So far I had forgotten that an Indian version of Coke Studio existed — until a friend asked me today if I had seen any of the recent episodes. I caught up with the videos and an hour later, I didn’t find one track that was tasteful. Sample these and let me know if I’m being too critical:

Shaan – Jab Say Teray Naina

KK – Tu Aashiqui Hai

KK – Khiltay Hain Gul Yahaan

Shankar Mahadevan – Allah Hi Reham

Benny Dayal – Kanchi Ray

Shaan – Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho

Sabri Brothers – Humein Toh Loot Liya

The list goes on.

[The only exception was Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd by little known singer Ramya Iyer. And this is not caste politics. Yes, she belongs to my caste but I’ll have to consult seniors in my community about her attire before we can confirm her acceptance.]

These are the problems I noticed: Arrangement that doesn’t do justice to almost anyone, vocalists’ volume, voice texture of backup vocalists, similar and repetitive harmonies of backup vocalists, excessive use of cymbals by the drummer, faster than comfortable tempo, textbook interpretation of reggae/rock/jazz/other genres, and plenty more. In a nutshell, all tracks had the Leslie Lewis mark and he is not the greatest of musicians.

I now think that it can’t be all that bad and perhaps I am so overly biased against Coke Studio MTV that I ought to stay away from it — which I will.

***

It took me another hour of listening to the original Coke Studio and some added respect for Rohail Hyatt before I could continue with my routine.

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