A non-establishment, music-buffs-based group called RMIM Puraskar came up with it’s list of the best songs of 2011 this morning and Kun Faya Kun came out on top. So I decided to give to check out MySwar recommendations based on Kun Faya Kun. Here it goes:
Huq Ali – I was absolutely floored by this recommendation because I had never heard this song before and because it is brilliant! Musically, Huq Ali is as traditional a qawwali as Kun Faya Kun is modern. The song is relatively light on accompaniments – a harmonium, a tabla and the qawwals’ claps – but the voices of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahad Ali and the qawwal party have massive impact. If you’re not moved by this song, you’re probably made of rock or something. The video. I am not too sure about the official credits for Khayyam and Nida Fazli though. Please clarify in the comments if you know.
Bismillah – A very good song, mellow and soulful. I will go out on a limb and say that it’s as good a song as Kun Faya Kun. In my view, the only thing that goes against is that it’s not as hummable and doesn’t have Kun Faya Kun’s killer refrain hook.
Rangrez (Wadali Bros) – This is the song you have to listen to if you need to understand why there is so much about newcomer music director Krsna, who won 2012’s R.D. Burman Award from Filmfare. Not surprisingly, Rangrez appears in RMIM Puraskar’s list right below Kun Faya Kun.
Khwaja Ji Mere Khwaja Ji – A hidden, forgotten gem with some nice alaaps and harkats.
Madine Ki Galiyon Se – The song did not do it for me. One reason could be that Suresh Wadkar and Anwar’s voices don’t really seem suited for a qawwali. Another that it seems to follow a predictable filmi-qawwali template. One of those songs in which Anwar sounds uncannily like Mohd Rafi (blasphemy?!).
Tu Hi Tu – Some solid singing by Roop Kumar Rathod and Javed Ali is completely undone by two things – a) the extravagant filmi interludes, and b) the fact that the song is an un-credited rip-off of Allah Hu.
Aawan Akhiyan Jawan Akhiyan – Himesh’s voice (Aannnnnnwan Annnkhiyannnnnn….) totally kills what could otherwise have been a nice song.
More Haji Piya – Some interesting portions – sargams and the closing – but overall so-so.
Do Aalam Ka Sultan Hai – A simple, solid qawwali that gets you rocking and swaying. Wonder whether the Sabri Brothers credited on the song are the original Pakistani Sabri Brothers or the Indian ones. Probably the latter.