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Atif Aslam Meri Kahani Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

...presumably appeal to would be fans of Iron Maiden or college campus rock.

Jaspreet Pandohar 2008

After the super success of his debut album, Doorie, Atif Aslam returns with his second solo offering. Taking a distinctly mellower tone, Meri Kahani (My Story) is more a collection of rock lullabies than the rock anthems one would expect from Pakistan's answer to Bruce Springsteen.

Having bowled over fans with belting rock ballads and wooed Bollywood with subtle love songs in films such as Race and Tere Bin, Atif sounds uncharacteristically lacklustre here. Gone are his trademark youthful numbers and in their place reside a strange mix of soft rock songs that fail to register above the decibel level. With barely audible lyrics, it's almost as though Atif has pledged to whisper his way through the album.

Despite a dozen tracks on the menu, it is astonishing only a couple are of any interest. The title song, Meri Kahani and duet Kaun Tha (kapkapi) stand out among a plethora of samey sounding numbers. Meri Kahani's acoustic rock flavour and the dulcet duet with female vocalist SKJ is the closest Atif comes to sounding his usual self.

Chhod Gaye comes slightly close to arousing with the chorus rising to a crescendo towards the end. And while one can feel emotion and pain in Atif's voice in this number, and tenderness in Mann Hota Hai, they're not interesting enough to warrant a repeat listen.

Joug, Rabba Sacheya and Mae Ne make particularly depressing listening, while Hangami Halat unexpectedly burst the eardrums with its heavy metals riffs. The only music connoisseurs this would presumably appeal to would be fans of Iron Maiden or college campus rock.

As principle singer and songwriter on Meri Kahani, the blame undoubtedly lies on Atif's lap. Preferring to indulge his personal tastes by narrating his own journey through life, he fails to make music that would appeal to his loyal audience.

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