Cricket anthems — hitting an all-time low

The quality of music was highly disappointing this World T20.

Rafay Mahmood March 31, 2014
Faakhir’s shot from his song Dhulaee

KARACHI: Pakistani cricket and music are similar in many ways. They are the two primary forms of entertainment in our country and there is also a common notion of unpredictability associated with our team and musicians. The team’s lack of consistency can be witnessed in the ongoing World T20, whereas, in terms of music, the YouTube sensations have given us no less of a surprise with their back to back concerts, while the seasoned artists are found taking the backseat and making jingles.

Saleem Javed is obviously an exception here; he has ‘ruled’ the music industry for about three decades and now performs four different versions of Bibi-Shireene and Jugni to lift up a dead evening.

However, when both forms of entertainment that have been heavily supported by fizzy drinks (another similarity) are combined, the result has usually been extraordinary.  Where Kasey Carlone’s, Who Rules The World became a special anthem for us after the 1992 World Cup victory, Junoon’s Jazba Junoon pumped us up before the 1996 World Cup and continues to do so whenever it’s played before a major ICC event. We might have forgotten (or want to forget) the 1996 World Cup, but Jazba Junoon is going to have an everlasting patriotic sensation etched to it; it continues in the form of highlight packages and post-victory celebrations on TV channels.

This brings us to the new songs that have been made for the ongoing World T20 and we have no choice but to sympathise with the musicians who are putting in the effort to make them and also the TV channels who have to politely refuse to air them.

With Shahida Mini and Faakhir jumping onto the World T20 songs bandwagon, the quality of music has hit an all-time low this World T20. Even Mirage, a band that is known for their solid songwriting also failed to save the day.

The lyrics have been stressed upon and therefore, taking to the laundry or dhulaee has been the most recurring theme; one of the songs is even titled Dhulaee. One wonders why the musicians still think that incorporating cricketing terms in the song will make a great cricket anthem, when it’s the music that primarily gets the listener/viewer going. Remember, Jazba Junoon?

Junoon from its Jazba Junoon days

Seige’s Aisi Ki Taisi was released in 2011, when Pakistan had reached the semifinals of the World T20, till this day it has maintained its position as our favourite song among the other new songs that have been made on cricket. Here is how the recent World T20 song’s turned out to be.

Shahida Mini singing Chakay pae Chakka

This song starts from a piercing high note on the keys, but eventually becomes yet another Shahida Mini song; certainly not a Sahir Ali Bhagga composition though. Bhagga has done well for himself in recent times, for example, Zinda Bhaag, therefore, this song comes out as a surprising disappointment and more so, something that could have been produced by just any other producer. Having said that, it is the catchiest of all the songs that are under discussion and the only song that can actually force you to get up and dance after an exciting cricket match. The laundry theme however, continues with Dho Dala Rae (washed them out)  — the song’s chorus.

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Faakhir — Dhulaee

This is one song that needs to be watched, rather than heard. After all, it features some of the most hilarious moments in the history of Pakistani music videos. Look out for the padded person with a green kit, trying to do strange moves while standing in one corner of the frame and also the clown cum Pakistani supporter cum extra, who moves from right to left in the frame, while cracking a deformed version of a Balochi chap move. The less exciting moments are when Faakhir is trying to add some oomph to the song by adding his loud vocals, but that really doesn’t help much. His capabilities are well-suited to songs like Deewana and Kash, that is more his forte.

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Mirage — Kar Dalo Pakistan

Mirage is one of those rare bands who have never disappointed in terms of songwriting, which is why whatever they make operates well within their strong areas of semi classical and pop sounds. Despite being a smoothly flowing melody and good song to play on the radio, Kar Dalo Pakistan lacks the energy a World T20 song needs, to justify the fervour of an exciting event like the World T20. They even got Tanseer Dar, one of the finest rock vocalists in Pakistan along with the members of Azal on board, but nothing really worked out in their favour or for the World T20. Bands like Mirage should restrict themselves to making soothing ballads which they are quite good at. 

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Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st,2014.

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Talha Rehman | 7 years ago | Reply

I personally believe that Mirage's Ker daalo Pakistan is the best of the lot. It's catchy and the video's not too bad either. Also has a decent message and if you just concentrate on the lyrics, it can be associated with the overall situation in the country and not just cricket. Love the ending. Kudos. Fakhir's dhulaaee sounds like a wannabe track, he's trying too hard but the song falls flat. Fail. No comments for Chakke pe Chakka. CLassics like Jazba Junoon are hard to create but we should give these guys credit for atleast trying. Hope Pakistan wins today. Cheers.

babu | 7 years ago | Reply

Lol. Leave those struggling actors/singers alone man. They're trying to cash out some profits through this cricket season. Let them! Look east, in India, thousands of videos on youtube goes viral, some of them are really annoying but instead we ignore them rather bashing them on a national newspaper.

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