Doorie bursts Atif's bubble Atif Aslam's Doorie is uninspiring, monotonous and features
only a few decent melodies that have been composed by everyone
but the singer. It's certainly not the follow up one was hoping
Atif Aslam, Album: Doorie**
fine day, walking around Laraib Music, hoping to find something decent
to listen to, I came across an Atif Aslam poster. It had a picture
of him and stated that Atif was back with a new album that comprised
of 17 tracks. This was a shocker for various reasons. First of all,
17 is a huge number. How many artists in Pakistan can manage that
many decent tracks on one album? Moreover, Atif's album appeared out
of thin air. One day there was nothing and the next day, puff! It
was there. There was no pre-release hype, no launch gig, not even
a press conference. Skeptically, I bought the album as Atif was a
superstar and had won hearts with just one song ('Aadat') in 2004.
Imagine what 17 gems could do collectively. Sadly, my skepticism was
accurate because as soon as one rolled down the album jacket, two
things became clear: Doorie isn't an Atif Aslam album in its truest
sense and secondly, it is an album that should've been called 'Atif
remixed, featuring 6 new tracks.'
Doorie is a chaotic mix of 17 songs that are incoherent, weak and
unoriginal. But before explaining how, let's first talk about the
fleeting good side of the album…
The best song on the album is the excellent 'Maula'. Its mood is just
so different than anything Atif has ever done. It has a Sufic feel
to it, with heavy percussion and acoustic guitars forming the music
structure. Atif sings with emotions, convincingly as he croons, "Mujh
Ko Bata Mera Dar Ha Kaha Maula/Jogi Bana Mein/Firda Rawan." A
fear of lost identity, losing oneself in the fast pace of life are
some of the themes 'Maula' touches on in a subtle demeanour. Excellent
Other good pop ditties include the upbeat yet morbid 'Hum Kis Galli
Ja Rahe Hain' where the drained protagonist asks, "Hum Kis Galli
Ja Rahe Hain/Aapna Koi Thekana Nahie" and the moody and melancholic,
'Kuch Iss Tarah' that invites the listener into a world of romance
with all its hurt and agony included. Then there's the annoyingly
addictive, 'Doorie' that effectively portrays the heart of a man missing
his love. It's quite sweet even if it is a tad corny. Anyhow, that
was the good side of the album. And now for the disappointments, blunders,
Other 'original' numbers on Doorie fall short in one way or the other,
especially when compared to the above-mentioned tracks or Atif's first
album Jalpari. One example is 'Mahiya Ve Soniya'. It begins in a sensual
manner with a saxophone playing in the background and a girl singing
"Every time, pick a place, I'll be there." Excitedly, one
wonders what will happen next but the tune changes quickly and soon
Atif bursts into the unoriginal, done to death phrase, "Mahiya
Ve/Dil Naiyon Lagda." It's not the music that destroys the song
but the severely filmi lyrics such as, "Pagal Pagal Rehti Hai
Meri Tau Har Dhadkan/Bas Teray Deedar Ka Chaya Mujhe Pey Paagalpan."
Move on and one finds 'O Re Piya' with its filmi music, thanks to
the orchestra running in the background. It really feels like a
song that is neither here or there. And with this song ends the original
material on the album.
'Tere Bin' from Bas Ek Pal is also present in the playlist. It's
a fantastic track but again, this song was on Bas Ek Pal's soundtrack
and doesn't really belong to Doorie.
We no fools
Remixes take over the album and one would like Atif to explain the
difference between a club mix, house mix, euro mix, soul mix, trance
mix, energy mix, eternal mix and freaky mix. The only thing freaky
is that some of them sound exactly the same as their original songs.
It isn't uncommon for bands to remix their popular songs. The remix
of Abbas Ali Khan's 'Malal' took the song to a whole new level with
electrifying percussion nuances and beats. Another case is Rungg's
'Saath Saath' that was remixed by the multi-talented Zeeshan Parwez.
He turned a pop/rock number into a dance number in a simple, subtle
and bouncy way. The point is, it's all right to do remixes, provided
one knows how to do them. It is this reason why random folks don't
turn tables at clubs and parties. There is a reason why we opt for
DJs. This is where Doorie disappoints terribly. It turns all the
wrong tables as far as remixes are concerned and in doing so, takes
away the beauty of the original numbers.
Be it the 'Tere Bin (club mix)' or 'Doorie (house mix)', 'Kuch Iss
Tarah (euro mix)', 'Mahi Ve Soniya (soul mix)', 'O Re Piya (trance
mix)' or 'Yakeen (club mix)' – all remixes are bad. With 'Tere
Bin (club mix)' and 'Doorie (house mix)', the problem is chaos.
There is an attempt to achieve too much and as a result, it fails.
It sounds like a science project gone wrong. Moving onto 'Kuch Iss
Tarah (euro mix)' and one finds mediocrity. This is perhaps the
only remix that is a little calm in its sound and structure but
it's a sound that anyone from Paul Oakenfold to John Digweed to
Sasha could do. There is no originality, not that it's copied but
it is just out there, reminding one of too many things and not being
able to stand on its own convincingly. Then there is that awful
remix of the already average 'O Re Piya'. It's another out there
remix with a weird intact beat juggling around from pace to pace,
shifting and changing, for no rhyme or reason. But hey, it's not
the worst. That honour must be given to 'Yakeen (club mix)' for
distorting, destroying and breaking the brilliant original into
a sound that is redundant, repetitive and one that fails to build
a connection with the melody. It neither matches nor constructs
a pathway for itself. Skip it.
The final surprise of the album is the 'Hum Kis Galli Ja Rahe Hain
mix' and 'Doorie (energy mix)' – both of whom are the same
numbers. The only difference is the addition of words to the titles.
Atif Aslam is an immensely talented singer and composer. He proved
his worth with songs like 'Yakeen' and 'Ehsaas'. They were not on
Jal's album and were his original numbers. Lyrically, these songs
were absolutely riveting even as they remained simple musically.
Atif Aslam through these tracks built up his own identity.
Everyone wondered what the second album would be like, and whether
Atif would come out with another musical treasure? Atif did steal
the nation and he is doing so once again but without the musical
genius, lyrical quality, originality and emotions with which he
(Or Goher Mumtaz?) penned Jalpari.
Sequel albums are always under scrutiny. If one has a monumental
success like Jalpari to fall on, he might get scared. But the thing
is, only he will get scared who did the actual composing. Going
over the inlay of the jacket, one discovers that every song including
'Doorie' has been composed by Sachin Gupta and a few tracks have
been done by Mithoon. Even the lyrics are not Atif's own. They have
been written by Sameer, Sayeed Quadri, Sachin Paul, Uzma & Shahzad.
This is an album composed in every way by a bunch of people while
Atif Aslam lends his vocals to their songs.
Insiders in the industry claim that Atif has another album on its
way and that is the real deal. But if that's the case, what was
Doorie? Some say it was his entry in India but how can it be his
entry into India when he released his album there and has been singing
tunes for Hindi flicks for a while now?
The bottom line is that as a sequel to Jalpari, Doorie disappoints;
as an album, it disappoints and as a talented musician, Atif Aslam