KARACHI: Shuja Haider is known for coming up with some kickass bass lines. He played the bass on Ahmed Jehanzeb’s Aapki Yaad and elevated a semi-classical song to a groovy ballad. Despite heart-touching melodies being his claim to fame, Haider surprises us every now and then with the grooves he creates; leaving behind a track like Khaaki Banda for musicians to look up to.
His PSL anthem is a far cry from the above mentioned wonderful pieces but has the bass kicking in like Imran Nazir replacing Wajahatullah Wasti on the striker’s end. I mean you can’t do much with Fawad Khan’s flat vocals like you can’t do much with Wasti’s strike rate, but you can still throw in a nice groove to make it look like the game is on. Few deliveries later, Nazir ends up giving his wicket to the fielder at short leg while slogging his way off from a few minutes of glory.
Needless to say, this song could have been sung by anyone… but Fawad had the star power of the sun. He is trying to make himself relevant to the music scene again and PSL’s stage seems like a perfect platform to make the most out of his presence, if not prowess.
The peppy, upbeat, dance number gives enough room for Khan to make his presence felt on screen and flaunt the charisma that the 8’oclock audience has been deprived of for a while. He is not an athletic dancer, so the lazy moves don’t fit too well with a cricket anthem for the shortest and most exciting format of the game. Having said that, there couldn’t have been a better replacement for Ali Zafar.
Zafar’s PSL anthem was as filmy as everything about his career; tongue and cheek lyrics that are high on drama, Eastern-influenced arrangement and a composition that suited a heavy melodious voice. Initially, his anthem seemed as annoying as his second album’s title song Masti but later on, everyone got used to the IPL-inspired trumpet notes as the song got played again and again on national TV. Shuja’s anthem is clearly a welcome change, not only because we got tired of Zafar’s but because he has tried a few new things.
The song catches up on Pakistan’s narrow but noticeable tilt towards electronic music. Guitar isn’t dead but is being taken on a break to see what happens. This has made room for the likes of Young Desi to sync into the system and shine. Who else would come up with a line like:
Pa dawaan hal chal
Kar na tu gar bar
Gaind zara phenk ni
Mae shot aiwen mara
Jivain sahib-e-haiseeat, Ninja turtle
Whether the Sahib-e-haisseta Ninja Turtle (Accomplished Ninja Turtle) bit was a random piece of rhyming or an ode to Pakistan cricket’s lazy giant Inzi, it served the purpose of adding idiom to the groove. All in all the song is much more than a possible Wasti-Nazir partnership; it’s like the Hasan Ali victory celebration. It’s fast, full of energy and entertaining, but sometimes a bit unnecessary.
Watch it here:
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