The verdict seems to be out on Coke Studio, and it isn’t flattering. Tazeen wrote a post, and I agree with it. I heard that Episode 2 was going to be stunning. It wasn’t.

My favourite would be Noori feat. Zeb & Haniya in Tan Dolay. As Tazeen mentions, Noori must be banned from using words like Dolay, Jal Rahay, Chal Rahay. Taliban dudes,we could really do with some help here. Please? The lyrics are embarrassing. The only reason I like it is because I insulate myself from lyrics. Remember where I mentioned Kaavish and plugged the song Tere Pyaar Mein? I didn’t realize until a month after listening that the song was about separation. That’s how good (or bad) I am at overlooking lyrics.

What works in the song: Zeb and the music. Zeb pwns the rest of the singers. She is clearly the best-trained among younger vocalists. Last season, there was the brilliant Javed Bashir who collaborated with Zeb & Haniya. Someone like him is needed to match Zeb.

Here is Tan Dolay:

As for the rest:

Aisha: Amaanat Ali of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa fame gets his Coke Studio debut. I’ll be honest: this worked better than most other songs in yesterday’s episode, but that doesn’t say much. Given what I’ve seen of Amaanat, this was the equivalent of Sachin Tendulkar scoring 20 runs, or Tiger Woods being monogamous for the rest of his life.

Bolo Bolo by Entity Paradigm: WTF.

Moomal Rano: This was no Aik Alif. It came across as an honest performance, but to me, it was one-dimensional.

which brings me to:

Naina De Akhay sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s nephews Rizwan and Muazzam. The qawwali brings back memories of Nusrat saab, thanks to Rizwan’s singing style. But I’m talking pure visual style.

The only thought that kept coming back while I was listening to Naina De Akhay was: Why on earth isn’t Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan alive!

I hope I find a version by him. I know this song can be taken to greater heights.

****

Season 3 doesn’t look very good. The only thing that could make it worse is Ali Azmat being invited to perform, and delivering a religious sermon instead.

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