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Rambling on: Album Review

Monday, August 09, 2004

Album Review

somehow I feel strange in posting review of an album knowing that the listenership of this sort of music is a much younger lot– in any case since I listen to just about everything that’s playing on the radio, here goes the review of ‘jal pari’ by ‘atif’ (previously known as jal-the band)

Track 1 ‘addat’. This track was released on Indus Music about six months ago and then there was news of the band’s acrimonious breakup. So the lead singer ‘atif’ has released this track on this solo album. A powerful starting track backed by solid vocals, probably the best to appear on the pop scene in Pakistan in a long time, a powerful rock ballad. It is a brave attempt because of its soul searching lyrics “yadain gehree hain intee dil doob jayay” and the realization of a life impacted by matters of the heart, “vaqt o aadat hay mujhay aisay jeenay main”. At the expense of sounding cliché, this can very well be the signature track for ‘atif’. Score (4.7/5.0)

Track 2 ‘ehsaas’, swinging rock track exploring the meaning life, of truth, of love, lyrics seem a bit weak but even a mediocre attempt by ‘atif’ is better than average Pakistani pop song. Score (4.30/5.00)

Track 3 ‘zindagi’, jamming start, nice rock n roll feel to it, then come the strong vocals, a multi-layered track, as you peel off each layer there is something creative that you notice in the song, intelligent guitar etc, no discordant line in the entire song, the placement of the song so early in the album is what bothered me. Score (3.8/5.00)

Trach 4 ‘yaqeen’, guitar intro reminiscent of REM’s “every body hurts”, the lyrics have the same effect, this is how a sold rock ballad is constructed, the vocals hum you a sweet lullaby

It takes painstaking hard work to create work like this; I do not know what challenges this guy has faced so early in life to have created this solid track - he has come straight out of school of hard knocks. The alaap beats all singers on the pop scene, except maybe the hugely talented najam shiraz. Now that I think about it this song is a bit like najam’s ‘aaoo vahaan chalain’; so all in all solid positive song. Score (4.7/5.00)

Track 5 ‘ankoo say’, Again I am reminded of a christmas song by “The Pretenders” but this is the beauty of the intro, it reminds you of something old but it is still fresh because of its content, this track has lovely lilt of the guitar, a love song with the alaap giving it a haunting touch of a memorable rock ballad. Score (4.8/5.0)

Track 6 ‘addat – deep blue version’: This is track 1 done in “deep blue” style - I am not certain what this is supposed to be except if they just meant it to be more bluesy which it does not even a little bit, maybe a more acoustic and live feel to it. While track one is a rock ballad, this one emerges from its slow intro to a sweet medley

It is good to note such experimentation going on, it will lead lead to more creative output, with an alaap like this, there would be no dearth of ideas as to how to tell a story. Score 4.2/5.0

Track 7 ‘mahi vay’ - really sweet intro but there is a little bit of a noori sound that follows, this I am going to ignore as I do not want to think about Noori at all, especially when there is a debut release that I am reviewing. This track is well thought-out and a common feature in all the songs is a decent well planned uplifting finale. score (4.0/5.0)

Track 8 ‘jal pari’ the title track, smooth serene intro, you have to have experienced real love to compose a song like this, middle section extremely solid, with a solid concept you can never go wrong with a song because the inherent talent will shine through at the end, the alaap guitar interplay rounding off at the end. score (4.8/5.0)

Track 9 ‘bheegee ratain’ quite appropriate for the kind of weather we have had, this is the track my family greatly enjoyed, my lord, how sweet is the sound of rain in this, very danceable track, truly enjoyable, this track features extremely solid vocals, finally some heavy guitar – sample of lyrics follows

saagar kee in lehroon say gehra hay mera pyar,
sehraoon kee havaaoeen main kaisay ayay gee bahaar,
score (5.0/5.0)

Track 10 ‘tehzeeb’, has a filmy touch, can’t blame the guy - he is from Lahore after all. Score (3.0/5.0)

Track 11, headbanging intro, may cater to the teenage market, left me unmoved 2.0/5.0

Over all score – 4.1/5.0, that would be a very good score, recommended listening especially for a debut effort.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought of doing music reveiws for any local pulication/e-zine?

12:47 PM  
Blogger Deevaan said...

hi anonymous, how do you go about doing that? any links you know? this review i did simply because i was pleasantly surprised by the album but if you feel that i can contact some publication, would love to find out more if you can help.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Danial said...

I was in hospital and feeling really bored, it was raining out there and I had no one to talk even the window in my room was far from my reach. I was listening to some FM station on my cell phone and the VJ played the song "bheegi raatein" I loved this song very much, the same day the same artist Atif was on another FM station and his voice is more sexy when he is not singing :)

2:28 AM  
Blogger Deevaan said...

dear danial, hope you are feeling better, "his voice is more sexy when he is not singing", thats pretty deep, seems like you are refering to the album cover which carries atif's picture :) get well soon

12:21 PM  
Blogger Jalal said...

My current Pakistani favourite band is Fuzon. Khamaj. Good.

11:43 PM  
Blogger sidrah said...

Devaan jee, have you checked out www.bandbaja.org? it's supposed to be one of the most popular e-zines nowadays. Suurf around, they prolly have a submit work link somewhere! But please do give it a try - you is good =)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devaan jee, have you checked out www.bandbaja.org? it's supposed to be one of the most popular e-zines nowadays. Suurf around, they prolly have a submit work link somewhere! But please do give it a try - you is good =)

1:36 PM  
Blogger sidrah said...

leh, darn posting-as option, there goes my cover =( being anonymous is so much more fun-er thoo.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Deevaan said...

hi sidrah, thanks for your advice. i am in touch with bandbaja, they are doing an awesome job. regarding your posting as anonymous, i always think that one needs to post the comment under their real name. posting as anonymous really does sound rude sometimes, but that is just my personal opinion. thanks for dropping by and your comments have encouraged me to do more reviews in the future. regards naveed

3:14 PM  
Blogger sidrah said...

=)

12:42 PM  
Blogger (w)alter ego said...

Found it! You do seem to have something against people from Lahore:)(today's blog - 'dazed and confused').I am about to take offense but you know, you are right! Won't comment on the music at all - tried it again yesterday but can't listen to it with a straight face. Anyway,chin up - I can't believe I am seriously worrying about you today.

4:18 PM  
Blogger ashoo said...

My Sister told me about this boy 'atif' n his hit songs, just downloaded couple of them, they r good no doubt. guy has a potential for sure. your reviews r really good. i agree mostly. AND YES 'Lahorian's' rocks! they r the best :) atleast u can't expect a lahori to say otherwise ;)

10:20 AM  

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