Pakistani Music According to Habib- April, 2019

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Welcome to another series of Pakistani music reviews, actually it’s the 10th review since these reviews started in June 2018. I’m glad to be able to come across such a wide range of new artists who are working hard to create diversity and versatility in their work. Let’s jump to April music reviews.

1. Colors/Chak de Phattay-Jason Derulo feat. QB. Rating: 4/5

I think I like this song because I’ve heard it too much. I really didn’t like the original “Colors” by Jason Derulo when I heard it for the first time, but then Coke decided to Pakistanize the song by adding some Urdu lyrics, Dhol and the amazing voice of QB. It was a FIFA 2018 anthem, and when Coke has its rights, then it was obviously to come before the match, during the break, after the match… So it was there all-the-time. Although Pakistan does not have a football team that participates in FIFA since unfortunately Football is not our strong sport (as well), but we got ourselves this colorful treat anyway because we are the makers of the football that is used in FIFA World cup matches. The video is nice and happy, the song environment is overall very positive and c’mon – Chak de Phattay!!

2. Item Number (Motion picture “Teefa in trouble”)-Ali Zafar & Aima Baig. Rating: 2/5

“Teefa in Trouble” is a Pakistani film starring Ali Zafar and Maya Ali and “Item Number” is sort of its item number. Yeah, so, the song is a duet, where the girl is in no mood to do an item number song for some film, but the guy totally believes that it’s gonna be a hit! I mean…. What? Sure, it’s a fun little song, catchy too – and it most definitely has the potential to be on Mehndis, but it’s… It’s basically an item number anyway! Ali Zafar is most definitely super versatile, and he is not afraid to try out different styles and make-ups – this I like about him the most. But somehow, the dance steps given to this song doesn’t emit the energy it keeps, and hence doesn’t enhance Ali’s and Maya’s dancing skill. There is this little bridge in the song, which can remind you of Michael Jackson, find that yourself, will you?

3. Akhiyan Teri-Abbas Hasan. Rating:1.5/5

If Punjabi was spoken in English, it probably sounds like it does in “Akhiyan Teri”. I mean, initially I literally had to carefully listen to what Abbas was trying to sing. The song starts with some heartbroken poetry which is recited in a very…. OK the best word I can find is “Mummy-Daddy way”. I’m soooo sorry Abbas! Anyway, first thought: it’s a boys-choice song. Secondly, he seems like a fan of Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan who grew up listening to songs composed by Jatin-Lalit and British Pop from the early 2000s. The “pa-ra-pap-pap” part and the English in-between was also annoying and un-required. But on a positive side, the song is well composed, musically it is very sound and it has a nice video, so all the points go to the efforts. FYI: Abbas Hasan is famous enough to have a dedicated Wikipedia page – but that still doesn’t change my opinion about this song. Nope!

4. Meray Yaar-Schaz Khan feat. Alycia Dias. Rating:3/5

(Image courtesy: Schaz Khan and Alycia Dias Facebook page)

When two great women like Schaz Khan and Alycia Dias make something together, it is bound to sound good. BUT: “Meray Yaar” is a crude song in my opinion. The song is well composed but somehow the end product sounds like a casual demo – and a finished song shouldn’t sound this way. It goes a little out of tune here and there, and surprisingly Alycia’s and Schaz’s voices don’t really blend in well like I expected them to – what a pity! My observation tells that it has been written by Schaz AND the guitar solo is also played by her – is it? There is a Meray Yaar version by Schaz that was released in 2009 in her album Jalan. This version seems more pop and upbeat. There are a lot of Saxophone moments which give a stylish atmosphere to “Meray Yaar”. There is a “na na na” part which makes you imagine a dance step like a two-partner 1-2-1-2 – I show my face, you show your back and vice versa. Haha! I still like how the song is composed, but something is missing – and that something is a polished production.

5. Na Rahoon-Umair Jaswal feat. Faraz Anwar. Rating: 4/5

One word for “Na Rahoon”: Great. Even if it was a song in some other language, I’d still call it a great song. Jaswal sounds fantastic and that too without his trademark screams. The darkness which this song possesses may remind you of Guns n’ Roses – Because we have our very own Slash playing them guitars: Mr. Faraz Anwar. Some riffs have this Elvis Costello/Paul McCartney feel from the late 70s which give a hint of sweetness in all the darkness of heartbreak. There is a wonderfully directed video as well, which is shot in Islamabad, don’t miss that please – believe me, Umair tried his best to look as devastated as he can. I just don’t understand why songs like these don’t get famous like they deserve to be – And it also keeps a wow-factor. I wonder…

6. Bohat Duur-Ali Jeffo. Rating:3.5/5

When this song started, I somehow had the feeling that it’s a nice song – and I’m glad my feelings were right. I don’t know much about Ali Jeffo, and Patari gave a boring “Ali Jeffo is a Pakistani artist” intro – I mean, seriously? Is that all you know about him? Anyway! The song has auto-tuned vocals, which initially annoyed me plenty, but then I got used to it. And it smoothly follows a single musical pattern, no ups and downs there – nothing exciting, not even a bridge in between. It’s like following your route home, because you know it so smoothly. At times, you won’t even know if Ali Jeffo is singing the verse or the chorus. All in all, the song is a pleasant experience, which matters more.

7. Kuch aur Lamhon ki-Yasmina Alidodova. Rating:1.5/5

Yasmina Alidodova is a Dubai based young talent who has been a star in various talent competitions (mostly UAE based). She has been a part of films so she’s an all-in-one package. If we had a Broadway Theatre, she’s be a super star by now. The best word to describe her voice is “sweet”, because that’s how it feels – without a lot of effort, she can pour in the right amount of emotions which are needed to make a song give a perfect aroma! “Kuch aur Lamhon ki” sounds like a slow Bollywood love song, which comes somewhere as the 2nd or 3rd song in the film, and the end of such a film is not expected to be good – I mean to say that it sounds too typical. Yes, it is a very likable song – but somehow it doesn’t have the power to impress. Sorry!

8. Ghar to Phir bhi Ghar hai-Zoe Viccaji. Rating: 4/5

(Image courtesy: Zoe Viccaji Facebook page)

This is a 1 min 55 second song, which technically means that even before it starts, it ends. I don’t really know the history behind it, but it sounds like a demo for a drama OST. The title “ghar to phir bhi ghar hai” is such a diverse statement in its own ways – an individual definition for everyone. It’s a casual slow tempo song played with minimum instruments – a keyboard, a guitar and later a tambourine. It sounds like something which Arshad Mehmood would proudly compose, a little bit of Saira Kazmi is welcome, please? Ms. Viccaji sounds absolutely soulful like she always does. I’d like to call it effortlessly beautiful.

9. Naya Din-Mustafa Pervez. Rating:3/5

I have no information on who Mustafa Pervez is or when this song was recorded, all I know is that it reminded me of the early 2000s and watching Indus Music. A simple organic song, recorded in a simple production method, with simple instruments and a simple composition. They lyrics are sweet and trying to motivate one from the everyday fight of within – a new day awaits for you! The vocals are not too impressive, but somehow you feel very comfortable with Mustafa’s voice. Someone needs to re-make this song according to the music making techniques of today – because it’s actually very nice.

10. Maan Lo-Zohaib Kazi, Zara Madni and Naad e Ali. Rating:4.5/5

Thanks to the review writing here, I came across this song after ages and I can’t believe that I have forgotten about it. Yes – that’s true, it has been more than 10 years since “Maan Lo” was released. Back then, no one was interested in knowing how big Zohaib Kazi would be, how recognisable Zara Madni’s voice would become and how that little kid in Nayyara Noor’s “Wattan ki Mitti” would look like when he grows up. Yes, Naad e Ali is Nayyara Noor’s son and Jaffer Zaidi’s brother – can you see the resemblance in looks and singing style? The voices blend in so beautifully well – like…. like fries and ketchup! The song has no complex structure, the overall atmosphere is absolutely sweet and everything seems like a beautiful garden in spring where the butterflies are spreading more colors – just for you! Have you heard FourFiveSeconds by Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West? Paul is Zohaib, Rihanna is Zara and Naad e Ali is Kanye! Simple as that!

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 (2019)