Pakistani music has always been a trendsetter in South Asia region. In “Pakistani Music According to Habib”, I will review fresh and diverse music tracks from various artists. These reviews will be published monthly so if you like Pakistani music, these reviews would satisfy your music apatite. The page contains links to Youtube, Patari, Taazi, Soundcloud and Spotify to provide you with immediate access to the song’s audio and video where available.
Without any delays, here is Pakistani music according to Habib, the June, 2018 edition. Hope you enjoy.
1. Be Fiqriyan- Aima Baig (Motion picture soundtrack “Lahore say agay”) Rating: 4/5
Coke Studio 10 tried it’s best to make Aima Baig Pakistan’s next big “crush” for 2017, but alas, Momina Mustehsan still kept that status. One tends to mostly figure out Baig’s voice from the song “Kalabaaz Dil” from the the film “Lahore se Aagay” and “Lahore se Aagay” from Saba Qamar’s performance on “Kalabaaz Dil”, while completely forgetting that there was one more perfect pop song in the very same film, sung by the very same artist – “Be Fiqriyaan”. Composed by Shiraz Uppal, it is perfect casual pop song which the Pakistani Music Industry highly misses. Simple lyrics, simple melody – this is all what a pop song requires. And a major plus point being that the song is more organic with its real instruments and less computer work, naturally giving it a “be fiqar” approach. Can there be more songs like this please, yeah?
2. 5 Choohay- Asrar Shah (Motion picture soundtrack “Chupan Chupai”) Rating: 3/5
Every Pakistani child grows up with the poems written by Sufi Tabassum, but who would’ve thought that his poems can simply be turned into pop songs – childish and grown-up all at the same time. “Paanch Choohay”, sung energetically by Asrar Shah and composed by Soch – the Band (yup, most commonly known for the song “Bandaya” from the film “Khuda ke Liye”); the song gets that cheeky feel with a concentrated snare drum which goes fantastically with the theme while Asrar goes wild with the familiar chorus lines. Don’t be surprised if there is a song about “Toat Batoat” soon.
3. Sambhal Sambhal kay-Zebunnisa Bangash, Haroon Shahid and Shoaib Mansoor (Motion picture soundtrack “Verna”) Rating: 4.5/5
If Nazia Hassan was alive, and the “Nazia & Zoheb” duo still made music together – they would’ve ended up making a song like “Sambhal Sambhal Kay”. Besides, Zeb Bangash does sound a little like beloved Nazia Hassan, while Haroon Shahid with his “note” approach instead of “raag”, just like the heartthrob Zoheb Hassan. Composed and written by THE Shoaib Mansoor along with Haroon Shahid for the film “Verna”, and… Mahira Khan was there too – Could there be more perfect conditions? With a light melody and light approach for life, the song can make your mood get light for a little bit. And who doesn’t want to feel a little light in times like these?
4. Nakhun- Sajjad Ali. Rating: 1.5/5
If you want to experience Sajjad Ali like you experienced his music in the 90s, the 2000s and the 2010s, then “Nakhun” is the song for you. Its a very typical Sajjad Ali song which is sad and harsh with a…. typically decent composition. Nope, nothing new there. Good thing: Sajjad Ali still sounds as fresh as he did when he stepped into the Pakistani music industry, with his crisp vocal control and gazal-ish pop style. Bad thing: There are no surprises. But the best part is “Nakhun” is a single, and not a part of any film (yet). Pakistani pop industry is turning into Bollywood music industry, where a song just can’t reach you till it’s a film song.And then comes a confident release from Sajjad Ali – Bravo!
5. Tu Shaheen hai (Rock version) -Atif Ali. Rating: 1.5/5
Remember Shahzad Roy’s version of Allama Iqbal’s “Ya Rab Dil-e-Muslim ko”? I think I had the very same experience again when I heard “Tu Shaheen hai” by Atif Ali. For a moment, it felt that Shahzad Roy again became a little innovative with Kalaam-e-Iqbal – But no, it’s a bluff! Atif Ali does sound a lot like him, yes, before he hits the chorus – Ta-daa! Although the song has a little “underground” feel in it’s rock version and requires slight polish to make it sound more commercial.
6. Parinda- Gohar Mumtaz. Rating: 1.5/5
It seems like Gohar Mumtaz is keeping a thesaurus to name his songs. First “Panchi”, now “Parinda”. After reading the title of the song, I expected another song like “Panchi” which had the signature Jal ups and downs. “Parinda” did have all that and yet it failed to be an impressive composition. Was the song trying too hard? Or was it simply too boring? One thing is for sure – Gohar’s singing is getting better by day. Maybe constantly getting ditched by his singers is making his vocals get more expressive. Hey Gohar, are you the next Asad Ahmed?
7. Khushi ki baat/ Roya sa- Richie Robinson and Zeb Bangash (Motion picture soundtrack “Verna”) . Rating: 2/5
Every film needs a desperate melody like “Khushi Ki Baat Roya Sa” in its critical situation. Richie Robinson with his soulful vocals, and then suddenly Zeb pops up with her songbird voice to give a classic sadness factor to the whole song. A fine string selection gives a nice little bridge – so does the guitar solo in the end, which bluffs you for some more vocals, but wait, did the song just end? Written completely by the maestro himself, Shoaib Mansoor, the song still won’t remind you of Vital Signs, which is a good thing, you know!
8. Ho jao azad- Zoe Viccaji . Rating: 3/5
“Ho Jao Azaad” is NOT a patriotic song, don’t get fooled by the title of the song, thank you very much! But it may remind you of the music of Nazia Hasan, simply because it carries the funk which the “Disco Deewane” era highly focused on. The song has experimented with some brass selection merged well with some electric piano giving it a proper disco feel. Yes, imagine a disco ball please. And then the balanced and well groomed vocals of Zoe Viccaji makes things sound even more professional. It doesn’t just end here: the song also has a brilliant video. Shot in the North of Pakistan, naturally beautiful and beautified some more with expert cinematography – It’s perfect! So perfect that it may remind of some telecom company ad.
9. Kabhi- Abbas Ali Khan . Rating: 3/5
Abbas Ali Khan is one of the most underrated artists which the Pakistani Pop has offered. Probably because he’s too decent with his decent melodies and decent lyrics? Seems like pop doesn’t appreciate decency anymore. “Kabhi” is, indeed, another decent song, which may remind you of the 90s – a starry night, a bonfire and a guy singing to a loved one with his guitar. I do believe that this song requires some polish to shine a little more – it has this sounds like it’s being played on a cassette, and since it’s “all about that bass” now, such gems normally end up being forgotten.
10. Give me love- Ali Umair . Rating: 1/5
When you mix the Billboard music with Bollywood, you end up getting a song like “Give Me Love” by Umair Ali – And it is NOT a good thing. Yes, the new generation may like such songs, with its hip-hop music and to-the-point lyrical explanation of “kol merey aaja” – And after all, they are the target market, so my grandma approach may not approve of it. Yes it’s catchy – but it’s the irritating kind of catchy. Yes, it sounds of fresh, but don’t we have the whole of Billoard to cover this kind of genre? Grandma? I know!
I hope you enjoyed these reviews and listening to the music. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback by commenting. You can also get in touch with me through Twitter.
The page is a part of Cool Bluez (2018)