Music Review – Coke Studio Season 4 Episode 1

You can download the songs from the official site here.

Season 4 kicks off with a song by Bilal Khan, To Kia Hua which is captivating for its simplicity. While there is nothing mindblowing about Bilal’s skills like say a Javed Bashir or a Shafqat Amanat, they are just right for this song while he conveys impeccably the hope and the longing, supported by a wonderful selection of instruments and the ladies in the chorus timed to the right moments. Perfect start to the season really, simple and elegant. Things take a sharp turn in Kuch Hai that follows. Composed by Faraz Anwar and sung by Mizraab with qawwali singer Mannan, the song scores majorly on individual acts of brilliance, like the soaring alaaps by Mannan, the harmonic vocals by the backing vocalists Zoe and Rachel, and the outstanding acoustic guitar sequence by Anwar in the second interlude. But at the end of it all the song comes out as an incongruous assemblage of such acts, not really making for an entertaining listen in its entirety.

The folk track Daanah Pah Daanah is the kind that will bring a smile to your face even as you don’t understand a word of it (written in a language native to Balochistan, if the mention of the province in the lyrics is any indicator). Very lilting tune set to an equally charming background, and with Akhtar Channal Zahri (who is also lyricist and composer of the song) virtually living the song with his improvs et al and well-supported by Komal Rizvi, the song is a total winner. In a not-so-seamless transition though, the song switches midway to the legendary folk track Laal Meri Path. Komal tries her best to emulate the greats who have covered the song in the past, but there are places she falters. Decent cover nevertheless, though I would have preferred them to stop with Daanah.. itself. And I most certainly did not like the pop twist given at the end. In Ik Aarzu Jal presents a medley of three of their songs, the title one, Tere Ishq Nachaya and Dum Must Kalandar in that order. And to me the progression represented a negative sloped line. Ik Aarzu is an original comp for the show and is beautiful, once again helped by the acoustic guitar factor. Teri Aarzu and Dum Must Kalandar I have not been a great fan of, so though they have been nicely spruced up in the studio version, they didn’t impress me as the initial song did. The episode ends with a song I was really looking forward to, coming from one of the stars of last season, Sanam Marvi. Sighra Aaween Saanwai Yaar(composed in raag Hindolam/Malkauns) is Sanam’s first entry in hardcore classical territory on CS, having sung two folk songs last time. And starting from the spectacular alaap Marvi nails the song. She had shown glimpses of her classical grasp in her folks songs, but Sighra.. is an unleashing of all her classical prowess, and with a powerful voice to bring that out in, the result is 10.5 minutes of awesomeness.

Like the closing episode of the last season, a not-so-perfect episode by the regular Coke Studio standards. Nevertheless the good ones should be enough to keep you occupied for some time. You can watch the videos below.

Music Aloud Rating — 7.5/10

Top Recos — To Kia Hua, Sighra Aaween, Daanah Pah Daanah