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Old 06-15-2008, 05:43 AM
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Arrow Album Review: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - Charkha



SOUND CHECK: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: Charkha

By Savaiz Bokhari


Background: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is no stranger to the audience of Indian and Pakistani communities the world over. Born in 1974 at Faisalabad, Pakistan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was tutored by his uncle, the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in the art of classical music.

An extremely gifted child, he started his musical raining at the tender age of seven. Under the tutelage of his illustrious uncle, he went on to do his first stage performance at the age of 11. After two decades of captivating performances for international audiences, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is today a star in his own right, one whose art is thoroughly appreciated worldwide.

Amongst his most notable achievements is his contribution to the soundtrack for the 1995 Hollywood film Dead Man Walking in collaboration with Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, alongside his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In 2002, he worked on the soundtrack of Four Feathers in collaboration with James Honor.

More recently, he has worked with Mel Gibson, providing backing vocals for the soundtrack of Apocalypto. In addition to the above, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has received many nominations and awards in India for his soulful music. (Quoted from the sleeve of the album Charkha).

The Album

Upon learning that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has come out with an album, I decided to give it a listen. Having heard his mesmerising vocals in at least one song in every hit that comes out of Bollywood these days, my best bet was that the album wouldn’t disappoint.

Rahat sounds at best to be ‘going through the motions’ on what is supposedly his debut non-film album (excluding his qawali volumes). He appears to be having an off day(s) while recording the album as there is no way one can compare his efforts on this offering to earlier hits such as Jiya Dharak (from the film Kalyug), Jag Soona Soona (Om Shanti Om), Naina thug lainge (Om Kara) and O Re Piya from the lesser successful (Aaja Nachle).

The fluency with which one witnesses him deliver hits is just not present here. Some of the tracks appear too influenced by his recent attempts to sing for Hollywood, which unfortunately puts spirituality in the background rather than in the foreground. Songs such as Rang Rangeela, Tere Bina and Kanday Utay seem to suffer from this phenomenon and are in non-conformance to the greater scheme of this qawali-pop album. Even Rahat seems aware of his shortcomings on the album and has attempted to make up for it by adding his biggest hit to date, Jiya Dharak Dharak, as the finale on the album.

Negatives aside

Dunga Pani, a song penned by Rahat himself, is a harrowing ditty with a bluesy composition that stands out among songs that appear mediocre at their very best. It definitely does justice to Rahat’s mantle of being the sole-successor and pupil of the legendary maestro Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. So does the pop-rendering of the sufi-folk kaafi number, Sainyaah (written by mystic poet Shah Hussain).

Another saving grace is the album’s title track which sounds divine (even the remix-techno version) simply because of the poetry of Bulleh Shah.

Another positive is that the composition of the entire album is credited to Rahat which means that unlike certain other Pakistani musicians, he hasn’t yet succumbed to the charms of Indian composers.

Bollywood state of mind

At times, Rahat’s ‘please Bollywood’ frame of mind seems to dominate certain compositions and they appear more made-for-Bollywood rather than this album. Such filmi songs include Morre Aangan, Aaj Hum and Na Janay Kahan which lack the otherwise free-flowing rhythm that is a requirement of qawali music.

Instead Rahat appears to be trying to impress with a more eastern-classical ghazal style mixed with filmi-pop. Hopefully, this isn’t going to be his future direction for musical production. It is pertinent to note here that this frame of mind seems to have an impact on the entire spectrum of Pakistani music and is responsible (partly) for the shuddering halt (of late) to the progressive development of the Pakistan music scene.

Why remix?

As regards remixes of two of the album’s songs, a note of caution: Anyone who has heard originals will testify that remixing never actually improves the quality of the original song, although at times it does create a work of art on a very different scale. Then again, why remix when the original isn’t the best song in the world to begin with.

In short, this album isn’t his best piece of work and will please only the most ardent fans of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

link: http://dawn.com/weekly/images/images12.htm
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:00 PM
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Hey, i m no expert in music, but this review is contradictory, and written in haste... There has been no explanation given 4 y the reviewer thinks that certain songs aren't as gud?
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:34 PM
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awesOme dud3 ... !
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:25 AM
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Melody Replay

By Sonya Rehman


Released in 2007, in India, ‘Charkha’ – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s debut album – has been met with standing ovations…both at home, and abroad.

Comprising of eleven soul-stirring compositions, Charkha takes its cue from the intense, Eastern-classical genre of music. But that being stated, Rahat’s sophomore effort is anything but over-powering.

Just like his renowned Uncle – the great Qawwali maestro – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (under which Rahat received tutelage for his art), Rahat’s vocals are gentle, and soothing almost, straying far from an overbearingly passionate territory.

Infact, the accompanying compositions, run almost parallel with the singer’s vocals – striking a rather perfect symmetry of sound.

Suited best for easy listening, with hints of melancholy here and there, the album’s first song (also called Charkha) sets the pace of what is to follow. A nostalgic number that speaks of loss, Charkha is a mesmerizing track.

Interestingly, if listened to at one long stretch, the album flows forth like a story – where each song’s compositions are concerned.

Nothing too loud, no instrument too powerful, Charkha’s numbers are light, yet almost hypnotic. Just like song number two, ‘Ang Ang’.

Even though it wouldn’t be fair to draw comparisons between the Uncle and the nephew (Nusrat and Rahat respectively), it must be stated that Rahat’s vocal delivery is much like that of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s.

They may not sound completely alike…yet, you will notice instances during listening to the album when Rahat will sound exactly like his Uncle. Differences arise, however, when Rahat hits a high note – his voice sounds huskier and raw – whereas Nusrat’s seem steady and somewhat fervent – almost spiritual.

From the misty ‘Rang Rangeela’, to the forlorn ‘Tere Bina’, Charkha comes as an aural treat for the mature, classically-inclined listener.

‘Dunga Pani’, Charkha’s sixth, portrays Rahat’s vocals much like the hit number (‘Jiya Dhadak Dhadak’) he did for the 2005 Bollywood film, ‘Kalyug’.

Compositionally, ‘Dunga Pani’ is a true winner – as it transcends into a wonderful, pacey, almost Western-classical beat.

Others such as ‘Aj Hun’, ‘Janay Kahan’ and two remix versions (of ‘Tere Bina’ and ‘Charkha’); Rahat Fateh Ali Khan seems to have hit it big.

Following in the footsteps of his celebrated and legendary Uncle, Rahat appears to be making waves in India and beyond.

From working with Rohail Hyatt to accomplished Western producers and to Bollywood hits such as ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ (from the film ‘Paap’), ‘Naina’ (from ‘Omkara’), ‘O Re Piya’ (from ‘Aja Nachle’) and many others, including riveting numbers for ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’, Mel Gibson’s jaw-dropping flick ‘Apocalypto’ and more recently, ‘Main Aur Mrs Khanna’, Rahat is leaving no stone unturned.

But coming back to Charkha, the album itself, if I were to rate it; I’d give it an honest four stars out of five.

This is because Rahat’s vocal adroitness seems to be gifted, natural and raw – without having to try too hard.

Being emotive, passionate and pained where necessary in his songs, Rahat’s approach to singing is humble and unassuming…they almost never manage to scream out: ‘Look I can SING’!

Truly a treasure for Pakistan – as far as the art of local music is concerned – let’s just hope Rahat continues to balance his time between work in Pakistan, and abroad. And in addition, let us hope he’s given the respect and admiration (that he so rightfully deserves) in his own home country as well.

Charkha will stir your spirit with its eclectic concoction of soul-stirring numbers, therefore for each and every Eastern-classical music aficionado out there, give it a listen.

link: http://sonyarehman.wordpress.com/
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:47 PM
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my favourite track oin the album was Kanday Uttay..i can honestly listen to that track on repeat for hourss!! itz amazing - it has such a hypnotic effect on you......charkha is good also, and i really like SAIYAAN at the moment as welll!!! nice to hear something semi-modern semi classical after a long time - especially in a time where pakistani music is all concentrating on the rock genre
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akh.Lari.Badu.Badi View Post
my favourite track oin the album was Kanday Uttay..i can honestly listen to that track on repeat for hourss!! itz amazing - it has such a hypnotic effect on you......charkha is good also, and i really like SAIYAAN at the moment as welll!!! nice to hear something semi-modern semi classical after a long time - especially in a time where pakistani music is all concentrating on the rock genre
I thought Kanday Utay was funny lol cuz I don't understand punjabi. I was expecting something more from the album after listening to his collaboration in the Coke Studio with Ali Azmat. You know, his parts in the Garas Baras and Balaman tracks. But yea, Sainyaan was nice...although the techno type style was a bit odd in the beginning.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:52 PM
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corking reviews
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:03 PM
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aimnov is infamous around these parts
aaaaaaala album bhaaaaaaaaaai....

hyptonizing effect some songs have... like (erm all of em mostly)
ala composition. ala lyrics.... music outstanding... mwaaaah stuff!
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:04 PM
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aimnov is infamous around these parts
do we have his lyrics posted on this site ???
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:05 PM
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Great Work...
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:38 PM
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hey can anyone put up the lyrics to some of the songs...maybe translation too..
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:27 PM
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excellent album have some soul in it
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:23 AM
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lage raho yaar.......
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:15 AM
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it was gr8
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:45 AM
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n ice
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