Can’t believe that we are more than halfway through the year, it’s July already guys. And as we all know that Pakistan celebrates it’s independence on 14th August and I have a surprise for all of you. But before you find about the surprise, here are my new reviews for all of you. Let’s get started and see what’s happening in Pakistan’s music world.
1.Sajni- Strings. Rating: 5/5
If there were more stars to be given to “Sajni”, I would’ve still considered them less to rate this song. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! THIS is exactly how Pakistani pop music should sound like. Strings said goodbye to producing Coke Studio after 4 seasons to celebrate their 30 years in music and they started off by releasing “Sajni”. In duo bands, when a song is sung by both the members, it naturally gets more liked by the listeners – If a song has parts both by Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, that songs makes sure that the listeners LOVE it! Even in its video, it seems very obvious how everyone is having fun in the song-process! With the help of the Coke Studio house band, Strings are soon to release something with the name “30” – Aren’t you excited?
The song starts and you start waiting for it’s climax, but it doesn’t come; and it doesn’t really bother you. “Chandni” has a fun party beat and yet I wonder why such Pakistani songs don’t get promoted on the radio much. Does a Pakistani song really need to either be Coke Studio or an OST to now be heard? It did remind me a little of Depeche Mode, and I felt like admiring Exit 57’s effort in making this song even more. “Chandni” isn’t exactly catchy, but as long as the rhythm and the vocals blend in – It scores well enough!
There are 2 kinds of people: Those who love Momina Mustehsan and those who hate Momina Mustehsan. I’m one of those who consider her a perfect pop star! She has the voice, she has the style, she has the face and fortunately she has worked with the best names in the Pakistani music business. “Jee Liya” was a song promoted by “Cornetto Pop Rock Season 2”, hence giving a free video to the song; a wonderful one showing the true colorful versatility of Lahore. It’s catchy, it’s carefree, it’s organic, it’s up-tempo – It’s a perfect pop song!
You know every film has a song which is targeted to get liked by every one – mostly the title track? Similarly the film “Jannan” has the song “Jannan” to do this job. It’s a fine little song which is not too fast and not too slow, has lyrics cheesy enough to make it be relatable for the situation and nothing too hard. Pop getting desi-ed up with the help of a dholak/tabla and there you go – the perfect title track for a Desi chick-flick. Armaan Malik is mostly famous for his playback singing for Bollywood films and hence there is a slight chance you’ve already heard this song on the radio too wink. The boy is definitely on his way being the next Arijit Singh, maybe?
I made a few young people listen to this song and I thought that this is the kind of music they listen to now a days. Unfortunately, they didn’t like it. Unfortunately I didn’t like it much either. The song is simple and it seem like it’s trying to be a catchy tune – but failed to be one. The “Soneya” chorus gets too monotonous and goes on the nerves after a while. Although I would praise Uzair Jaswal’s vocals and his overall grip on the notes he delivers. Looped, but worth mentioning anyway!
6. Raabta- Salman Shaukat. Rating: 4/5
What a pity that I get to hear this song 7 years after it’s release in 2011. A touch of classic underground with a nicely sculptured organic melody – This is how most bands and artists made their way to the spotlight in the Pakistani music industry. Jal, Call, EP and Aaroh are a few examples. And now, preparing his way towards the dawn is Salman Shaukat with his effortlessly fine vocals and well composed songs. “Raabta” is a song which you want to listen in the car while you’re driving on a smooth road without anyone to bother you. The chorus takes you to a new dimension where the climate suddenly changes and you need a jacket to cover for the chills you just got. Hey Salman, are you planning on releasing an album, because there are a few people who’d love to buy it!
7. Tanhai, Naye Silsilay-Zoe Viccaji. Rating: 3.5/5
Zoe Viccaji’s smooth and balanced vocals can make any song sound highly professional for no reason, and “Naye Silsilay” is one of those examples – Nothing special, just a new version of an old drama tune. “Tanhiyaan” (1985) is one of the most beloved dramas in the history of Pakistani Television which got it’s sequel “Tanhiyaan, Naye Silsilay” in 2012-13. Shahi Hasan (the green eyed boy from Vital Signs) gave lyrics while Shani Arshad gave a new flavor to the score which was originally written by Arshad Mehmood. The song takes you back to the time when there was only PTV in Pakistan and the melody takes you back to the door which would shut and the word “Tanhiyaan” would end up on it in Urdu. And did I tell that Zoe Viccaji gave a Nazia Hasan like vocal delivery? Yes – Nostalgic!
8. So Gai- Kaya, the band. Rating: 2.5/5
I know my reviews end up doing a lot of comparison, but what can I do when I get reminded of something from the past, when Pakistani Music was on the rising? Kaya will remind you of the band “Mile Stones” and Afsheen’s vocals will remind you of Candy’s soulful vocals. If one mixes “So Gai” with a song from the 90s, that’s totally reasonable. Mystic and Soul with a very Lounge-ish feel – Kaya’s music is slightly advanced and less commercial, so there is barely any chance that they would get recognized for the music they’re making at the moment. They may have their little following, but nothing more. Hey Radio, some help maybe?
9. Gal Sun Ja-SYMT. Rating: 1/5
SYMT is no more a band, but their songs are still there and it makes you realize how Haroon Shahid’s vocals are getting better with time. SYMT had the face, and yet it was never as famous among the public because their music lacked the “it” factor which people end up liking. Their songs are forgettable in very harsh words. “Gal Sun Ja” is one of those forgettable examples – nothing special with the music, nothing special with the lyrics. But it does have a fun little video – which unfortunately has also been forgotten.
10. Raakh-Abdullah Muzaffar. Rating: 2.5/5
It feels like Abdullah Muzaffar was listening to Strings when he wrote this song. Simple and decent with a pop-rock touch – Also, I like his voice. A hard song title like “Raakh” gives an impression that it may end up wrecking your heart badly, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover – Sure, it is about heartbreak, but the melody makes it less painful. “Raakh” is also accompanied by a nice video where you get to see that Abdullah Muzaffar is actually a cute young boy. Hmmm… If he gets to be a part of Coke Studio, he may get plenty of fan following from girls wink.
That’s all for July. And the surprise news is that August review of Pakistani music will focus exclusively on fresh and new national and patriotic songs. So don’t remember to visit Cool Bluez and update your music playlist.
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)