Magic and majesty
Artists: Various artists
Album: OST Khuda Kay Liye*****
What can one say about the upcoming film Khuda Kay Liye that hasn't
been said before? It is, for many, the most anticipated film of the
year. In many minds, it is 'the film' that will unleash a new kind
of cinema in Pakistan and pave path for others to follow. It is a
film that vows to touch issues close to Muslims and to Pakistanis.
It is a film that has dared to touch the most sensitive of all subjects:
religion. And finally, it is the film debut of the reclusive and brilliant
Shoaib Mansoor, the man behind Fifty Fifty, Alpha Bravo Charlie, and
the mentor and lyricist for the most successful and inspirational
pop act of all times – Vital Signs. Enough said
the expectations from the OST of Khuda Kay Liye are great. Thankfully
enough, the music for the film meets them.
So what if Khuda Kay Liye soundtrack doesn't bring forward the big
guns of our pop music world, as one would expect? It cleverly reunites
Shuja Haider and Ahmad Jahanzeb, who teamed up in 2003 on Ahmad's
debut album, Parastish. Most surprisingly, it puts spotlight on raw
talent, unexplored, unheard voices, three of whom are females (yippee!)
who can actually sing. Isn't that something?
Together these various artistes under the wing of veteran melody catcher
Shoaib Mansoor unite and fuse various styles of music such as classical,
folk and pop together and as a result, it makes for an excellent album.
An unpredictable charm
Thematically, the OST of Khuda Kay Liye has a moody character that
seems to be going through a different stage of life within each
song. It's beautifully sad at times, happily carefree at others,
somewhat confident, reflecting on moments as they pass by.
The moodiness is a prime factor in each song. From the confident
and cheerful 'Hamaray Hain' where Ahmad Jahanzeb and Shuja Haider
make quite an impression on vocals as they sing, "Hamaray hain/Jahan
mein hain jitnay haseen/Milangey hum/Milangey hum sabhi say kahin
na kahin/Poochhein gee jahan mein awaazein hamari/dilon mein utar
jayengi/" to the slightly rockish and upbeat 'Bandya' where
Khawar Jawad provides delightfully harsh and striking vocal work
with ample support from Farah Zala. Where Khawar often is rough,
Farah is slightly sultry in her "woohh wooh" and here's
the surprise element: she sings in English while Khawar sings to
the words of Bulley Shah and she provides backing vocals in Urdu
with equal grace. It is quite an interesting collaborative effort,
especially since Pakistani music hardly has many great male-female
duets to offer… anymore.
Another version of 'Bandya' comes on later in the album and here
it is a newcomer Faiza Mujahid who replaces Farah Zala. She too
stuns with her Lene Marlin-like voice. Compared to Farah, Faiza
has a slightly sharper voice and it just provides more flavour to
The cheerful, happy attitude continues with 'Duniya Ho' which points
at happy love and "dancing tonight" and "feeling
the beat". It is a thumping dance number that skillfully merges
English and Urdu together and one can picture a scene where liberal
youngsters of this nation are just dancing and enjoying the night
The optimism continues with the retrospective and thought-provoking
title track, 'Khuda Kay Liye' that is perhaps the best track on
the album. This is a song that beautifully reflects on faith and
love for God as it goes, "Khuda kay naam sey/Khelo na/Khuda
kay liye/Khuda tau azeem hai/Raheem bhi/Kareem bhi" without
As a lyricist, Shoaib Mansoor still has that magic. He skillfully
pens simple but thought-provoking lyrics that give this album an
intense quality. This is classic Shoaib Mansoor from the old days
of Vital Signs. That said, he isn't making Vital Signs pop here
but a film music album and it seems that he knows this fact well.
One discovers the dark side of this album with songs like 'Mahi
Way', 'Allah Hoo' 'Tiluk Kamod' and 'Janie Janie'.
Where 'Mahi Way' stuns with its mysteriously haunting melody, poignant
wordplay in English that goes, "So many tricks/So many lies/Too
many whens and too many whys/No one's special/No one's gifted/I'm
just me/warped and twisted" and heart wrenching and despairing
vocals from Khawar Jawad and Faiza Mujahid respectively, 'Janie
Janie' reflects love from the eyes of a hopeless romantic. With
its subtle bass lines and orchestra-like feel and Ahmad Jahanzeb's
soft and emotive singing, this is certainly a laudable effort. This
is Ahmad Jahanzeb that one first heard on songs like 'Aap Ki Yaad'.
And speaking of Ahmad Jahanzeb's talent, he shines as a soloist
on another soft, heartbreaking number, namely 'Tiluk Kamod'. Here
he really makes Ustaad Rafees Khan, his teacher, proud. Ahmad Jahanzeb
sings in a mature tone as he does, "Tana Na Na Deh Na Naa"
and then as the wordplay progresses, so does he. Here Ahmad shines
once again. Bravo!
A definite fusion comes with the soulful 'Allah Hoo'. With fantastic
folk singer Saeen Zahoor and newcomer Zara Madani joining hands
together on this enchanting melody with gorgeous bass and percussion
nuances, it simply blows the mind! This is a song that can be put
to repeat and it will not bore you because of its textured sound
and numb, brooding feel. If Saeen sings hypnotically, Zara broods,
feeling the need to call out the higher force as if in a moment
of pain and it works superbly. The last track on the album, an instrumental,
with its air of calm sadness and slow melody gives out a grand feeling
even if unconsciously. The slow soft piano really is classic here,
reminding one of Italian composers who excel at this instrument
As an album, Khuda Kay Liye is filled with surprises. It uses Urdu,
English and Punjabi as languages and ties up all of them in crisp
style that really gives this album a diverse flavour. Musically,
this album has something for everyone. From pop to dance to classical,
it fuses all genres together and does so effortlessly. It is always
interesting to hear instruments like a melancholic sitar paired
with soft piano, blue flute with acoustic guitar magic and so on.
Shuja Haider and Ahmad Jahanzeb fit well on this album because their
vocals are not harsh but soft even when at peak. For a film album,
you need such voices. And hey, together these two are a rock solid
combination, not just as singers but as composers as well.
Most importantly, the OST of Khuda Kay Liye is exciting because
of its surprisingly good new vocalists.
Ammar Hasan and Khawar Jawad shine as singers. There are few vocalists
whose vocals cannot be matched. Names like Faisal Kapadia, Ali Azmat,
Shafqat Amanat Ali and Atif Aslam come to mind. Ammar and Khawar
belong to that unfathomable breed of singers. On the other hand,
Farah Zala, Zara Madani and Faiza Mujahid impress with their vocal
dexterity and ability to sing in English and Urdu. Mind you, these
girls are not reminiscent to the young pop princess Annie. They
remind one of Nazia Zuberi (Rushk). That said, each of them has
a rawness that makes all the difference.
While Zara Madani, Ammar Hasan and Faiza Mujahid are newcomers,
Khawar Jawad has been around for quite some time and has worked
in studios with names like Ali Zafar and Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.
And Farah Zala has an English album, Twist of Fate to her credit.
That said, none of these artistes are really known in Pakistan.
The only question that comes to mind is one: where have these singers
been all this time? In retrospect, one is glad that it was through
this album that these singers have come forward. Anyone who can
differentiate between good music and bad will definitely take notice
of these young voices.
Ultimately, this album works because of its collective effort. It
is not just Shoaib Mansoor alone but him with a bunch of multi-talented
singers and composers who have maintained consistency even as they
In the end, it really is a very offbeat film music soundtrack as
far as Pakistani standards go. How the masses react to this album
remains to be seen but right now, this album is hot in the market.
Within a day of its release, half the stores at Boat Basin have
run out of copies.
In the end, this album plays testament to Pakistan's talent and
to the man that is Shoaib Mansoor. He has never disappointed us
ever and with KKL he once again proves that he is a force to be
reckoned with in the music business.
*****Get the CD NOW!
****Just get it
***Maybe maybe not
**Just download the best song
*Forget that this was made