1. Jaag-Jarar. Rating:4/5
Why is Jarar not famous? His voice is nice, his music is highly energizing, his lyrics are pop enough AND he has the face of a typical heartthrob – in short, a complete package. He has been given chances on platforms like Ufone Uth and Pepsi Smash Session which have unfortunately not been hyped enough to make him catch the limelight. “Jaag” was performed under the production of Farhad Hamayum on Pepsi Smash Session 3 and that version is an absolute 0.5/5 for me, no seriously, it felt like a Basit Subhani song! Anyway, then I came across the original rock version which just blew my mind! Such a brilliant song, such a horrible remix interpretation!!! I felt like being hit by a truck! When this song started, I was highly reminded of U2’s “Vertigo” and then as it paced up, it felt like a non-Husky Pakistani Bryan Adams just stole the stage. The middle-8 suddenly gets a little acoustic and then started to rock back with its original theme…. Oh my, Jarar just made a perfect song and no one knows about it. Such a shame!
2. Uth Oye-Faiza Mujahid. Rating: 3.5/5
I wish this song was a bit more guitar oriented, because overall it is beautifully composed! And I also believe that there is no one but Faiza Mujahid who could’ve done justice to it. To appreciate this song even more, please check out its video – Yes indeed, it is about women empowerment and how they are able to achieve anything even in the worst of scenarios. Some familiar philanthropists are there to make you feel a bit more proud, so be ready! Musically, “Uth Oye” gives a very commercially advertised feeling (which is technically valid), but Faiza’s vocals are immensely filled with strengthening emotions that would really make you want to do something good for this planet. I won’t call this a flaw, but if there was a little more energy between the bridge and the chorus, it would’ve been a more interesting experience. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the Strings’ “Duur” album, you’re gonna love “Uth Oye” even more. Try it!
3. Soniye-Asim Azhar. Rating: 3/5
So “Soniye” was sung by a 19 year old Asim Azhar in 2015, and it is a typical song which the teenagers would appreciate listening – loud and cheesy! Honestly, I’m not a big fan of mixing English verses in an Urdu song, but well, that is Azhar’s style, and I’ve accepted that. I mean, it’s not just English, he just mixes all the languages he knows (which includes Punjabi) in almost every song he makes. “Soniye” also has a nicely directed video – which ummm…. Let’s call it a VERY pop song video! But one can tell that Asim “feels” himself handsome in it! Haha! It’s definitely music chart material, but since in Pakistan, we don’t have any, so it just stays a little under the shadow – otherwise it would’ve stayed on #1 for 2-3 weeks. Guaranteed!
4. Behka Re (OST – Jawani Phir Nai Ani 2)- Shiraz Uppal Rating: 2/5
You know, every film has that song that no one really cares about – “Behka re” is THAT song from “Jawani Phir Nai Aani 2” – forgettable, un-catchy and something you’d listen at the “credits” if you don’t get out of the cinema when the movie ends. Although there is nothing missing in this song, in fact Shiraz Uppal sounds great, the lyrics are pretty fine, the ups and downs are very well defined, there is a bit accordion + acoustic guitar solo to make things a bit Spanish-folky and some high hits like those found in Michael Jackson’s works – and no, it doesn’t even feel over done, but it just doesn’t have that “it” factor to it. Everything is there, and yet something is definitely not there. What’s that? No idea!
5. Sarkon pe Sanata- Shiza Naseem. Rating:4/5
I can’t find a perfect word than “adorable” to describe “Sarkon pe Sanata”. I mean, Shiza’s voice has this innocence which just makes you smile for no reason. The song is soft and mellow, with the organ and acoustic guitar in the focus; the Chorus blends in smoothly with the melody making it silently catchy and the middle-8 is… You guessed it right: adorable! And once you check out its video, the adorable factor simply doubles – 3 girls bunking from their hostel at night just to roam around the city in Pajamas (a necessary adventure) and coming back at sunrise. One more thing: don’t take Shiza too easy OK? She is a person who many dream to be: An educated professional who sings because it’s something she loves to do! She was first introduced 5 years back on the platform “Pakistan Superstar” and well, if Coke Studio gives her an “Arfin Arfin”, she has the potential to be Pakistan’s next crush! wink.
6. Main Nayi Rahon Pe-Sara Haider. Rating:3.5/5
Sara Haider gets to sing such good songs, don’t you think so? This was the song was the official soundtrack for Miss Veet 2017 and I guess this was a perfect song to represent that show. “Main Nayi Rahon Pe” gives a very empowering feel just from the title – and the rest of the song is even more positive when it comes to knowing that YES, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about setting a high aim and trusting your abilities to achieve it – because “women can do”! I can’t seem to find who composed this song – it has a simple organic melody, the “hey hey hey” part gives an Ali Noor feel (are you there?), the lightness of the melody gives a feel of a beautiful sunny day and of course Sara Haider’s flawless vocals make it become a perfect pop song. Someone once said that you cannot take out the “back vocalist” in Haider’s voice – I disagree – please, the woman gives notes and not raags. Also, she reminds me of Rihanna, and I believe I’m not the only one!
7. Bewafa–Tahir Naeem Rating:2/5
One can tell Tahir Naeem grew up listening to Vital Signs and gets his major inspiration from Shoaib Mansoor – The music, the melody, it’s all there. He has also experimented his voice to reach the correct Raags at the right time and particularly when the Chorus hits, you realize that Tahir may also be fond of Ghazals. The song has a video – shows a guy who works in a big company (in Qatar), but due to the Bewafai (probably), he can’t really concentrate on anything. Although, the song is perfectly organic and composed in a very balanced way and yet – I somehow found it to be a little un-interesting. No, nothing is missing, but it lacks an attracting force to keep you busy with its melody. Also: It will sound nice as a Drama OST. Producers, are you reading this?
8. Saudagar–Zoe Viccaji and Sohail Haider Rating:3.5/5
Do you want a soothing little song? Yes? Then “Saudagar” is a nice little choice in such moods. It is a Drama OST for “Ghamand” and one can sort of figure it out even with a slightly un-typical melody. If this was a song in a language which I didn’t understand, then I would’ve considered it to be a Love song full of hope for a broken heart. I’m overall a “music over lyrics” person, so I would like to listen to it in a happy mood anyway. Sohail Haider composed “Saudagar”, sung some parts and ultimately giving it a nice little finishing touch for those who want answers in it’s lyrical representation. All in all, Zoe sounds absolutely perfect like she always does – giving this song a soul and emotions in the most graceful of ways, while Sohail made sure that his vocal range touches your heart. One more thing, the piano in this song also makes it sound cute. Yes! Exactly!
9. Sansein Meri-Zoheb Hassan.Rating:1/5
I really like Zoheb Hassan, but somehow his album “Signature” is just not interesting enough. “Sansein Meri” is a cheesy song which neither has nice lyrics, nor a nice melody. Musically, it’s complete and sealed – but it sounds a little too boyband-material from the early 2000s and it… Just doesn’t sound so nice anymore. There are parts which Mr. Hassan sings in English – which doesn’t sound annoying because his accent is a bit too good! “Sansein Meri” is accompanied by a video, which is also…. Not the best of videos I’ve seen. I imagined this song in an acoustic environment, and it still doesn’t sound good in my head. I’m soooooo…. Sorry!
10. Mil Gaya-Strings. Rating:4.5/5
I still remember the first time I heard this song and not being completely impressed. Me and my friend kept waiting for Faisal to sing and the next thing we know, the song is finished – and that is the only reason why I ended up cutting 0.5 points from the perfection of this song. “Mil Gaya” is a song which might’ve sounded better with Faisal on the leads and Bilal doing the middle-8. Although, I like the way Bilal twists his voice to an Eastern note in certain verses – yes please! And it took me back a little to how Oasis used to be in the mid-90s. One more little fault in “Mil Gaya” is that the vocals just disappear in this cluster of loud music (and that is why this was supposed to be Faisal’s game). The musical ups and downs are also missing – But well, overall the song is pleasant enough to be heard without changing the radio channel. And then it’s Strings, so, no matter what – they’re Perfect!
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)