Inquilaab - Junoon (1996)

After a two year long break from their last album "Talaash", "Inquilaab" seems to be the most mature and polished of the previous two. It is experimentation all the way which is how the band identifies itself. It's fusion music, a sort of electric folk, diverse and impeccably crafted. There's a certain touch of mysticism and spirituality, which draws the listener closer to a new dimension of music, opening doors to euphonic grandeur.

Being a live band basically, Junoon have finally broken away from the drum machine neurosis and have recorded live with drums, using acoustic drums for the first time in Pakistan, which gives the album a much deeper intense sound - Malcolm has surely done a good job. The compositions have been done by Salman, sound design is by Brian and the execution by Ali, who sounds mature and better with every number. The lyrics have been written by different people, including Sabir Zafar and Shehzad Amjad.

The album has a lot to offer to everyone - from rock to folk to instrumentals to slow moving tunes. The most powerful of all seems "Saeein", inspired by Sindhi folk and fused immaculately to create that dhamaal ki kayfiat . "Mera Mahi" and "Khoeey Ankhein", on the other hand are typical Junoon numbers, rock oriented and funky. The latter one is about lost youth with a definite Salman touch to it. The amazing guitar works by both Brian and Salman sure makes you want to get up and move to the beat. Somehow by the end of the songs you actually sing along and want to play it again and again. That's what Junoon does to you; once you're hooked you're doomed!

Talking about the mystical side of "Inquilaab", "Rooh Ki Pyas" and "Iltija" are definite brain teasers - inspirational and fascinating. On "Chaley Thay Saath", a soft melodious number, you can close your eyes and drift away on the soothing side of melody reminiscing the past and the memories of a lost love.

Offering refreshing themes and a Pandora's box in terms of music, "Inquilaab" sure makes you sit up and take notice. For one, it is a breath of fresh air after two years of patient endurance. And it was worth the wait! Junoon is out to conquer, yet once again.

Rahima Nazir
TV Times, Pakistan