The fifth episode of this year’s Coke Studio aired on Sunday night, marking an end to weeks of feverish discussion on which artiste was the best – and who ruined the show.
Five artistes featured on the finale – Tina Sani, Abida Parveen, Rizwan and Muazzam, Amanat Ali and Sanam Marvi – while the rest of this year’s performers were represented through short interviews on their experience during this season.
While the acts on the finale were stellar, particularly Rizwan and Muazzam who performed a jazzy, electrifying version of “Jaana Jogi De Naal” and Sanam Marvi, who sang “Manzil-e-Sufi”, the disaster of the episode was Amanat Ali.
Ali, who also performed a cover of Khaled’s “Aisha” and a duet with Marvi during this season, decided to sing a cover of the very popular patriotic song, “Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano”, which was originally sung by Madam Noor Jehan. The emotionless, flat cover was meant to be ‘fitting for the times’ but ended up souring one’s experience. It is hard to tell at this point whether Amanat Ali’s version was as bad as EP’s “Bolo Bolo”, but nonetheless, they were both travesties.
After three years and most of Pakistan’s top bands and singers performing on the show, is it time for the show to renew its concept? Introducing elements such as a ‘vote in’ option could help make it more fun, and it may be time to rethink the idea of relying on artistes from previous seasons, given that Noori or Zeb and Haniya couldn’t come closer to new finds such as Marvi or Meesha Shafi.
This show’s season has also drawn in some high profile fans, including Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who tweeted last week: “Coke Studio is the greatest ambassador of moderate Pakistan. I watch it in my free time especially ‘Jugni’ (by) Arif Lohar and Meesha. Great music.”
What Tribune readers say
“Coke Studio got songs wrong which don’t suit the artists that were put in. They should ask the artists to pick the songs they want to do for Coke Studio and Coke Studio should allow people to pick the artists in season four. It looked like someone in Coke Studio picked songs which were no good deliberately.”
“I think this season made more waves than the other two seasons. I wouldn’t label Noori/Karavan/Zeb Hania as failures but I agree I wasn’t expecting Aunty Disco Project to do ‘Sultanat’, it’s a good song but not their best and certainly didn’t suit the Coke Studio mood.”
“Coke Studio 3 has not only raised the bar but its biggest success this season is roping in icons like Abida Parveen and Tina Sani. Their performances have been groundbreaking. Abida Parveen with her energetic style and Tina Sani with her soulful voice have enchanted many a heart.”
Mohammad Umar Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2010.