Sound of the nation “Coke Studio” is progressing towards airing absolutely fresh and magnificent music every Saturday on our TV screens. Fans anxiously wait for what the musical platform will bring forward in the next episode. Episode 2 of Season 9 has brought a bunch of singers and music directors upholding the tradition of musical combos produced under the roof of “Coke Studio” like we all have seen previously on this platform. This time, the artists who contributed to musical renditions were Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Azmat, Javed Bashir, Meesha Shafi, Haroon Shahid, Quratulain Baloch and Momina Mustehsan. “Afreen afreen” performed by maestro Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, along with debutant Momina Mustehsan, presented the very song in an absolute latest version. The song was originally sung and composed by the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – the king of qawwali – who was known for his lethal compositions all around the world. This remake of “Afreen afreen” is totally different from the original version, turning the classic track into a softer and a seductive melody played in an acoustic atmosphere. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, popular for singing soft melodious songs across the border, edged up the song by singing it sensually. Music director Faakhir Mehmood added a female voice for a different flavour in the song. Though Mustehsan sang a tiny bit of lyrics, it added a melodious touch. The song ended into a classical qawwali by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan that boosted the rhythm of beat in general. The second song added another mood to the music for listeners that included various elements of modern-classical Sufism and a touch of pop/rock. Yes! I am talking about the duet performed by Javed Bashir and Ali Azmat, “Man Kunto Maula”, music composed by Jaffer Zaidi of ‘Kaavish’ and Urdu lyrics written by Sabir Zafar. We have heard this song before in the voice of the legendary Sufi queen Abida Parveen, but Bashir’s voice almost equalled the level of mysticism in this track. Ali Azmat, in my viewpoint, played the role of a sidekick, especially when he began the song. Azmat managed to pick his vocals in the middle, which added a magical pop/rock touch. Let’s have a look at the third song, “Bholay Bhalay” featuring Meesha Shafi, directed by Shani Arshad. Shafi has been known for her powerfully-distinctive voice that can add life to a song, but her fourth performance on “Coke Studio” platform turned out to be mediocre. It sounds like an isolated song, as it could not strengthen the vocal range of Shafi. The beat also has a low, mediocre touch that could not solidify the singer’s voice. The song could not grab much attention of the “Coke Studio” fans. The fourth and last duo “Baliye” was performed by QB and Haroon Shahid, directed by Noori and penned by Haroon himself. The collaborative effort of QB and Shahid added power and sensation to the song altogether. Originally sung by Musarrat Nazir, the song has a touch of ardent beats that has added desi rhythm to the song. QB, on her part, sang it zealously beautiful, but Haroon could not put much effort to make the song one of the classic ‘hits’ of the season. The overall experience of this episode was a little disappointing as compared to Episode 1, but the fans are hopeful for some more amazing tracks, from this platform to hold onto throughout the year and dance to the excellence of the produced beats.