Heeray – There is a reason why I cringe every time I read a comment on videos of my favourite artists that says ‘I wish Bollywood finds you’. There is no such thing as ‘subtle’ in Bollywood and very few artists can resist over exposing themselves. Rahat fateh Ali Khan falls in the category of artists who have over exposed themselves a bit too much. This is why, in spite of a brilliant start, Heeray feels jaded and sounds like a Salman Khan film song. Aima Baig has done precious little in the song and till the last minute, I kept on thinking may be she will swoop in and save the song. I will probably disagree with Rohail Hyatt on his decision about Rahat Fateh Ali khan and Bagga. I don’t see any merit in their inclusion. I am tired of all the tarana-baazi of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. He is soon going to put Nooran sisters to shame, who, just like him, cannot resist showing vocal circus even when the song doesn’t demand it. Even if the song demands it, the over arching image of these artists makes a song very tiring, very quickly. I couldn’t wrap my head around the tune structure of this song. There were way too many turns and distractions that diluted the mood and didn’t leave any permanent emotion printed in your head. Anybody else would have been a better choice with Aima Baig. Also, I wonder when is Aima Baig going to get a solo song?
Balma – I see Fariha Pervez and I get excited because say whatever about her outings in the studio so far, her Saiyyan bina ghar soona in Season 6, made me soar and almost stole the song away from the fabulous Alamgeer. The first 2:37 mins of the song are a sheer pleasure. It is like Fariha is polishing her voice to land the final punch with a techno thumri. May be it is the curse of the hashtag, but I felt the pace could have been a bit slower. Still, I won’t hold that against this otherwise brilliant rendition. Yes, Tafu is on Sarod and that just adds so much to the sound of the track. I somehow didn’t like the part that backup vocalists played in the song. I feel this should have been just Fariha’s track. All that said, there is a lot of good stuff to hear in the track. Rohail has again kept the sound tight and that is such a relief. He is so good that it is unbelievable.
Mram Mram – Just the beginning of this song and the fabulous gayaki of Shamali Afghan will tug at you and before you know it, you are swaying with Mram Mram. Hear the playful Rabaab and hear Shamali flirting with it. I absolutely loved the tune structure of this song and of course the subtle delivery from the singer and the band. That said, may be the antras were not cohesively stitched with the song because the song didn’t appeal to me as one unit. I would have liked a bit more playfulness in the antras and not the ambitious variations. Will I play it again? Absolutely. Will I play it as the first song on the playlist? Absolutely Not.
Daachi Waaliya – Make way ladies and gentlemen, for the song of the episode is here! Hadiqa Kiani doesn’t miss a beat, a note, an emotion, tune ANYTHING! Hear the mild middle eastern tease in the beginning that never comes back in her singing, priceless and crave-worthy. Tanweer and Amir Azhar have lent their brilliance via their string dialogue in the song. Back up vocalists add just the right amount of ‘sink’, at times they feel irrelevant and may be that was the idea, because the way Hadiqa soars, it feels like she didn’t need music, lyrics, tune, let alone back ups. Still, Back ups are wisely used here by Rohail. Now on to Hadiqa – She sings as a human possessed. There is a lesson or two here hidden away for so many of the present day singers who think they have done ‘crazy’ just by going ‘Maula’ twice in a song. The level of dedication that Hadiqa and emotion she has soaked us all in, is priceless. This could well be the song of the season for me. Yep. I would hear the ho ḍaachi waaliya moṛ muhaar ve hundred times. The brilliance of Rohail Hyatt is there for everyone to see and experience here. Such a fabulous arrangement yet the way Hadiqa affects you, is a feat only few mortals can achieve.
I reminisce about season 1 to season 6, the way people remember good parts of their childhood and there was something pleasantly familiar in the way Rohail Hyatt has approached Daachi Waaliya. It resonated with me deeply and of course a lot of credit for the same goes to Hadiqa Kiani. It comforted me the way you feel at peace when you go back to the house where you have grown up. Thanks Rohail.
You can listen to the music and read lyrics here on CokeStudio Pakistan’s website
P.S. – Daachi Waaliya, still playing in the head. Yep.