Coke studio has come full circle with a decade of great music produced by some of the best artists in Pakistan.
The latest season released the national anthem a week ago, and while the star studded artists gave their best, the goosebumps and soul of the taraana was missing.
With CS Season 10's launch last night, did they manage to save the day with the four tracks released yesterday? Here’s what I thought of it:
Shafqat Amanat Ali and Ahmed Jehanzeb opened the day with the name of Allah, and the two indeed played really well! The composition of 'Allahu Akbar' is beautiful, and the qawwali is measured yet powerful. The song really lived up to the expectations that we have come to have of Coke Studio's Sufi style music.
Definitely looking forward to more music by Ahmed Jehanzeb, few artists in Pakistan have the right classical music training and depth in their tones like he has. Shafqat, on the other hand, makes even the most difficult of renditions look effortless in his signature style.
Melodious to the core
The hauntingly beautiful ballad by Hina Nasrullah, 'Chaa Rahi Kaali Ghata', was mesmerising to say the very least. While Hina was amazing, Amanat Ali's voice was heavily accented, which took away from the song's authenticity.
I don’t know if this was intended or not, but regardless, his part of the song didn’t match Hina's classic inflection and depth.
Is love in the air?
Despite being highly anticipated, Momina Mustehsan and Danyal Zafar's duet 'Muntazir' was the most lacklustre song of the first episode.
The young singers weren't able to navigate the song's high notes competently, and I personally felt the balance on this track was off -- the music drowned out the vocals and what we were left with was a song that sounded noisy rather than melodious. The only thing to write about in this song was the chemistry between Zafar and Mustehsan, the occasional glances and smiles were cute.
The song in itself perhaps could have been done better, because it was trademark Strings with nostalgia written all over it. Maybe I was expecting too much of the young duo, but oh well.
Ali Sethi wins the day
The highlight of the day was an Ahmed Faraz classic ‘Ranjish he Sahi,’ with Ali Sethi paying a tribute to Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan.
Sethi did not disappoint, displaying his vocal range with finesse and ease while keeping the essence of the lyrics intact. The house band deserve a shoutout for this number especially, as they kept the performance simple yet provided the balance needed to for Sethi’s vocals take centre-stage.
Over the years, the fandom that surrounded Pakistani music has definitely diminished. It’s only once or twice a year that we get to listen to and talk about our music, mostly because of gigs like Coke Studio. This season promises more tributes to the legends and musical icons that Pakistan has seen, so fingers crossed for more performances even better than the ones unveiled in the first episode.