By Aayan Arif:A project that captures the audience with its spellbinding essence is Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher. The science fiction novel is now an album comprising of 12 songs. Some best talents make this album talk of the town. Each song is vocal depiction of the particular chapter in the novel. This project took years to complete. Kinara and Black Coffee were released two years ago. Now, there’s a change. Jaffar Zaidi appears in the song Black Coffee, making reprise version of the original song by Abbas Ali. However, album refers Abbas Ali’s number as Reprise one.
Surfacing the mainstream scene in 2009 Zohaib Kazi never looked back. The writer, producer, music composer didn’t come to mainstream for acknowledgement but to explore various forms of music and art and coming out with a unique sound that has never been heard before. From working in Coke Studio as (associate) producer to composing drama OSTs like Kash Aisa Ho and Dareecha to playing underground music, Zohaib does it all with the desire of learning more and more. This quality makes him one of the greats in the country at the moment. Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher itself is an evidence of huge caliber of Zohaib Kazi.
Album starts with an intro song based on alaaps, casting magic on the minds of the listeners taking them to a delightful world.
“Wake Up” sung with utter elegance, tries to convey the message that society has become ignorant of the dire circumstances encompassing them. The melody is very affecting.
Jaffar flows with the music of “Awaz” with flair. The vocals perfectly illustrate the soreness of the situation of the song.
“Black Coffee” has two versions, but Abbas’ version is more pleasing. Jaffar did a good job with this song but the fact that Abbas’ version was released two years ago might have created this mindset. Backing vocals makes it scintillating.
“Orange” is joyful and different from the rest. But repetitions in it sound mundane. Nevertheless, it feels nice.
Zoe introduces the character Mehr, with song Mehr Jaan in a whispering style. It is a wonderful ballad. The guitar riffs in it are very commendable.
The composition of Raat Bazaar complies perfectly with its lyrics. The song explains the heartfelt desires of a young girl.
Kinara sung by Sara Haider was highly appreciated at first release. Initially, the song had “Claps” in the beginning (now removed). Kinara has the violins element, making it the best song.
Falling in love is happiness but Mehr-un-Nisa Falls in Love is dull and slow. The composition could have been better.
Death was never so harmonious. Death of Mehr-un-Nisa sums up the album gracefully. “Tu Rooth Ke Na Ja” phrase makes one feel like a body begging the soul not to leave. Quite a wonder it is!
Instrumentals are a treat to listen. Butterfly in Space, an instrumental track in the album contains classical beats.
This Album is worth listening. Most of song names in this Urdu album are in English but does that really matter? Certainly no!