Album name: Pehli
Artist name: Mooroo
Reviewed by: Saqib Hussain
Thank you, PEMRA. Yes, thank you so much for banning Indian content on Pakistani media. It has given a new life to the struggling Pakistani musicians and an opportunity to showcase their talent again.
It’s not that music wasn’t being produced by mainstream Pakistani musicians before the ban. It was mostly done in India and imported into Pakistan with a ‘Made in India’ stamp on it. Not to mention, the ‘pure’ Indian content was happily allowed by the Government of Pakistan to run in the country which then took a large chunk of airtime on radio and TV music channels.
In such a scenario, no channel was ready to give airtime to the local music artists, unlike the early 2000s, when the pop industry was blooming like flowers in the field. The ultimate demise of this industry gave numerous woeful actors to our drama industry, people who were brilliant musicians otherwise.
Now, when things are looking a bit rosy again, Taimoor Salahuddin, popularly known as Mooroo has come out with his maiden album Pehli on a legal Pakistani music website (Patari.pk). Not many people know that Mooroo is a very talented singer and songwriter from Lahore. Unfortunately, his ‘claim to fame’ is the comedy skits with Mira Sethi on YouTube which further cements the notion that our music industry is in doldrums.
Listening to Pehli is like peeling the onion; each layer reveals a different trait of the singer’s personality in a simple, melodic, acoustic mode. ‘Mein Kon Hoon’ – just proves that. In a nutshell, this song is perhaps the story of his life.
‘Ma Ami’ – is a plain brilliant song. And I’m not exaggerating here at all. In this track the singer says things to his mother which cannot be shared easily with her, especially in our ‘eastern culture’. Many of us can easily relate to this song. Another number ‘Naach’ – is a fun, funky track with 70’s funk touch to it.
There is also a solitary English number – ‘Davinci At Grave’ in this album which can be termed as the weakest link in otherwise good offering. ‘Bohran’ – as the song title suggests is a nicely done political satire on the country.
On the whole Pehli is an amalgamation of funk and rap and some of the tracks are quite soothing to the ear, especially songs like ‘Roonay Laga’ and ‘Khwaaboun Kee Rani’.
That said, one can sense a constant vying between ‘dark’ and ‘light’ numbers in this album or perhaps it was done intentionally to strike a balance. Let’s hope Pehli becomes a beacon of light for other musicians and singers, fingers crossed.