Pyar Karannu Dil Karda - Najam (2000)

The first thing you need to know about this album is that it is completely and thoroughly a Punjabi album, and the general mood is festive. At this point we have established two factors: you do not mind listening to Punjabi songs or you are a big fan of Najam. But I, for one, blame Daler Mehndi for starting this tradition of singing Punjabi songs in the pop genre and today this is a must for mainstream singers. This move took both sides of the Great Divide by storm that now even Junaid Jamshaid of Vital Signs is rumored to have sung a Punjabi song in his upcoming solo album. What's the world coming to!

This album was recorded in a month. Najam wanted to do a few Punjabi songs a la Daler Mehndi style but Dr. Rifat Siddiqui of Lips Records wanted a full fledged Punjabi album.

The first song is the title track "Pyar Karannu Dil Karda". While listening to the tune for the first time, you will find it very upbeat and danceable. The lyrics are catchy. the composition peppy. At the end, you will defenitely reach for the rewind button without much effort. And listening to it for the third time, you will reach for the volume and turn it all the way to the right. When it will end for the third time, and you can resist the temptation to listen to it for the fourth time, be ready for a pleasant surprise. Because the second song, "Baliyae" is another foot tapping number that will have you humming along in a second. It is possibly the third best song of this album. The lyrics are by Sabir Zafar - who is to Junoon what Shoaib Mansoor was to Vital Signs. The tune is very addictive with Najam using his vocals superbly. In the third song, "Rabba" Najam experiments like his earlier albums and tries to sing like Inayat Hussain Bhatti. Bhatti's style was high pitched and Najam tries to do just that. I believe that Najam and Ali Azmat (of Junoon) are the only singers who can sing the high pitched notes without breaking. Notes are never low or high, it's the scale or pitch of the artist that varies, their voices do not disintegrate either. Next is "Akh Laray", a somewhat slower song. So, if you were feeling energised after the first three songs, this is your chance to, put your feet up and relax. Then comes "Soniah Veh". It is a treat of a song and extremely easy on the ears. I guess Najam decided, at this point, to shake things up a bit and he accomplished just that.

Turning the side, we are confronted with "Nach Kay", which although essentially a mehndi type song, has a danceable beat and Najam urges people to wake up and dance to his tunes. In "Tabiban", Najam sings to tell you not to expect the docter of your heart to arrive in time. The song is danceable and lyrics are somewhat hum-able. And the general mood throughout the song, however, is that of hopelessness. The "Menu Tere Nal" music is Rajhastani based and very soothing at times. A slow number that oozes romance it will set many hearts aflutter. Sabir Zafar and Najam composed "Ne Mai Menu" together and what they created was a heartbreak number; very melodious and - this being Najam's forte - eloquently pleading. You may even end up wishing that the song would keep rewinding itself. Sabir and Najam outdo themselves in this particular number, which to my mind, is possibly the best of the album. Najam collaborated with Kashif Hussain for "Kajla" and the result is a foot tapping song; a real treat to listen to. It sure is a great song on which to end the cassette. You may decide to listen to this song again or go back to the top of the album. Either way, you won't be able to take this cassette out from your stereo for some time.

Najam claims that Ashraf and Zeeshan provided music for this album and that it was composed in a week. I wonder if composing and providing album are two different things.

This is an excellent gift to hand over for festive occasions or for a well loved one. You will not feel embarrassed while doing so as you would if you were giving them a Daler Mehndi's album. While Daler chooses to ask the listener "Bolo Tara Ra Ra Ra Ra", Najam chooses to pour your heart out and say things to your beloved on your behalf.

Curiously there are no lyrics in the inlay card. I wonder why? Is Najam so sure that the lyrics are too clear or is it because they are not that important! Either way, till you listen and absorb the album yourself you will not know the answer.