Well we’ve missed each other in May this year, but as they say that sometimes you need to go away so people can miss you. Without any delays, here are June reviews for Pakistani music. Ready, steady, go.
1. Bewafa-Jarar. Rating: 4/5
It has been quite a while since I came across a good Urdu song – and then I got a welcome back with this Jarar song which has made me get in a whirlpool of awesomeness! Yes, I was missing those power chords so much!!! Jarar is a Pakistani American artist who I believe has the ability to be a heartthrob if he is given a chance on bigger platforms like Coke Studio. In the song “Bewafa”, his vocals will remind you of Haroon and Zoheb Hassan, and that is obviously a good thing. It was also performed with Gumby and Russell D’Souza on the Ufone Uth platform in 2012, but I’d prefer the original version, which may take you back to the mid 90s Euro Dance vs. Power Pop. A touch of Pet Shop Boys there as well, with those synthesizers on the focus. It’s a great song! Even the first chorus line gives a very strengthening factor to the whole scenario of the situation! B-R-A-V-O!
P.S. The audio version is different than the official video version.
2. Chal Para-Strings. Rating:5/5
I think I really won’t be able to give less than full points to a Strings production – Bilal and Faisal just know how to make a perfect song, they really do know where to pull the right strings wink. And how fortunate, not one single boring song from the whole “Strings 30” project. I mean, till now, it’s like that CD in your car which doesn’t need a lot of song-changing since all are good enough to be heard for a pleasant ride. The good thing about “Chal Para” is it’s simple structure with it’s Verse-Bridge-Chorus x 2 + Middle 8 + Bridge-Chorus formula. Musically, it’s like a typical pop-rock song with a power ballad approach, AND who doesn’t like it? Lyrically, there is nothing extra ordinary… I mean even the video is nothing too special. I must admit that it’s may not be as memorable as “Sajni” or “Urh Jaon” from “Strings 30”, but you won’t mind listening to it again and again.
3. Aitebar- Faiza Mujahid. Rating: 1/5
(Image courtesy: Faiza Mujahid Soundcloud)
No, this is not a cover of Vital Signs’ “Aitebar” – The name is absolutely misleading (so don’t ‘aitebar’, OK?). It’s basically the title track of an Aaj TV Drama called “Aitebar”. No matter how big a fan I am of Faiza Muhajid, I just don’t like this song. In fact, I just don’t like Drama OSTs, because they all sound exactly the same – sad, boring, big worded and add a bit more of that sadness, thanks. AND this song fits exactly to this description. Ms. Mujahid’s voice sounds perfect for this song, I must admit (unfortunately), but her vocals get an enhanced shine and amplification with some distorted guitars AKA Rock. Let me check…. Yep, “Aitebar” a Waqar Ali composition, I should’ve known. Him and Shani Arshad, you just can easily tell that they are behind these OSTs. But oh well, people like it – they are the composers so naturally they know the music market better than anyone of us, right?
4. Ariyo Uriyo- Arham (feat. Salar Shamas). Rating: 2.5/5
Are Arham and Salar Shamas friends with Zohaib Kazi? If not, then I guess they should think about meeting up for coffee someday. The song is actually cool. Really. I mean, sure, the points I gave may not support it that way, but it’s really pretty…. Cool! So, firstly: the use of this word “Uran Khatola” is definitely a win, and the way this… “Kafiyat” is described is applause-able. With a touch of mysticism, they made this song turn into something that it’s not. Both Arham and Salar Shamas are doing a tremendous job in fusing Eastern droplets into Electronic music – which may not get the commercial light since this genre has it’s own fan base, and they probably are very happy with that. ALSO: I woke up singing this song, so beware, it’s secretly catchy!
5. Kis Morr Pe- Irawati Mulmule. Rating:2.5/5
The moment this song started, I thought that it was somewhat inspired by a song from Nazia-Zoheb’s “Young Tarang” album. But then, the song took it’s pace and Irawati started to shine with her beautiful vocals and started giving a flavor of Bollywood Playback. The song continues to a likeable melody which makes you picture dramatic-scenes in your mind, hmmm… Maybe a bit of some car ride in the rain? Basically a Dubai based singer trained in Classical Indian music, Irawati sang “Kis Morr Pe” on the show called “Music Garage” last year, and I wonder if she got a chance to win a lot of hearts – did she?
6. Jab Tum Saath Ho-Mazin Malik.Rating: 2/5
OK, so the thing is: Mazin has everything BUT his accent and voice are just like finding a hair in a delicious meal. “Jub Tum Saath Ho” has a very underground rock sound – crude and yet good enough, and a strong messaged video to accompany the song in such a way that it… It doesn’t make sense. Literally! The lyrics and video don’t go together. Sorry! Coming to the other details of “Jab Tum Saath Ho” – Mazin has contributed by writing the song, and I’d applause on that. He’s great with the guitars, so another reason to give him a thumbs up for his talent. But there is something missing in “Jab Tum Saath Ho”, which is making it have a very short term effect on one’s musical brain – and that’s slightly sad.
7. Saath Hoon-Sibte Hassan. Rating:0.5/5
OK, this song is nothing but a bit of beat and un-required vocals. It sounds like a remix of some Kumar Sanu song which is not only monotonous, but also annoying. Sure, at times it may remind you of “Where do you go” by No Mercy, but we don’t want more songs like that, please! Even the lyrics are not impressive enough. Sibte Hassan’s vocals are fine, but a melody like “Saath Hoon” is just not the right representation of his talent. I mean, it seems like it was looped on a simple keyboard, because the computer went for repair – yes, what I mean to say is that the production is also not up to the mark. No, really, I refuse to believe this song was made in 2018! C’mon! If it was a demo, then I would’ve been lenient, but even demos now a days sound better! Sibte Hassan, try to make things a little acoustic, your voice will, I believe, sound better in that genre. I’m waiting…
8. Jo Chahho- Zoe Viccaji. Rating: 4/5
When you start to lose hope that Pakistani Pop/Rock is dead – there comes a song by Zoe Viccaji to remind you that there is plenty of good music out there to experience and praise. Sure, “Jo Chahho” is a song from 2012, but it still sounds fresh and refreshing. Written by Shahi Hasan… Oh you know him, that green eyed boy from Vital Signs? Remember? The song was made for “Warid”, but can’t tell much since there are no “connecting” references, or how fast one is there for another thanks to the phone connection – It’s just a song, with motivation, with strength and with imagination! The stings sound absolutely professional and mature, unlike those from a synthesizer (Thank God!) AND the cherry top is the “ooohhh” and THEN the song gets those drums and e-guitars to make things more serious and possible – Yes guys, that’s the language of music, it makes the meaning flow in those notes! Brilliant!
9. Sochna Phir Mughay-Adel Farooq & Atif Ali. Rating: 4.5/5
Adel Farooq & Atif Ali both are Dubai based singers with a vocal range which makes you wish to hear them more frequently. I just first heard the audio of “Sochna Phir Mughay” and I thought that only one person was singing it – But then, I got to see that there are two contributors, and even then I couldn’t distinguish their voices. How at times certain voices blend in so perfectly is astonishing. The song is lyrically strong and musically it supports the emotion it emits – the ups and downs are exactly where they should be, in fact, it feels like we have finally found the bench-mark Desi Power Ballad. Initially I found the Violin a bit un-required, but later it crept inside like melted chocolate in a molten lava, bringing that feeling of unease and desire at the same time. And let’s listen to this song again, shall we?
10. Ikvsi Sadi-Birayni Brothers. Rating: 4/5
Biryani Brothers are probably the coolest female bro-duo in Pakistani Music. Founders of “Lahore Meet Music”, they have been Biryani-ing with music in the most hilarious and impressive ways. “Ikvsi Sadi” is a nice little intro to how Indie would sound in Urdu, period. A bit of music style would remind you of Coldplay, so it has THE potential to make its way in your heart! DING The lyrics are certainly deep enough to make you scratch your head (Aaa… What? scratch scratch – I mean… Wow!), but only when you’re listening to this song without the video – Yes, THE video! The video is a little flashback to how PTV used to be in the 80s and it-is-BRILLAINT! Their ideas, their wit – it just explained the whole concept which Zahra Paracha and Natasha Noorani are working on. I’m a fan! Bring more!
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)