Coke Studio Season 5 : My Favorites

Charkha Naulakha : Atif. The prime reason why I was looking forward to this season. And this, being the best start. Though it took a few listens for me to let this grow on me, but after that it got me totally hooked. Atif and his trademark ‘long range’ croons matched by rather aggressive singing of Qayas, this track blew me when it graduates from lowest to highest peak of sound and comes to the line “mera yeh charkha naulakha” at 5:11.

Larsha Pekhawar Ta : I still don’t understand a single word from the song. And yes, I haven’t read the translation on the official site. But still, the addictive tune has made it my favorite since I heard it first time. Use of ‘that middle eastern instrument’ throughout the track makes it more interesting. Favorite part - when Hamayoon Khan repeats the words ‘tooor....tooor’, ‘saar …..saaar’

Khabaram Raseeda : This one, is purely, a divine track. The thehrav in prelude and how it picks up with the main loop, a wonderful transition. Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad adds their own touch with conversation like singing with minimal score. The jugalbandi of the two is insane. And the history behind the song !? One more reason to love this fantastic track sprawled over 16 minutes. And Khusro’s poetry *bows*.

Larho Mujhey : Childlike, naive attitude of the song is a highlight here. No heavy poetry, just plain simple words that makes you feel that the song belongs to you. Bilal Khan’s happy-go-lucky singing mandatory makes you sing along with him, or even, after the track is over. And the works - the sound that changes its stand from 3:08 and goes into dreamy mode. Fabulous tweak.

Pere Pavandi Saan : The sitar, the aalap and the kick start at 1:12, and the track captures you. Tahir Mithu’s voice doesn’t let you go away without spelling his magic. Again, the history behind the song and the way they have treated it (a song with sorrow, composed as such a different, energetic tune) this one, is the best of this season for me. Not to forget, the impeccable support by Viccaji. ‘Lalo’ Lateef’s poetry ends as gorgeously as it started, from 5:54 to to 6:59, Tahir Mithu #ftw.

Nindiya Ke Paar : Uzair Jaswal’s track from Episode 3 went unnoticed by me initially only to be rediscovered after the season got over. And now it is one my my most favorites. Highlight of the track is - how it transcends into Tere Bin nahi lagda (at 2:23). An altered version of Nusrat saab’s epic song is a perfect tribute.

Kandyaari Dhol Geet : To be frank, I disliked this one when I first heard it. The chorus sound seemed a bit annoying. But after a few days, gave it a try and now, it gets stuck in my head every now and then. Chakwal group’s perfect ‘joint’ effort transcends brilliantly into addictive hip-hop of Bohemia. (after 3:52).

Rung : This track is quite an experiment in this season, featuring twice in back to back episodes, with different tunes. Episode 3 had Hadiqa singing this one with her arresting voice (with highlight being 4:16 to 5:24) . The one from episode 4 became my instant favorite. Again a Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad jugalbandi, the track starts leisurely only to pick up its loop from 3:40. This 14 minutes long track is another gem from the duo.

Koi Labda : The way it starts softly by SYMT , picks up pace (0:47), changes its flavor with Sanam Marvi’s lines (3:10) and the way it concludes (4:46) with both singers, and not to forget Viccaji sisters - this lovely track has many layers, many reasons to love.

Seher : Farhan Rais Khan and his Sitar. This track is an instrumental treat. Starting with minimal-only Sitar, it zooms into fusion at 2:03. Backing vocals by Viccaji (as fantastic as always) the experience is eargasmic.

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