Noori awakens the music industry with ‘Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh’
Recently, the highly acclaimed Pakistani music band, Noori, held album preview sessions in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi for the public on a first come basis. That was the first uncut and instrumental public performance of their upcoming new album, “Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh”.
Being a Noori fan myself and having attended the album preview held in Lahore, I can safely say the band members, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, have not given up on the music industry in Pakistan just yet. They made an attempt to bond with their loyal fan base and discussed the ideas and concepts behind the album in a manner unlike anything seen before in Pakistan. The whole session was highly interactive and the audience felt as involved as the band itself.
At the album preview, Ali Noor warmed the hearts of the audience,
“We do not want fans. We want friends.”
The album launch itself held at a local mall was open to public and the response was phenomenal. It was a great feeling to see so many people line up to buy the music CDs and getting them signed by the band. The energetic fans and the environment was enough to take me back in time when Pakistani music was at its peak. People would actually buy music CDs, attend concerts, gigs etc. Unfortunately, music record sales have taken a nose dive over time because of piracy, and concerts have become a scarce musical entertainment because of security concerns. However, in these trying times of piracy, lack of concerts and talent drain, Noori has still stuck to its roots and tried to give the Pakistani music scene yet another wake up call with “Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh”.
The album artwork and the overall album presentation are fantastic. It makes buying and owning a CD much more enjoyable. The album cover is like a little story book which talks about the album and the people who worked hard to make it all possible.
Now, let’s talk about the most important bit about the whole album, the musical content. Noori has managed to hit so many levels simultaneously within a matter of nine songs. From the care free and feel good songs like Hey Ya to the intense and power-packed songs like Sarfarosh, the band has elevated upon the signature Noori vibe. The music feels familiar yet completely different at the same time.
Chronologically speaking, the band worked on these songs even before they had worked on the songs from their two previous albums which were released a decade or so ago, a fact which was revealed by the band at their album preview in Lahore.
Considering that fact, it is strange how the lyrical content of this album is so much more mature in comparison to their previous albums. In a beautiful story created around the lady Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh, the album talks about Pakistan being a country of opportunity at independence and questions what went wrong.
On a broader level, the band has tried to engage the youth and make them realise how everybody has a role to play in the betterment of this county. This time around, the band also involved the public by giving them a chance to sing along on their album, which can be heard in Kedaar, Mujhey Roko and Saya e Khuda e Zuljalal. The pictures of the singing fans, along with their names, have also been included in the album cover booklet.
Kedaar, Mujhey Roko and Aik Tha Badshah are songs which we have heard before and were not completely new additions to this album. However, they were altered in a way which made them even better than before.
Saya e Khuda e Zuljalal is an absolutely beautiful rendition of the Pakistan National Anthem. For years to come, this will definitely be a song I will listen to whenever I need to awaken the patriot within.
Overall, Noori has made an incredible comeback and I wish them the best of luck for all the future endeavours to come. The more success they see, the more success the music industry in Pakistan will see. That means more and more great music for all of us.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.