Lot Aao - Yatagaan (1995)

"Lot Aao": This is the opening track and by far one of the best numbers featured on the album. It's a true musical adventure, with a fusion of jungle beat and funky Egyptian tunes. The result is a very floor thumping, hard core dance track. A totally new dimension to Fakhar's vocal work comes to light here with no significant trace of his earlier rap pattern.

"Gao Ki Larki": This is formulated folk with lyrics seeped in humor featuring verses like Tere Abba Kee Hai Sakht Charee . The concept behind it is pretty basic - vibrant shades of folk inter-woven into a very contemporary composition. Fakhar, the rapper is visibly present.

"Manzil": Influenced by British pop, this number has a mute texture of Fakhar's earlier work; especially the essence of his Bhangra tracks. Also, the vocal work is incessantly overshadowed by Sheheryar's (Fringe Benefits) harmonies (that are uncannily reminiscent of Nazia Hassan's voice). The sonic imagery of a laser synthesizer and frankly brilliant guitar by Faraz place this number in the gray area between average and good.

"Jhoom": Run-of-the-mill rap, that is, to the average ear. To the eardrums of the more seasoned, the difference will be quite eminent. Rap sung in key. Now this is quite innovative, except for the fact that you'd have to have quite an evolved sense of music to be able to identify it. A lot of ranting about how great Yatagaan, the band is, is what this track is primarily about. The track could have passed for the rap version of "Tribal Dance" if it was'nt for some real mean string-work by Faraz. Fakhar's wordplay often borders on the lunatic - Critics Make Me Laugh and this is perhaps one of the more stronger points of this track.

"Love Is Everywhere": Now this is the track where you actually begin noticing on the texture of Fakhar's musical transmutation. Borrowing it's element from early 80s rock, it is a number languid enough to be dreamy, the haziness of which is enhanced by haunting slide work by Faraz. Splendidily remarkable.

"Sheeshay Ki Guriya": Another rap number! (old habits don't die fast). Probably one of the weaker tracks. A slow paced lullaby based on a story contrived by Fakhar himself. Faraz as usual demonstrates his versatility by going into a very Eric Clapton mood; the only plus on the number.

"Sahara": Now this might come as a mighty big surprise to most, but Fakhar is a die hard Michael Jackson fan. He's not only kept a track of the singer's real and vinyl life but is greatly influenced by his work as well. And he's making this publicly known through this number (apart from his attire featured on the album's cover). Samplers of various Michael Jackson tracks are used lavishly throughout. Fakhar's freaky nasal modulation might jolt you but rest assured, his voice has merely been electronically altered.

"Woh Kon Hai": Its a real punchy track but needs a lot of time to get used to. Once the dust of it's turbo speed bravado settles down, you kind of like toe tapping to it.

"Forgiveness": If I was to pick one song out of this whole album as being the best, then this would be it. It is an alarmingly brilliant number, a true masterpiece, the kind one would want to have one's romantic interactions happen by. It appears as if Fakhar has given all that he possibly could to this number and that is exactly what he did, in a way, "I can only play five chords on the guitar and they are all here". But then again you have to strain real hard to make Fakhar's voice stand out. It's very nasal, perched at a point just before yoodling, very dreamy. Faraz has outdone even himself on this number. He plays acoustic guitar throughout. In fact, the number features a nine track recording of his string work. The string change is simply brilliant and so is the shredding. It's a ballad weaving it's way through classical Yanni to the stylist work of Phil Collins and sonic deliveries of "Hotel California". Outstanding!

"Ajnabi": Mainstream techno with key-pounding keybaord work. The track eerily revokes the image of Fringe Benefits, especially in terms of songwriting. The number should rather have been kept an instrumental.

"Naya Pakistan": It's quite customary to include one track in the album with a patriotic undertone. Infused with Fakhar's rap and quite a few other voices giving backing-vocals (a total of thirteen to be precise), it is frankly not a very impressive number.

Tahir Nadeem
TV Times, Pakistan