CokeStudio11 Episode 9

Previous episode reviews here – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

Dildar Sadqay gets back my favorite from Season 7 Jawad Ahmad and along with him Elizabeth Rai. Unlike his last appearance where he was telling us about how ephemeral life is, he is seen here urging us to shake a leg and I am happy to report, he sounds just as serious and in-tune as he did the last time on studio. I liked the tune of the song and the way it has been cokestudio-ised. Jawad has a heavy voice and that is why I felt that Elizabeth was a good choice. The texture of her voice just completes the song well. Still, she single handedly slowed the song. It felt as if she is singing one note higher and that too under pressure. The near bad auido mixing of the song doesn’t help her either. This is the reason, I would not go looking for this song. To top it all, the lighting was just all over the place, which has become a horrible signature for this season.

Aurangzeb by Mughal-e-funk is quite an interesting track for the simple reason that it explores a genre within a genre. Presenting Aurangzeb‘s reign and conflicts via instrumental is totally a new way to present instrumental tracks. The houseband and especially Babar ali Khanna really came together to touch up Mughal-e-funk‘s exciting presentation in the studio. Excellent Sitar, Superlative Harmonium and a solid backup vocalist sound…what’s not to like? (I know, the lighting..! still…I liked this track!)

Ko Ko Korina – I am from Lucknow and one of the reasons I love CokeStudio Pakistan is that they showcase the music from their region which I may not have come across earlier. Personally speaking, while growing up, I was more intrested in exploring Umar Sharif’s plays and swaying on Hawa Hawa than anything else. So when I saw CokeStudio reimagine what they have posted as ‘infamous’ Ko Ko Korina, I was hearing it for the first time. I know I will lose a lot of friends here but I didn’t find this song bad at all. I in fact liked how the studio, in a rare display of self control, conducted the song with the right amount of mischief and melody. No, I didn’t find Ahad Raza Mir or Momina Mustehsan out of tune. I would still say that Momina was struggling in Antras but largely lovely lovely song. I then went and checked the original song and well, I could still not get myself to dislike this re-imagination. I am just raving mad at the studio for what they did with Hawa Hawa. One might argue, that my grouse with Hawa Hawa‘s re-imagination is because unlike Ko Ko Korina, I have grown up with Hawa Hawa, so I am not as emotionally invested with Ko ko as I am with Hawa Hawa. I will disagree to that train of thought for the simple reason that Ko Ko Korina‘s re-imagination didn’t take any unneccesary turns and the pace and treatment was upbeat (what a lovely guitar – keyboard play by Rufus and Momo by the way!), Whereas the Hawa Hawa reimagination was half hearted, sounded dead on arrival and took that unnecessary tirbal turn which still haunts me at night. So there, that is my take. I liked Ko Ko Korina! Someone please join me and let us petition the studio to re-re-imagine Hawa Hawa?

Largely a satisfactory episode. Thumbs up!

28 thoughts on “CokeStudio11 Episode 9

  1. Hawa Hawa is above all a timeless melody.. it’s fresh after 30 years. Yes it’s basic indipop but anything which survives so long deserves some respect which was exactly what was lacking in the re imagination.. some transitions in that song was so jarring and out of place that I almost felt like breaking the TV. Not a great season, this show is full blown Video property and not as much a music property.. can u believe these guys were not bothered to upload 320kbps MP3 on the site for the first 2-3 episodes. Unimaginable

  2. Ok, first apologies for coaxing you to upload your reviews and then never bothering to read them! The truth is that this season is ‘weird’ and I am waiting and waiting and waiting for a beautiful song that stays with me. Even the Ali Sethi ones are ‘meh’. I mean, it is hard to put the feeling into words, because the season isn’t bad.. they’ve experimented but it just feels over the top throughout! Truly sad about this!

  3. well…ys u r right. may be we need to hav an emotional association to like or dislike a remake.I thought music was good.Momina wasnt that bad but what made it so bad was flat vocal of Ahad Raza Mir.Perhaps 60s songs with not so much good soung quality do not appeal to the modern day listeners unless u grew up listening and admiring to it.Here in Pakistan the song is like a cult.ahmed rushdi,his beautiful ,youthful innocent but naughty voice as fresh as the love at first sight,just the right taste of feelings..Compared to him Ahad sounded dull,artificial,mechanical and flat..he was trying hard to copy rushdi’s style but failing miserably. It felt like mimicking rather than singing.They thought they wre giving us Waheed Murad junior !! They couldnt find a singer to reimagine perhaps one of the most iconic song of our film industry?? They deserved all the bashing they got !!!

    1. I have been wishing for this since forever. Still, do think back for a second – except season 8, all seasons have been downhill. May be they deserve another chance. More on this on my yearly roundup post, the link to which shall be shared on this blog as and when it goes live 🙂

  4. Really i used u think like that.I thought they brought the energy back to the show.They came up with right state of mind and some truly great lineup but they have messed it up big time and exposed their own limitations in the process.My God ! you are producing Coke Studio Pakistan and u cant tell a singer from an actor?Are u for serious ? May be im over reacting or a bit harsh but thats how i feel and thats how most of Pakistani Cs fans feel.May be they deserve another chance.But CS deserves Rohail Hayyat.period.

  5. First season for new producers is tricky.. Strings rebounded well in Season 8 after playing safe in Season 7. I still think Zohaib n Hamza will do better next season..

  6. Hawa hawa was bad, but what they have done to Ko Ko Korina
    is unforgiveable. I think itbis hard to understand this unless you grew up in Pakistan listening to this. It is the standard shadi song, it is sung on every college/uni trip, with friends, in families. It is part of us, I don’t know why. And it is associated with Waheed Murad and Ahmed Rushdie. You do not touch ansong like that even with a bargepole. And I think what irritated Pakistanis mostly was nepotism. We all felt that Coke studio 11 is trying to encash the popularity of Momina and Ahad(a heartthrob). Thry could have used some real singers, not someone who is just eyecandy.

    And this was a culmination of all the frustration we have been feeling with season 11. The over experimentation, the loud drumming, the horrible videos and self awareness. It’s fake, it’s not us. So the backlash was justified. I think the brand in Pakistan has been badly damaged and has become a running joke. I very much doubt if Ali Hamza and Zohaib would be given another chance. I like even Strings now.

    1. Oh goodness! I can sense so much anger now. I saw speaking to someone who made this precise point about the choices being ‘hashtag friendly’ and not ‘talent ready’. Have just finished the round up post which i will post here later but you can find it on
      Lastly – I know the pain. Am living it since season 6’s abrupt end. All things ‘khaalis’ are disappearing

  7. Now thats a pleasant surprise !!! I hope it turns out to be beautiful,memorable and amazing.I hope Pak entertains u better than CS 11…hahaha.. please keep on posting abt ur visit and who knows we might catch u sometime somewhere !!!

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