Review: Noori's strange sonic surprise

Sub bass frequencies and effect-laced guitar break in ‘Aik tha Badhshah’ will leave many a bedroom musician...

Ali Haider Habib June 17, 2015
Sub bass frequencies and effect-laced guitar break in ‘Aik tha Badhshah’ will leave many a bedroom musician baffled. PHOTO:STYLECATCHUP

KARACHI: It took evolution to sing about revolution. Noori’s latest offering Aik Tha Badshah is a strange diversion from the live, earthy sound of their first record. The second was a little more polished, but no one, us the least, expected the electronica-infused, dub-step sound of their latest single.

Ali Noor had already said their album would have many more electronic sounds. Yet, for those who learnt to strum along with Manwa Re and Tum Hans Diyay, this is a strange sonic surprise. The sub bass frequencies and effect-laced guitar break will leave many a bedroom musician baffled. After all, Noori was the band that filled the learn-it-play-it void after Junoon left a gaping hole in their lives.

Read: Noori unveil Aik Tha Badshah

This is not to say the track is not radio-friendly. Ali Noor has a knack for making the chorus sing itself and this track is no different. Replete with the clap-along-sing-along chorus break, one can imagine the number finding favour both live and in the car.

As a lyricist, Ali Hamza has undoubtedly matured. It is apparent the song is one the newer numbers penned by him, unlike some of the other numbers on the record like Mujhe Roko, which were written nearly 20 years ago. And this shows. In Ali Noor’s own words, "The then disgruntled youth has grown into an adult and is now ready to take on the world."

Visually, this may be Noori’s most ambitious project yet. Most of their videos have been performance-based, and though this too features a three-piece band completed by drummer Kami Paul, its centre is not the musicians but the King (Ali Hamza) and his courtiers. Ravaged by temptation and absolute power, the King descends into what appears to be a black hole of immorality, before being redeemed by Ali Noor, who is the antitheses of the evil that the royalty represents.

Read: Power overtakes reason in Noori’s comeback song

Is the single worth the wait? In our impatient lives with ready-to-eat dinners, instant-fix-its and click-bait attention spans, it really depends. Old school fans of Noori might be expecting more of exactly what the band has done away with: crunchy guitars, less effects and the primal lock of bass and drums. But the old world has crumbled. And we’re just glad they’re back.


Pak Music | 6 years ago | Reply wow finally someone who wrote good on music on ET. i think doing something different is necessary. whats the point playing the same music for 15 years straight. loved this new anthem by noori
Abid | 6 years ago | Reply This song is custom made to be played in gigs in front of large crowds...
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