A soulful soundtrack that transcends the language barrier on its emotional journey.
Ashanti Omkar 2012
The film 7 Welcome to London is touted as encapsulating the romantic sensibilities of Bollywood’s Karan Johar with the grittiness of a Guy Ritchie flick – and accompanying music videos online are certainly befitting of this concept.
Pakistani group Access Band’s Sufi- and urban-infused Yaadhan (translation: "moments") has an infectious pop vibe. Vocalist Asad Ali Khan’s classically trained approach and Ashley Clements’ hip hop flow combine to create an appealing and memorable track. Hardly sui generis stuff, but it’s a fine fusion of sounds.
Tera Saath Ho ("when you’re with me"), by Pakistani pop sensation Falak Shabir, has already been a hit in its native country, courtesy of the singer’s soaring vocals and the distinctive sentimental pull of what’s a fine love song. It is tightly produced with a simple but effective chord structure, and the perfect pitch of Falak’s high notes make it a joy to listen to. Mera Mann ("my heart") packs a similarly emotional punch – but Falak’s vocals here are rather different to his preceding contribution, tapping into deep feelings of longing and separation. The minimalism of this ballad strikes a chord, embodying an intrinsic beauty.
Falak’s third number, the Punjabi language Rog, has racked up over a million views on YouTube. The frustration of trying to survive without true love is magnified with aggressive vocals and a fluid flute-based melody. Another Pakistan artist, Sohail Haider, presents Paas Aakay ("come closer to me") – but it, and its remix version, comprise weak links on this collection, as there’s a disconnect between some strong vocal development and overtly harsh percussion.
Pakistani rock singer Zuj Jibran sings Bayrukhi ("distant"), which is cushioned with strong guitars and heavy drums. The song is about embracing destiny against all odds and is directly comparable to AR Rahman’s hit from the 2011 film Rockstar, Saadda Huq. He also sings Hum Adhoray ("alone"), another standout, which transfuses a feeling of emptiness.
The remixes are fillers, but turn Yadaan and Rog into club-playable tracks. For an Asian film soundtrack, the abject absence of female vocals strikes an odd chord. Nevertheless, this is a well-realised soundtrack, for those who enjoy breezy listening and catchy melodies.