Tuesday, December 16, 2008

~*~Mesmerizing Music~*~

India and Pakistan, the two countries which are still at odds over Kashmir and terrorism but the music knows no border. Despite all the odds, Indians always looked past the unhappy tirade between the countries and have overwhelmingly accepted Pakistani music. Pakistan is blessed with talent and this talent firstly crossed the forbidden Pakistan-India border in form of Nazia Hasan to sing Aap Jaisa Koi which later on became a youth anthem both side of borders and opened the door for Pakistani singers in India.

This followed by album Disco Diwane in 1984 (by Nazia, Zohaib and Biddu), Gore Rung Ka Zamana (by Vital Signs), Hawa Hawa (by Hassan Jahangir-this was my fav during 90’s), Mehndi ki Raat (by Vital Signs), Ankhain Milane Wale (Nazia Hasan), Purani Jeans and Chaand Sa Mukhda (by Ali Haider), Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar (by Strings), Sayonee (by Junoon) and presently by bands as Jal, Dhaani and Fuzön along with Rahat Fateh Ali khan.

Band Fuzön created a stir in the music arena by there first album Saagar (Specially by their song Akhiyaan, Tere Bina and Khamaaj) but later on the Band split and their main vocalist Shafqat Amanat Ali khan (son of the legendary Pakistani singer Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and their family is also known as Patiala Gharana which is known for its concentration on obscure taan and sargams. After singing in the movies like Kal Ho Na Ho (Mitwaa), Dor (Ye Hosala), Hello (Caravaan), Ramchand Pakistani (Phir wohi Raste) and now he is back with his first solo album Tabeer which is based on Sufi and Folk works.
Here is my take of the album…

Khairheyan De Naal: is the first song of the album with borrowed chorus line from Tufail Niazi’s famous folk song of the same name. This song is about never wanting to leave ones home or desh.
Naam Aaye Naa Bhej Mujhe
Mein Nahi Jaana Pardes
Jis Raanjhe Sang Saans Judi
Woh Ranjha Hai Is Des Re
Mein Nahi Jaana Khairyehan De Naal

The best thing about this mellow song is its unhurried smooth natures which will keep you indulge in emotions. Besides his initial Alaps, use of delicate guitar beats and undulating drums and dhols adds further charm to the song but what does the magic is his classical voice and fortunately this song gave him a platform to show his strong classical based singing.

Naina: oh still floating in emotions, now listen this…

Din me na soye bairi
raaton jaage
Jab se ye pagal naina
tere sang laage
Din me na soye bairi
raaton ko jaage.. Sajna
Piya jag rahi meri akhiyaan
karun yaad me teri batiyaan
karun yaad me teri batiyaan
na bhaye mujhe ab sakhiyaan…

This is a song that achieves his full splendor in a gradual way. And this shows Shafqat talent as a lyricist also. Songs talks about the one who is in love, the emotions, the romance, singing (soft tone alaps ), music (use of dhol and ghughroo and a typical tune between the lines) everything is just superb. Gonna love it for sure.

Dum Ali Ali Dum: This is the song that ruled our hearts for years and here is the Shafqat’s version for us. If you are not going to compare it with legendry Abida Parveen’s and late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s version it is a gem in itself where Shafqat’s classical rustic voice does the magic which he sings it on the softer tones. Incessant techno beats and pleasant-sounding support for the chores helps in arranging a a typical dance number for weddings.

Rang Le: Next track is Rang le, a popular devotional qawalli by Ameer Khusro. This song is a fabulous fusion magnum opus where Shafqat radiantly added Jazz and western tune to this devotional sound track. The gloomy, lingering and evocative melody of the song with soothing lyrics and impressive music arrangement gives this song an edge.

"Humari chunariya, piya ki pagariya, Wo to dono basanti rang de
Tu to sahib mera, Mehboob-e-Elahi, Mohe apne hi rang main rang le."

Bulleh Shah: This song is a Raag Bhairavi based sufiana kalam of Baba Bulleh Shah with a dark haunting but delicate tune. Use of traditional table and flute (by Sajid Ali) was amazing and on top of that is Safaqat rendition. A superb composition.
“Aao saiyo ral deyo vadhaai
Main var paaya raanjha maahi.
Ajj taan roz mubaarak chaddeya
Raanjha saade vedde vaddeya.
Hath khundi, modde kambal dhareya,
Chaakaan vaali shakal banayi.
Aao saiyo ral deyo ni vadhai”
(Come, my friends, congratulate me.I have found my beloved Ranjha.
This day has arrived, this auspicious day,Ranjha has entered our courtyard.Staff in hand, a blanket on his shoulder,In the guise of a menial.)

Pagalpan: This track is taken from Sindhi folk song based on Raag Kaafi and was originally sung by Abida Parveen. This song quite different from the other songs in the album because of extensive use of electronic instruments but due to all this arrangements somewhere Shafqat’s voice got lost and this songs became a mundane one. But still the fusion was amazing although it has a contrasting effect with the rustic tune and his voice.
“Sehra, parbat, basti aur ban
Tujhe dhoond hi lunga main ek din
Rahe mera salamt pagalpan”

Rohi: Next track Rohi (which means desert) is based on Raag Kafi and was sung originally by late Zahida Parveen (a famous punjabi folk singer and mother of Shahida Parveen). This song shows a very appealing merger of its conventional origin and contemporary music giving it a calming feel and Shafqat’s pleasant rendition was simply amazing. Listen it when you are all alone, you will feel its power…

“Rohi ke peer fareed ki, bas chaah hai ek deed ki
mujhe aas hai us eid ki, jo milaye bichhda hua sajan
ho jindadi...jindadi bujhi o yaar sajan”

Kartar: Next track is a Raag Darbari-based Kartar which combines heavy metallic tune with a thespian high-pitched orchestra along with Shafqat’s superb vocals on high pitches. This is the song that Shafqat’s father Ustad Amanat Ali Khan used to sing. This song starts with a raunchy guitar vibration followed by a skilled Alaap and then comes the energetic classical singing by Shafqat. Truly amazing piece of fusion…

Manqabat (Ya Ali): Ya ali is a sufi devotional song where Shafqat had shown the brilliance of her singing. Use of lengthy haunting Alaaps and western music instruments along with sarangi gave song the effect which is required to show the strength of omnipotent. Amazing composition..

My Take: From traditional uniqueness to phenomenon, Shafqat has made his mark through out his journey and earned distinction as a vocalist but not as a composer or musician and this album gave him the platform to show is worth. Though there are some drawbacks too, as in the arrangement of some of the tracks (especially with Pagalpan, which became too synthesized leading to the vocals getting disconnected from the melody.) But overall the album is simply superb especially when Shafqat takes music to an entirely diverse level by splendid elucidation of melody and the mesmerizing orchestral arrangement. A superb album…..


  1. first time here... good work...man

  2. Gr8 work...shud say lotsa profundity associated with it...