Bol’s music: A surprising disappointment

Published: June 1, 2011
Shoaib Mansoor’s latest venture fails to impress.

Shoaib Mansoor’s latest venture fails to impress.


Many of us can vividly remember the release of Khuda Ka Liye’s promo. Just the chorus of “Bandeya” sent people rushing to music stores to get their own copies. Soon after, the quirky rock rendition of Bhulle Shah’s poetry was blaring from car woofers. And right after its release in India, the track’s remix version became a rage in clubs.

Now four years later, Shoaib Mansoor has finally released his latest venture Bol. But much to the disappointment of hordes of eager fans, not even a single song of the movie lives up to Mansoor’s own benchmark for quality music.

Much more was expected from the music producer, who worked with the legendary Vital Signs and gave Pakistani film music a new identity by fusing together Pakistani pop, classical and rock music in his first film.

Featuring great pop icons like Sajjad Ali, Hadiqa Kiani, Atif Aslam, Ahmed Jahanzeb, Shuja Haider and Shabnam Majeed, Bol is certainly not worth the hype associated with these big names.

The film’s music sounds unoriginal and boring. In fact, people unfamiliar with Sajjad Ali and Ahmed Jehanzaib, might confuse it for Bollywood music. Despite the fact that Atif Aslam is the playback singer for two of the songs, the album fails to really impress listeners.

The first track “Hona Tha Pyar” was leaked on YouTube, months before the release of the album. But it sounds like just another duet from Bollywood. Perhaps the only difference is that instead of Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor prancing about in the song’s video, one gets to watch a performance by Atif Aslam and Hadiqa Kiani. The melody is catchy but quite forgettable; just run of the mill stuff.

“Din Pareshan Hai”, is a song which was originally composed and sung by the legendary Sajjad Ali for his own album. Someone who has heard the original song will definitely not like this rearranged version, which is more upbeat compared to its mellow and soothing predecessor. But those who have not listened to the original version will consider it a treat, simply because of the evergreen magic of Ali’s voice.

“Di Janiya” is certainly Mansoor’s bizarre attempt to create an upbeat hip hop number in which Hadiqa and Khiza have collaborated. Again, this one too sounds like any remixed song from Bollywood, even though the Punabi lyrics lend it a more original sound. Though Hadiqa does a phenomenal job on the vocals, the weird rap melody ruins the song.

“Kaho” is yet another duet by Hadiqa and Atif. The drum beat in the beginning give the song a rock feel. The track certainly sounds grand when the two vocalists sing in unison. This number has the potential of becoming a memorable track.

“Sayyaan Bolain” is a typical classical dance number, featuring Iman Ali dancing to the beat of the tablas in the video. Shabnam Majeed and Bina Jawad have done a marvelous job with the vocals. The song reminds one of Rekha performing gracefully on famous classical hits in Umrao Jaan. Yet it doesn’t offer anything new even though vocals and poetry are powerful.

“Mumkin Hai” is another pop number by Shuja Haider and Ahmed Jehanzaib. The two previously impressed us with their song “Hamare Hain” but unfortunately this attempt can merely be categorised as an average pop song.

Comparing to what the Pakistani music scene is currently offering, Bol’s music is simply banal. It also suffers in terms of production. In fact one wonders why Mansoor didn’t collaborate with great music producers like Meekal Hassan and Rohail Hayyat. It is very unfortunate that the music of the second biggest film of recent times sounds like that of an average Indian film.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Positive Pakistani (from Karachi)
    Jun 1, 2011 - 10:13PM

    That is why the trick of being out-of-the-scene all the time…and to make-the-audience-wait-too-long can create a mess……that is….you end up creatining lotsss of hype and expectation..which is a complete gamble…:)

    Anyways..i still am looking forward to listen the music myself….Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmad
    Jun 1, 2011 - 10:18PM

    He probably wanted to defy the usual formula of associating a film’s success with good music used in subcontinent :pRecommend

  • Sajid
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:10PM

    i don’t think so its disappointing.. all of the songs are cool.. you picked only one song from khuda ke liye and compared with whole album.
    Songs are cool, and well sung.. its mix of different tracks, classical like sayyan, foot tapping like hona tha pyar , rap with dil janiya and soft melodies like mumkin hai and dil pareshan hai..
    i like…Recommend

  • Adnan khalid
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:14PM

    Dont beleave dis Music is Awesome just love it <3Recommend

  • A.Khan
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:16PM

    Well I liked it. You just have to have a broader taste of music.Recommend

  • fantome
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:26PM

    Well, i disagree with the author. I heard the music and i think its phenomenol. I’m sure Shoaib mansoor lives upto the expectations. Recommend

  • aiesha
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:30PM

    Well, comparing every song to bollywood songs when they are not even similar in any way just proves that you watch those things a lot..

    P.S. Shoaib Mansoor never claimed you will be stunned by the music , you dont need to be impressed. just watch the movie. lets see if he gets the message across which is exactly the purpose of making this movie..Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:58PM

    people unfamiliar with Sajjad Ali

    Sadly, they might be living under a rock. I think there should be second review of this one. The writer might not have the taste of this kind of music.Recommend

  • AN
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Come on! Hona tha pyaar is a great song. It’s quite melodious and no it is not easily forgettable. Besides i really like din pareshan hai and Sayyaan Bolain. Don’t know what you were looking for but overall the songs were upto the expectations.Recommend

  • Muhammad Mudassar
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:24AM

    I think music is very good. . . Shoaib mansoor done a briliant job again.Recommend

  • Kashif Iqbal
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:37AM

    The author is making no sense here. The music of Bol is awesome and worth listening again and again. I dont know what made this author to write such pathetic review in this so called article. Masses are loving this newly released album and we are looking forward for film release. Hats off to Shoaib Mansoor for quality work.Recommend

  • Ahmed Baksh
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:01AM

    Come on
    The music is good nuff
    They havent marketed it the right way
    Hona tha pyar was the best song but it was leaked way before which ruined the whole reaction to itRecommend

  • gujjer
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:13AM

    Not up to the mark at all.Where is the real shoman?I listned to the songs thrice,cant recall evev in of them.Waited so muxh for this one :(Recommend

  • Aayan
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:30AM

    @Rafay Mahmood (The Writer) well I must say that your music taste is really bad…Though I agree that songs aren’t as catchy as Bandeya Ho of KKL but still they are very good and the most important thing is that they all are matching with the film content.I really loved the melodies of Din Pareshan Hai, Dil Janiya and Mumkin, others are just average… I liked the rapping in Dil Janiya, it was something really creative.. Apart from that I guess Din Pareshan Hai is something that can be matched with the Bandeya Ho of KKL till some extent and I think overall the music is awesome… But still I would say, the song named Kaho is really disappointing for me… I was expecting something big when singers like Hadiqa and Atif are involved in it…Recommend

  • Sirah
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:25AM

    The reviewer expects Shoaib Mansoor to follow a formula by creating a soundtrack that is similar to Khuda Ke Liye, this is an unrealistic expectation. Songs from Bol stand out because they are refreshingly different and meaningful…I found Hona Tha Pyaar & Din Pareshan to be really catchy and Sayyaan Bolain soulful.Recommend

  • Sania
    Jun 2, 2011 - 3:43AM

    OH, so THIS is controversy-generating-giving-hype post. Chalo in the end its good for Pakistani music.Recommend

  • Komal
    Jun 2, 2011 - 4:43AM

    I also disagree with the writer. I’ve only heard 2 songs so far and they are amazing espically Hona Tha Pyaar.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2011 - 6:14AM

    it is nt as tht as r making.most of their songs are quite catchy… Remember shoaib mansoor is working to try and build a talent-frndly society…cum on try to promote ur own effortsRecommend

  • ahem
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:40AM

    Guys get a life,I know the article is very harsh but aint wrong either.Be honest everyone,is it worth his name?NopeRecommend

  • Murtaza
    Jun 2, 2011 - 12:34PM

    Well, i would say, there are compromises and some of the tracks are not matched with the excellent work, he has done in the past. Yet the music is very diversified. Atleast we should give him some appreciation for exceptional work he is doing in this messy film industry. I also think the author of this article is either unfamiliar with local film industry (the songs which have been produced so far) or is more inclined towards Bollywood (see their success ratio as well) :)Recommend

  • savera akhter
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:18PM

    wat formula is the writer talking abt….just because you dont like the music tht doesnt mean the music is bad..cover both sides of story..tsk tsk …good reporting:)
    i even disagreee with the writer..dude trying to develop some broader aesthetic sense for music……Recommend

  • sarfraz
    Jun 2, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Gentleman. I feel a passion of disagreement in your comments just bcoz this film and music being launched under the banner of another media group. otherwise your own words are so soft that they prove the quality of music being presented. You found nothing logical but a bit of phrasing beauty to distract common man from enjoying real Pakistani talent.Recommend

  • savera akhter
    Jun 2, 2011 - 4:28PM

    i so agree with you Mr sarfraz….Recommend

  • Aneela
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:45AM

    I LOVE the songs from the movie, gona by da CD in a couple of days :)Recommend

  • Jun 8, 2011 - 12:36AM

    I been a DJ in NYC for 16 years now and everytime i play tracks from BOL i get nothing but a positive feedback. 80% of the indian audiance don’t know about Bol or pakistani music and i cannot tell you how many times ppl have come to me and asked me who or what title/artist/musician is. It’s quiet transparent that this guy is clueless when it comes to music. I bet he hasn’t even listened to the entire soundtrack and just rambled on negitive comments because the truth is that negitivity sells. based on audiance reaction BOL is a hit. This guys is just angry because he was never good enough to make music so he has to put other downRecommend

  • Hira Zulfiqar Ali
    Jun 22, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Crap! every song takes my heart and soul with it.Recommend

  • siddiqui
    Jun 22, 2011 - 4:24PM

    “In fact, people unfamiliar with Sajjad Ali and Ahmed Jehanzaib, might confuse it for Bollywood music.”

    WTH? Are you reviewing it for Martians? You are the worst music reviewer. To top it you are pretty unstable. Cos later you say

    “But those who have not listened to the original version will consider it a treat, simply because of the evergreen magic of Ali’s voice.”

    Get a new job…Recommend

  • sumi
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:06PM

    all songs are just amazing….Atif rockssss

  • Kash
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:54PM

    why Mansoor didn’t collaborate with great music producers like Meekal Hassan and Rohail Hayyat.

    I don’t think they are great music producers. They are just fine.

    I also agree with Mr Sarfraz.Recommend

  • Adi
    Jun 25, 2011 - 12:24PM

    I am a radio presenter in karachi and i agree with DJ Ladla that every song i played from Bol i got a good reaction…which says that people like the music, what else do you ask for?Recommend

  • zainab
    Jul 3, 2011 - 1:51AM

    please don’t get articles written from college drop outs. hire some Mass Comm grads and this bol bashing is not reflecting very well on express’ as everyone knows its only coz its a geo venture. Plus if u gotta pay some elitist wannabe to trash bol why does it have to be the same kid everytime???Recommend

  • Nazia
    Jul 4, 2011 - 2:13PM

    I strongly Disagree!!

    haven’t watch the movie so cannot comment, but the music is good, hadiqa, sajjad ali, and atif aslam .. the top line singers of pakistan !! come out form the indian movie songs, we also did wel ! Recommend

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