Coke Studio Season Seven on Saturday released four songs from its sixth episode on its social media accounts and website after taking a break in respect of the month of Muharram.
Produced by Strings, in the sixth episode, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan made a comeback after he was last seen the first ever season of Coke Studio, as did Zoe Viccaji who was last seen in season six.
Legendary Abida Parveen and soulful Rahat Fateh Ali Khan combined to produce the melodious Chaap Tilak. The chorus including Nadeem, Abbas Ali, Shahrukh Ali and Ehsan Ali, added to the buoyancy of the lovely track. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan added his signature vocal style to this timeless classic and did it justice through the alaap which added more energy to the song. The soothing harmonies in the chorus blend perfectly with the rhythm section as the drums and tabla complement each other throughout. Abida Parveen's voice adds to the expressiveness of Khusro's words, giving the song a moving feel overall.
Descent To The Ocean Floor
Usman Riaz did it again as he showed mastery over the keyboard in Descent To The Ocean Floor with Sara Haider and Rachel Viccaji as guest musicians. Usman Riaz's prodigal skill mixed with the orchestral sound from the string section gave the song a feeling of a western classical film score. The song was originally on Usman Riaz's first album and seems to be the most well produced song on this episode. The string section stole the show during this song, as the strong strokes of the cellos and violins boost Usman Riaz's keys with a beautiful and captivating sound. It almost leaves one wanting for more as the song ends on an abrupt note.
With powerful vocals, Javed Bashir gave a resonating performance with Yaad. With Tanveer Tafu and Arsalan Ali as guest musicians, the chorus comprising of Asif Ali, Amir Ali, Zahid Ali, Shafqat Ali, Amanat Ali and Junaid Ali added to the reverberation in the song. In the past Javed Bashir's vocal prowess was introduced to the mainstream music through his time with Mekaal Hasan Band. With this song he reminds us again that he is one of the few in our industry who gives a flawless performance in local classical music. The mandolin solo and the harmonium give the song that perfect traditional sound reminiscent of folk music Pakistani listeners are partial to.
Episode six concludes with a tribute to the legendary pop sensation, Nazia Hassan as her brother Zoheb Hassan sings the duet, Jaana with Zoe Viccaji. With Amir Zaki and Mubashir Admani as guest musicians, Jaana is a nostalgic reminder of the celebrated Nazia Hassan and having Zoe Vicajji on this song is the perfect choice. Zoheb Hassan has redeemed himself with this song after 'Dheeray' which was lacking in certain aspects. From what we have seen on Coke Studio so far, having Amir Zaki on lead proves lucky for the songs as the guitar maestro has made every song he contributed to suprerior. The soothing melody leaves us with bittersweet nostalgia for the unforgettable Nazia Hassan and is the perfect conclusion of this episode.
Fans reacted on Twitter as episode six went live: