Barring the bungled 'Sayonee', Coke Studio Episode 2 didn't offend with Ali Zafar's tribute to film composer Master Inayat Hussain, Jaan-e-Baharaan; Ali Hamza, Ali Sethi and Waqas Ehsin's super-fun 'Tinak Dhin'; and Jaffer Zaidi and Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch's lilting ballad 'Faasle'.
Here's what we thought of the tracks.
Jaan-e-Bahaaraan by Ali Zafar
Shuja Haider gives a Spanish twist to film composer Inayat Hussain's 'Jaan-e-Bahaaraan' for Azra (1962) (and Ehtesham Ansari obliged with a Zorro/flamenco-inspired look for Ali Zafar.) Ali Z had Salim Raza's big shoes to fill and managed adequately enough. What makes the song a pleasure on multiple listens is the creative liberties Shuja has taken with the track, like the violin flourishes, some classical guitar and the inclusion of the rubab. But of course, purists may not be completely satisfied.
Faasle by Jaffer Zaidi and Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch
With simple, unpretentious lyrics and composition, Jaffer Zaidi's and Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch's ballad will speak to the brokenhearted of love, loss and bitter goodbyes (we've all been there, right?).
But one can't help but say: don't we have enough of these tracks? Fans of Jaffer Zaidi wait to see him branch out from his sentimental signature and surprise us with something new.
Still, there are oodles of fans of his style, so should we really be complaining?
Sayonee by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Noor and Salman Ahmed
If it was a cover at a concert, RFAK and Ali Noor's version of 'Sayonee' could have been forgiven. But Ali Noor and Rahat — both vocal powerhouses in their own right — failed to undo memories of the original vocalist Ali Azmat, and at Coke Studio, we've come to expect iconic tracks to be reinvented such that both the original and the redo are cherished by different camps of listeners. We're not sure how many will have this 'Sayonee' on their playlist.
Tinak Dhin by Ali Sethi, Ali Hamza and Waqar Ehsin
The other Noori brother fared much better with this fun, uplifting folksy number. Ali Hamza pairs up with Ali Sethi and Waqar Ehsin for this track about life's ups and downs. For what it's worth, it's the episode's most danceable number and we won't be surprised if we see some version of it appear on a film soundtrack soon.