Welcome guys to another “Awesome” edition of Pakistani music reviews, a place where you get to discover what’s happening in Pakistan’s music scene. Without any more waiting, here we go.
1. Jhoom- Umair Jaswal & Zoe Viccaji. Rating: 4/5
Cornetto Pop-Rock is one underrated platform which no one cares about. They make wonderful songs, they advertise them well, and yet they don’t end up getting the attention they deserve. What-a-pity! Cornetto Pop-Rock really means “Pop-Rock” and that is probably the genre everyone ends up liking. Although “Jhoom” is a pure pop song, but it has that relaxing feel which annoys no one. Collaborating Umair Jaswal and Zoe Viccaji – That’s pure class! Viccaji’s soulful singing blended well with Jaswal’s rock approach – and no, Jaswal didn’t scream once in the whole song! Over all, the music, the song structure, the video, everything reminded me of the mid-90s, hence – VERY likable! wink
2. Paas Ao Na-Talbees. Rating: 5/5
Image source: Talbees (Facebook page)
After listening to bands like Talbees, you shake your head and end up feeling bad that most of Pakistan only listens to Pakistani music in the form on Coke Studio. Four guys living in Perth (Australia), making perfectly arranged songs and way ahead of being called “underground” – yet, they hardly have 2000+ likes on their Facebook page. It’s a pity! Talha’s vocals are worth a praise, no super raags there, just some notes from the heart which end up touching the heart. Their overall music style tells that they grew up listening to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, somewhere in the mid-90s and early 2000s (I may be wrong). “Paas Ao Na” is pure goosebumps material! Alternate and very descriptive of the feelings – the desire, the desperation, the hope – It has everything! On repeat!
3. Aaj Sun ke Tumhara Naam-Aamir Zaki & Maha Ali Kazmi. Rating: 3/5
Aamir Zaki is gone, and gone without the recognition he deserved. If there was no “Mera Pyar”, maybe his name would’ve been even less celebrated than it barely is today! No one remembers his contributions to the Pakistan pop, no one remembers his projects with various big names in the industry – just a guitar guy! Was he? – Really? I’m so sorry Mr. Zaki, but even when you were alive, you really were the best “guitar guy” Pakistan has ever witnessed! The Eric Clapton we had, but probably didn’t deserve! “Aaj Sun ke Tumhara Naam” is a great song – very Metallica-ish, with a touch of Evanescence with Kazmi’s vocals. The song needs to be remastered, to make it more “louder” in my opinion. It still may not get appreciated, but… Why not? Besides, the parts where you can’t hear any vocals and only music, you may confuse it with some song from the 80s. Try it!
4. Khalish-Wajhi Farooki, Swati Sharma, Raeth Tarun. Rating: 2/5
OST for Geo’s Drama called “Khalish”, a typically likable song – big worded and situational. Like everyone in the western music scene is inspired by Adele’s singing style, here in the east everyone is following the footsteps of Atif Aslam. And that’s OK! The song has a very Jal-like composition – BUT (yes, there is always a “but”) – Do you know who Wajhi Farooqi is? Remember a song called “Bhula do” by the band “Raeth” in the mid 2000s? Now see the title of the song again – It says “Raeth Tarun”, now try to connect the dots yourself. Raeth is slightly junior to Jal, and that was the music fashion back then, and the style remains later too and can be heard in “Khalish”. Hence: Category # 2 of Pakistani hits: Drama OSTs.
5. Panchi- Mirage feat. Alycia Dias. Rating: 3.5/5
Checking out the video of this song on YouTube, I realized the first and the last scene of the video is exactly the same. All I know is if “Panchi” was an OST of a Bollywood movie, it may have been more known to us. It has the touch of being the movie number which comes when the hero and the heroine are about to fall in love after their friendly experiences together. And while listening to the vocals of Rehan, one can tell he likes U2 (do you Rehan?). Putting Alycia Dias in the song was a beautiful decision as she added the color to make it sound more complete. The tabla/keyboard combo in the pre-chorus sounds very relaxing and well… Thumbs up!
6. Hum Tum-Yasir Jaswal. Rating: 4.5/5
Image source: Yasir Jaswal (Facebook page)
Crude and yet so complete! In fact, just remaster this song, it perfect the way it is! The melody is so sweet, that… you just want to hug it real tight! And as the name shows: Yes, Yasir Jaswal is Uzair and Umair Jaswal’s brother. And I personally think he still has the best singing skills in his brothers. The song is beautifully composed – the organic melody, the reminiscing, the love, the hidden passion, the desire and then comes the sting selection to make everything more clear, descriptive and sad! And the middle-8 is simply a killer, gradually ending the song with reality! Oh-my-God! I’d simply use one word to describe “Hum Tum” and that’s “Beautiful”!
7. Jab Tu Mila-Mazin Malik. Rating: 3/5
“Jab tu Mila” – Music and Lyrics: Very nice! BUT….. But Mazin needs to do something about his accent. I’m not sure if he just sings in this accent only or if he also talks the same way! It’s like fresh pizza but there is a mosquito lying on it – that mosquito is his accent. Hmmm… Reminds me of Bilal Khan and his way of saying “Tuuuu….”. He can play music well, he can compose real well, he’s quite handsome – but his singing skill needs to be polished, and since he knows the notes, it won’t really take him much time. The song has a cute video too – very positive! And did I mention the song is very organic? Yes, that’s always a plus in the time of über-Electronic music!
8. Tabeer-Nabeel Shaukat Ali. Rating: 3.5/5
Image source: Nabeel Shaukat Ali (Facebook page)
I don’t know much about Naveed Naushad except that he has composed some Drama OSTs, and he did a pretty good job. “Tabeer” is one of his compositions for a Hum TV drama with the same title, which gives a very A. R. Rehman sort of a feel. Such songs make me curious about all the talent behind them musical instruments. Songs should be released with these details – If Coke Studio can do it, everyone can! Partially in Urdu, partially in Punjabi – and then comes Nabeel Shaukat Ali’s absolutely heart touching vocals, making each word coming out from him like he feels every bit of it, and makes you want to feel how it feels. Beautifully composed, beautifully delivered!
9. Aise Tum Jiyo -Samie Tariq. Rating: 3/5
A very average song if you don’t listen to the lyrics; If you listen to the lyrics and watch it’s video along, you’re going to give a thumbs up to it! Of course, the video is directed by none other than the highly talented Usman Mukhtar! Somehow it seems like Samie Tariq is telling his own story in this song. He’s an Engineer, but he’s more of an artist! Is it this way, Samie? It’s about following your dreams – In fact, follow someone else’s dream and still manage do what you want to do anyway? Hmmm… As frustrating it may get, but that’s how it is. Try to be an inspiration. Nice video, nice lyrics. ♫Ji lo, aise tum jiyo; Peechay jab dekho; Koi gham na ho (Live, live this way; That when you look back; You have no regrets)♫
10. Tanhai-Shiza Naseem. Rating: 4/5
“Tanhai” starts, and you instantly know that it’s going to leave a nice impression. It has a very Strings-like composition, esp the bass line…. Yes, there, exactly! Shiza Naseem is a young talent who was introduced 4 years ago through a platform called “Pakistan Superstar” when she sang Evanescence’s “My Immortal”. Her voice has an innocence which would make you smile for no reason, even if the song is heart breaking. “Tanhai” has every likable factor: A simple melody, a fine set of lyrics, a very straight forward composition and a nicely directed video! I wish music was released more on CDs even today, I would’ve loved to buy her album! I’m waiting Shiza, I’m waiting!
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)