Coke Studio returned this week after postponing its third episode in solidarity with Tezgam train tragedy victims with three tracks by Umair Jaswal, Banur’s Band and Atif Aslam and Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad with Humnawa.
Here’s what we thought:
Chal Raha Hoon
Written during Umair’s university years, ‘Chal Raha Hoon’ revisits the hearteach of a loss experienced years ago.
The song flows between grief and hope, speaking of the darkness that follows the end of a relationship — and the eventual light.
Umair Jaswal’s powerful vocals, often overbearing in previous seasons, were rendered well at a slower tempo here. The ballad marks a turn towards more personal lyrics for Jaswal.
The legendary qawwali ensemble of Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad returns this season with a trio of couplets and two taranas about the legacy of music in the Sufi tradition, presenting music as humankind’s divine inheritance and its significance to the Chishti order in seeking connection with the divine.
The track has three distinct parts in two languages that fit well together and is a quintessential Rohail Hayatt production with well-executed complex layers and smooth transitions. It is easily the star of the episode and the season so far.
It also fits the mood of the Eid-i-Miladun Nabi this weekend.
‘Mubarik Mubarik’ is a wedding song, a collaboration between Banur’s Band from Balochistan, singing in the Kechi dialect, and Atif Aslam, who adds Punjabi lyrics. The features poetry and free-flowing vocals praising the bride and groom on their special day.
Overall, a safe song, but Atif Aslam’s part could’ve been spared.