By Shershah Ahmed: Noori is a band that is simply put here to stay. From enduring multiple breakups, line-up changes and other misfortunes and obstacles in their long and illustrious career, to coming back stronger than ever with their latest self-produced album, the group is a juggernaut in the Pakistani music industry. Realizing the problems with piracy and lack of revenue for musicians in the country did not deter them from writing, producing and distributing their own album on their own time and merit.
This in itself would be a feat few groups in Pakistan’s history could match. Their recent album success goes hand in hand with their Coke Studio appearances over the past few years, which are bolstered by the fact that they were also producers on the latest season. The music train keeps on chugging in the Noori camp, with their latest release ‘Ye Zindagi’ on Cornetto Pop Rock which has been extremely well received by the nation!
First off, let’s talk about the production quality. It is quite simply, spot on. Quality of recording is something that is sometimes lackluster when it comes to Pakistani music, but not in this case. Crystal clear vocals, thundering drums and wonderful guitar tones permeate every inch of this track and this makes it a wonder to behold whether one listens to it through their headphones, home system or while driving. Ali Hamza’s dulcet tones emanate from the opening bars of the song, and while most people are quick to label Ali Noor as Noori’s voice, Ali Hamza is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. The vocal melodies are superb, as is the first chorus which has an uplifting message and tone to it.
Ali Noor takes over vocal duties from the second verse, and it is as good as it has always been. The highs, lows and the sheer power is very much present and the vocal melodies sung by him immediately take you through each and every era Noori has been through and it is both wistfully nostalgic and refreshing at the same time. From there, the middle of the song mellows out with a beautiful strings section that creates an uplifting atmosphere, which then propels the listener into a wonderfully energetic guitar solo that is classic Noori! The final chorus has both Ali Noor and Ali Hamza singing together and the effect is grand to say the least, and it leads to a crescendo which is perfect in giving the song a fitting ending. Short and sweet would be the way to sum up this track and it makes you want more.
The video that accompanies the song is in the same vein as the past Cornetto Pop Rock music videos. Shot in various locations, including a theme park, the video encapsulates the spirit of youth and exuberance that Cornetto Pop Rock strives to cater to and successfully does so indeed. The video has the band members riding bicycles and singing, which is interspersed with shots of the band performing live in front of their fans in an intimate setting. This keeps the video from getting too one tone or boring, and it also showcases that legendary Noori stage presence!
All in all, Noori have had an extremely productive and busy year. From a critically acclaimed album launch, to critically acclaimed songs and production on Coke Studio, the band seemingly can do no wrong. Here’s to hoping that Noori keeps on surprising and keeps firing on all cylinders when it comes to music and more!