Pakistani rock bands live accelerated rock cycles – consider Jal, who released three great songs and then split up, complete with bitter accusations and all. Unlike the rock and roll bands of yesteryears they didn’t even have time for drugs, booze and sex – which _(along with sucides)_ used to be the main cause of breakups back then. Now they have childish ego driven temper tantrums berating each other over trivialities which even their most ardent fans can’t figure out.

Anyways, some months ago along came this song ‘Aadat’:http://hiptingle.spydigital.com/index/files/file_info/931 by Jal. To quote ‘Deevan’:http://deevaan.blogspot.com/:

bq. A powerful starting track backed by solid vocals, probably the best to appear on the pop scene in Pakistan in a long time, a powerful rock ballad.

It was overplayed everywhere till people started puking when they heard it yet again, but it’s a brilliant song. In all respects a good one.

They released another brilliant song, ‘Raigoon Mein’:http://www.jaltheband.com/rangonmein.html. Then one more, ‘Dil Haray’. All three songs by the orginal band are brilliant, heads and shoulders above other recent offerings.

Then, the -idiots- band split into two. The singer Atif Aslam has just released his ‘solo’ album, which while good is not quite there. Some “think quite highly of it”:http://deevaan.blogspot.com/2004/08/album-review.html but it’s a very rushed release and it shows. I think one reason some people have rated this album so highly is that they are thinking of the orignal three songs released before the band split. This album has new and not-so-good versions of the previous songs. Nonetheless, if Atif ever finds a good backup band he has a lot of potential. Needless to say, the current guitarist/drummer just don’t cut it.

The sad thing about the whole affair is that with the original band they had so much potential – now seperate the singer is still good but the music is severely lacking, while the other half of the band has latched onto another singer who just doesn’t cut it. The first time I heard the new guy sing ‘Aadat’ I had to turn off the radio fast, it was that bad! Now their album ahould be out soon, but there are just so many different versions of the same song that one can listen to.

Now, since this is a album review, heres my rating: Jal Pari gets a 6 out of 10 rating, while the upcoming Jaltheband’s album gets a 5.5. How can I give it a 5.5 out of 10 before the album is even out? Well half their songs are already floating around the web and playing on the radio, and the new singer is just not good enough. He is talented, but everyone (excluding all those boy bands of course) has a unique style of singing, so naturally his attempt to copy the previous singer’s style doesn’t come off to well. If there is ever a next album[1], that should hopefully be a lot better.

Now, if there had been a cd with just the three (or whatever number) original songs on it plus filler, I’d have given it at least a 7, if not more. So on to the next cd…

h4. Related links:

* “Daily Times interview with Farhan”:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sunday/default.aspx?c=Next_Big_Thing.htm

There is much discussion about this album (and all other Pakistani albums) at the hundred and one Pakistani music forums out there… but it takes a brave _and foolhardy_ soul to navigate one’s way through them while still retaining some grasp on the english language.

*Update:* I had to close comments on this entry, as they were getting out of hand, getting filled up with cursings, threats and other unpleasant stuff. I got sick of deleting large numbers of comments every day, so far the time being I’m removing all the comments. I apologize to those people who left sane comments. For further discussion, there are a number of Pakistani music forums out there. The one thing I have learned from this is that Pakistani music -fans- pankas are just as passionate about their rock stars as your standard

American fan. _(ed: does that mean we’ll soon have stalkers too?)_ As for the music itself, after a few months I’ve come to to the conclusion that both Atif’s and Jal’s music is lacking that certain something which they had together. The whole was more than the sum of the parts, and their individual efforts are overshadowed by their short stint together.

fn1. With these new Pakistani bands, you can never be sure if there ever will be a next album…