‘India is listening to’ is a look at what music is wildly popular in the country at the moment, and whether it’s worth your time.
Coke Studio is best known for its elaborate arrangements of music from artistes performing live. The long-running show is currently in its twelfth season and has already produced some extraordinary music. Atif Aslam’s “Wohi Khuda Hai” is a strikingly beautiful version of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s original.
This version of the song ditches the more electronic and programmed sound of the original in favour of one with more acoustic elements. The centrepiece of the entire song, though, is Atif Aslam’s voice. He delivers a tremendously moving performance with soaring vocals and many delicate touches as well. While Aslam’s rendition will draw comparisons with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the two versions are different enough that they can’t really be compared in any fair manner.
The way the song has been arranged holds up Aslam’s voice and backs it up with great effect. The instruments never really try to draw attention to themselves but instead act in unison to create the atmosphere needed to deliver this song in all its glory. Perhaps the most memorable moment in the song comes towards its end when all the instruments except for one low note playing on a synthesizer is the only thing that backs up Aslam’s voice. This bare section of the song shows just how much thought has gone into its execution.
On the whole, “Wohi Khuda Hai” is a haunting and beautiful rework that stays with you long after it has stopped playing.
Who Will Love It: Fans of Atif Aslam and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
The Good: Atif Aslam’s voice, the instrumentation.
The Bad: The song’s length may put off some listeners.
The Verdict: This song is well worth listening to, preferably with time on your hands.
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