Album Review: Siege’s Police
An unconventional route to take to fame, Siege the band has released their debut album after winning awards for the track titled Armaan.
Their hit single was recognized as the Best Song of the Year at the TMAs held in 2008 in Pakistan. However, the four-member band comprising Junaid Younus (lead vocals), Ahsan Parvaiz (lead guitars & backing vocals), Fahad Parvaiz (rhythm guitars) and Farhan Syed Mirza were out of the limelight for a year or so before they returned to the scene with the triple nominated number, Faaslay at the MTV Awards in 2009.
An analysis of Siege’s debut album, Police, showcases the presence of an amalgam of genres ranging from pop-rock to hip-hop, and from Sufi to hard rock. The pop rock element is eminent throughout the course. Junaid, who seems quite inspired by the legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi, has fairly distributed the vocals in Punjabi and Urdu.
A funky rhythmic riff ignites the title track of the album, which is a satirical take on the social system. The tune itself is amusing and bouncy with a shattering bass line, an anthem with the groovy guitar riff maintaining tempo and complimenting all the vocals aptly.
The track Police is about how families of low-grade government servants expect so much from them. As Junaid sings “Police ich parti ho gaya mai; Daoon jamata paas sa mai; Sidha ee afsar ho gaya; Maan meri maino kaindi putt taino afsar parti karaya aay; Buddi daindi taanay maa pay kithay maino phasaya aay” (I got recruited in the police, I am only a 10th grader and have become an officer; My mother says I have got you recruited as an officer; My wife complains to her where has she got stuck). Sure winner this one.
The album only gets better with Faasley; a rock track that encapsulates Junaid’s vocal talent with touchy lyrics. The song is different for it caters to two unique beats which are very easy on the ears. The award-winning Armaan gets the pace going again, with Junaid opening up in an impeccable vocal performance. I liked this tune from the off, and it changes harmonies consistently to maintain interest. The hook is infectious and the chorus catchy.
For Sufi music lovers, Siege offers a treasure in the form of Arzee, a faultless gloomy Punjabi slow jam with a beautiful flute melody and deep lyrics throughout.
Kya Mane is an upbeat pop number with a memorable chorus while Tum Bin is another strong romantic track on the album.
The wind is blown out of the sails by the melodic Tanhai Mein. Ahsan’s hypnotic vocal delivery effectively mesmerises the listener in the well-produced track.
The album comes to a halt with Marna Vi Naee, a gloomy tune where Ahsan’s scratching with the funky guitar is euphoric in its dreaminess.
Police has a definite mainstream presence as Siege’s pop-rock influence is ubiquitous throughout, but it does not detract from the desi rock feel that remains with the music. Junaid Younus impresses the listener throughout the course of the album and his inspiration by Rafi’s vocal style will definitely take him a long way.
All the musicians have played their respective instruments with elegance.
On a patriotic front, the band has decided to donate the royalties from the album to the flood victims and perform free in educational institutions whose students purchase a certain number of album copies – Shahzeb Shaikh