Pages-from-FinalPaar Chanaa De by Arif Lohar and Saleema Jawaad: An ingenious reworking of the popular folk song. It’s pulse is the comforting lilt of the earthen ghharha. First-time recording artiste Saleema Jawaad’s vocals are like a wonderful cawing — think of a younger, more soulful Ila Arun — and give this song its emotional undertow. Arif Lohar is surprisingly tender; and the flute at the end is absolutely devastating. The crowning glory of ZB’s soundtrack.

Rating: 5 stars

Pataa Yaar Da by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: Composer Sahir Ali Bagga has called this an experimental qawwali. It is certainly unusual in its choice of beat-cycle, which gives it an interesting, lopsided feel. Otherwise it’s laden with curvy tabla, a wailing harmonium and lush, creamy vocals — all of which makes it a standard Rahat Fateh Ali Khan number. Hummable and unremarkable.

Rating: 3 .5 stars

Paani da Bulbula by Abrar ul Haq: Playful, capricious, fun-poking, happily facetious. The endless-ridiculous rhyming (“Peeli batti wala paan, Coca Cola te Shezan, Rab tera nigehbaan”) give it the feel of a children’s limerick. Charming, clever and winsome, with Abrar at his wonky best.

Rating: 4 stars

Saari Saari Raat by Sahir Ali Bagga and Farah Anwar: This earnestly tragic song is the least interesting on the score. Sahir Ali Bagga’s vocals are muffled by their own emotional strivings; Farah Anwar’s are too high, and make her sound like a cartoon character.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Kurri Yes Ai by Amanat Ali and Iqra Ali: Confident, triumphant, sexy. Amanat Ali’s nasal croaking is edgy and lustful, though they make him sound suspiciously like Bollywood singer Mika Singh. The female vocalist, Iqra Ali, gives as good as she gets, and with twice as much attitude. The dhol and trumpet combination works wonders. Destined to blare from the woofers of fast cars everywhere.

Rating: 4 stars

Dekhein Gay by Jaabar Abbas: Nobody can believe that the voice on this track belongs to Jaabar Abbas from Geo TV’s ‘Hum Sab Ummeed Se Hein‘, and not to Bollywood crooner Sukhwinder Singh. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure; all I can say is I was waiting for Abbas to trip — to let in a quiver of distinctiveness — but he remained freakishly faithful to Sukhwinder until the end. Otherwise: this is a satirical song, written by novelist Mohammad Hanif, who evidently does dialogue with Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s nazm of the same name, though in a decidedly less polished register. A grittier ‘Chhaiyya Chhaiyya‘, if you will.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Taariyaan by Sahir Ali Bagga: With clean beats and a jumpy, festive vibe, this is the perfect club anthem, seamlessly combining the warmth of Punjabi revelry with the anonymous carnality of a discotheque. Simple and additive, this song will keep you dancing through the night.

Rating: 4 stars


Good Times


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