the stage for Ali Azmat to rock up the setting. While I absolutely loved the sound of Ali’s part, I was left unimpressed by the oddball lyrics. Of course then there is our man Momo on guitar who was great as usual. By 4:20 mins in the song, I was still left wanting by whatever Qadris were trying to do. There was just no soul in the song. As if that was not enough, Ali’s rejoinder was still fighting with bad lyrics to make sense of the lovely tune. By 7th minute, I was actively rooting for Ali Azmat and was hoping Qadris will not appear again in the track. Yes, it is blasphemous to some may be, but I found this near 10 minute track bearable only because of Ali Azmat’s part, sound wise. Lyrics all over the place, fusion wanting…all in all a bad song to have come out of the studio. Just some token alaaps don’t cut it at a stage as serious and as important as CokeStudio Pakistan.
Apart from illallah, there was nothing much to root for in the episode and this is all producer duo’s fault. Playing up nostalgia is all great fun, if only it is backed up with solid tune structure sprinkled with melody. I haven’t enjoyed listening to this season much and this is insulting to my own senses. There is too much fusion and much less melody coupled with crazy lights all around. There is some hope because next episode will have Mahotarma Abida Parveen and her song sounds like a winner along with Khumariyaan’s song and Shuja’s alleged Chichora song 🙂
Lastly, do check this out. It is acoustic version of Nami Danam by Chand Tara Orchestra. https://youtu.be/FH65uX49QPY