By Fareeha Qayoom
C oke Studio season 4, episode 1 aired this Sunday at 6:00 PM featuring Bilal Khan, Mizraab & Manan, Akhtar Channal Zahri and Komal Rizvi, Jal and Sanam Marvi.
First of all, not all channels started at 6:00 PM. We had to channel surf quite a lot. In the end we picked Aaj TV to watch the show. Unfortunately there were loads of commercials and news updates in between the songs. This was excruciating. So we decided to channel hop again after song number three. We ended up at TV One; this was even more painful…they stretched the program to after 8:00 PM! Anyway, Here’s my take on episode one:
To Kia Hua by Bilal Khan – excellent, Kuch Hai by Mizraab (& Manan) – the vocals and lyrics needed more work by Mizraab’s lead singer, however, Manan did a good job with his end of the song. I liked the Middle Eastern instrumental beat that was used at the start, middle and end of the song in between Mizraab’s vocals. It was like two songs had been forcibly fused together with no unifying theme to tie them together.
Dannah Pah Dannah by Akhtar Channal Zahiri and Komal Rizvi – again, it was like two distinctly different songs had been forcibly fused together without creating a bridge between them (It can be done successfully though, remember George Michael’s cover that fused Seal’s Killer with Papa was a rolling stone? Know what I mean?) Anyway, teaming a maestro with an amateur never works either – Komal was the weak link in this song even though she tried her best; her voice and range didn’t suit this type of a song…I wish they had got Zahiri to team up with a strong singer, because this could have been a show stopper of this episode. Oh well…
Ik Aarzoo by Jal – well, they also started well…however, fusing Mast Qalandar and another sufi verse with their own composition didn’t really work. If they had stuck to their own song till the end, we might have got somewhere. Sighra Aaween Saanwal Yaar by Sanam Marvi was excellent and predictable so no surprises there…
Overall two out of five is not bad for episode one. I think Rohail Hayat and Co. is trying too hard though. Sometimes simple is best. Instead of trying to fuse east with west in virtually every song or pop and rock with Sufi and folk, they can also experiment with vocal range, different and contrasting instruments and compositions – know what I mean? It’s probably why I liked Bilal Khan’s To Kia Hua the best with Sighra Aaween Saanwal Yaar by Sanam Marvi a close second – both were simple and effortless.
Let’s see what further goodies they have in store for us…Here’s looking at you kid!
July 26, 2011, Tuesday, Coke Studio – season 4 playlist
verall, it was a great season. Rohail Hyatt and Co did some excellent work. There were some great collaborations and team work. For example, Ni Oothaan Waale, To Kia Hua, and Nindya Re – these songs can be played anywhere, anytime to all kinds of audiences and age groups, (loved the lyrics, the vocals, the instruments, the musical score and arrangement).
I can especially identify with Oanthaan Waale’s underlying theme – timing is indeed everything in life. To Kia Hua – again, I can connect with “So what, so you lost out? Big deal…” and Nindya Re – song of the insomniacs everywhere – especially, the little ones who refuse to go to sleep when you want them to! Yeah…universally appealing and expressing very human emotions….I even liked Pyaar Naal. The only beef I had with it was the Mandolin. When you are talking about hate being equal to love and indifference being the real killer, the Mandolin was kind of a jarring note in the middle of it all… it sort of gave a different vibe to the song which would have been appropriate in a light, romantic love song, not this seriously deep and dark expression here…I also liked the piece of poetry recited by Esakhelvi at the end…Waqt Milla to sochain gay – (Translation: will think about it in my spare time!) That’s why it still makes my playlist and there are eleven songs instead of ten here…anyway, enjoy! ;D
If you disagree with my song choices, you are welcome to post your own. No hard feelings…
Ni Oothaan Waale
To Kia Hua
Senraan Ra Baairya
By the way, here’s the MP3 version of the top songs from Episode one and Two…
To Kia Hua by Bilal Khan — Episode one
Ni Oontaan Waale by Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi — Episode Two