Jun 21, 2010 - Rohail Hayat, Sajjad Ali    23 Comments

Too much of Tan dolay Man bolay can be bad for you


After last night’s somewhat lame coke studio effort, I need to get a couple of things off with the hope that someone will get this message across to Rohail Hayat who I, along with millions of Pakistanis, respect tremendously as a musician and a music producer.

First of all, Noori needs to hire a decent lyricist, pronto. Noori is a great band but their lyrics are generally a major letdown. They are such a great band that we tend to overlook it but they would be so much better if they can match their music with some respectable lyrics. It would make their music timeless like Junoon and Vital Signs. So incensed I was at ‘Tan dolay man dolay’ litany that I listened to all Noori songs and learned that 90 per cent of their songs have some kind of tan dolay man bolay reference. For instance lines like ‘man ki aas’ and ‘man ke andar’ (Kedar), ‘Teray Tan Mein Teray Man Mein’ (Saari Raat) ‘Aaja aaja re manwa pukarey’ and ‘man yeh chahay (Jhoom Lay) ‘Chahay mann jalay, ya tann jal jayay’ (Ooncha) ‘Mann mera chahay jo woh bolay meree raah mein’ and ‘Jo tann mein dekhay, kyoon mann mein sochay’ (Jo Meray) are present in almost all the songs. They MUST either hire a lyricist or buy a couple of copies of Urdu thesaurus to find alternatives to words ‘tan’ and ‘man’. Come on guys, you can do much better. 

I still can’t get over Aisha by Amanat Ali; I mean what was Rohail Hayat thinking? However, the title of  worst performance by anyone ever in cokestudio goes to EP. They apparently “covered” Sajjad Ali’s famous ‘Bolo Bolo’ but what they forgot that it was an Urdu song and they massacred it by singing it in anglicized accent. I can understand someone who grew up in Lahore singing it in hardcore Punjabi accent, but I still cannot fathom how a Lahori can sport a fake American accent and that too in a song! How can you do justice to a song when you eat half the words in order to sound cool! As if the singing was not awful enough, Fawad’s fedora looked extremely out of place. It was a BAD BAD performance. Epic fail.

The only saving grace was ‘Naina de aakhay’by Rizwan & Moazzam. Here it is for your listening pleasure.


Clip to Evernote


  • Tazeen, I second your opinion vehemently, hands down. EP certainly stripped coke studio of all its classiness, seriously. As far as Amanat Ali Khan is concerned, I dont understand why all the Ali Khans think they can capitalise on their surname. He not only killed a beautiful song, he also put a huge dent on Coke Studio.

    Somebody please pass this message along to Rohail.

  • I didn’t catch Coke Studio last night – Saw EP’s performance on repeat, and couldn’t take it at all! It WAS horrible – switched to Channel V and haven’t heard any other performances yet.

  • Couldn’t agree more Tazeen. And quite interesting and amusing to read about ‘mann’ reference in Noori songs :p

  • I swear upon god…..kya bakwas tha kal ka Coke Ctudio….only Fakir Jumman Shah and Rizwan & Moazzam saved the day….for rest wat was Hyatt thinking?

    Fawad Khan just look good but that’s not enough to perform in coke studio…Amanat Ali disgraced himself.

    Can’t beleive you went thru the whole lyrical pattern of Noori hehehehehe true catch.
    They were the most unsync in episode 2.
    i hope next episode brings in some good stuff.

  • Arif Lohar’s Jugni in the last episode raised the bar for other performances, I think. This episode turned out wanting in that regard. Noori and EP have been around long enough to turn out a more mature performance.


  • rizwan and muazzam were definitely really good (esp in comparison to ep and the amanat dude) but what about fakir jumman shah?! you don’t mention him at all… he was so so good! but other than that definitely agree with you! haha nice one about noori’s lyrics

  • I kind of liked the EP performance but I get where you’re coming from. It was not Coke Studio standard.

  • Alif Allah Chambey Di Booti was the best. Even though I like the original piece way much more.

    Rubber Band made a rightful parody of Noori – they’ve got way too much of doling, boling manns and tanns.

    It’s hard to sell that to people over sixteen.

    Then again. If people can luuurve Atif Aslam – they can buy this tan-man business too.

    I guess.


  • You are so so right!! I despised Fawad’s singing all the way! Absolutely pathetic! EP was a disaster! Actually, The whole episode kinda sucked major. Yes, ‘Naina de aakhay’ saved the show for sure. And Noori people along with Zeb and Haniya did so well in last year’s coke studio show and what they did this time was more like teenagers experimenting with music. They sounded very unprofessional. Anyway.. 🙂

  • didnt see the episode last night. listening to naina de aakhay now, thanks for sharing the link. and, interesting post! 🙂

  • my opinion:

    – i have to say that amaanat ali sung really well, seriously. but the pathetic lyrics really killed it!

    – ‘bolo bolo’ was a good effort. thats it. nothing more. fedora had too much of a gora accent and was trying hard to take the song to a new level, but it never worked.

    – i actually liked ‘tan bolay’.. alot! yeah apart from the tan/man bit, i thought it was a really nice sweet catchy song.

  • Pakistani Pop/Rock whatever you call it is just plain rubbish. Urdu is not the language of rock or pop songs rather a language used best in drop dead boring ghazals or taranas or milli songs. Pakistani pop scene is either bubble gum candy wrapped for stupid teenagers or over the top bullshit experimental (like mixing sufi with rock or rock with qawali or sense with nonsense) for nobody.
    Grow Up!!!

  • you definitely have a point but again almost all pakistan pop-rock bands have a problem with pronunciation and lyrics. Zeb and Haniya have been educated abroad but thankfully their album was solid as far as lyrics were concerned. The fact that they have classical darri and persian songs on Cstudio and their debut album helps.

    my favorite was moomal rano by Juman Shah ie., the faquirs of Bhitshah.

  • You stole that post from the tip of my tongue. I was about to do that Noori lyric research and then make a software that generates random “Noori” lyrics for your next mega hit song. Just intersperse random words in the middle of TUN, MUN, ZAMEEN, AASMAAN and end most sentences with RAYYYY. EP actually sounded as if they were doing a parody (ala Rubberband) and Amanat Ali, please go back to your Telenor ads and wear pink and blue with Annie.

  • Fakir Jumaan’s performance was pretty epic too y’know! Ni Saiyonn was tooo long. -_-

  • I absolutely loved EP as a kid, and still do now, but this performance was just sad. When I watched the Behind the Scenes for this, I knew right then it was going to be a let down. It’s not even that it was a horrible performance… it’s just that this is Coke Studio, a show that has high standards. In addition, Coke Studio has a tradition of mixing the old with the new, and the contemporary with the legendary (anyone remember Jalpari last season?) EP has done Bolo Bolo as a cover in the past, and that didn’t sound bad. The issue that I had was that they just regurgitated that cover all over again, the same way they did it four years ago. Kidhar gayi originality? EP was a pioneer in their field back in 2003, and I fear they’re losing their touch.
    I’ve heard EP has recorded more songs at Coke Studio. I hope they do some of their originals, as that’ll provide them with the ability to experiment more. Rahguzar, Waqt and Hamesha have tremendous potential, and they can definitely tap into the classical fusion element of Coke Studio for those songs. (I’d love Fitrat and Barzakh to be done too, but that may be a little too morbid for Coke Studio’s audience…)
    Also, someone on Twitter said that no one on Coke Studio should be allowed to do covers. Gotta say, this is definitely important. Save the covers for your own shows, guys: play around with your own material. If you’ve written the song yourself, you understand the intricacy in it, and don’t feel guilty in experimenting with it.

  • In case you guys didn’t know it before, the song Aisha is originally an Algerian singer’s (Khaled Hadj Brahim’s) song.

  • takes me back to the previous coke studio where i heard atif’s maae ni and ali zafar’s yaar dadhi and jumped from the top of HBL plaza karachi and committed suicide. this is my ‘punar janam’ and in this one i don’t wanna commit suicide. I’m happy without noori and EP.

    point two, being a lyricist myself, i hate the fact that singers and bands think thats the least important thing and that they can do that themselves. i would never sing or compose music because i’m not an expert at that, they should also realize that lyrics are speicalist field and not everybody’s job.

    when it comes to lyrics, nothing beats sajjad ali. here are a few gems…


  • i cannot agree more with you on coke studio post !! i was hoping bolo bolo by EP would be a refreshing performance of the 80s hit… but as u said, it was coated with a rather lazy fake accent by fawad :s

    lol, noori, i loved their first album !

  • Being a former fan of EP with their album Irtiqa, I’ve been terribly disappointed with their ‘reunion’. I decided to give Bolo Bolo a chance nonetheless, and I was half horrified and half laughing! It was a terrible rendition! Add to that Fawad’s stupid hat for some big guffaws.

    I haven’t checked out any of the other vids, cause I take my CS seasons slowly. But I am very, VERY happy to know that Amanat Ali tanked. 🙂 Seriously. We really need to get these desi-cuteyboy-timberlake and ‘atif clone’ types off. So for providing me that info, I thank you, Tazeen.

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  • it isn’t just EP. Noori, Karavan, Ali Zafar, etc has no business being on the show either. and now Noori’s parents are going to be on the show too? wtf!?!

    guys like EP, Noori, Ali Zafar, etc have massively hurt the quality of Coke Studio. they clearly have neither the training nor the talent to keep up with the people they’re asked to collaborate with.

    Coke Studio needs Tina Sani, Nayyara Noor, Tahira Syed, Salamat Ali, etc collaborating with modern/newer artists like Ali Azmat (even though he seems to have lost his mind), Najam Shiraz, Sara Raza, Ali Abbas, etc. you know talented people working with other talented people. not real musicians working with manufactured pop rubbish like Ali Zafar.

    and for God’s sake, Mr. Zafar stop being such a fking drama queen and stop crying in your “performances” please. the audience is doing the crying for you given how awful and out of depth you are/were.

  • theres a reason the whole countrys dying for noori and their music!! i agree that the lyrics arent always innovative, but even then they manage to attract more fans with every performance. i think thats worth appreciating. and i love ali azmat and vital signs music i think you cant even begin to compare their music and their lyrics with ANYONE from todays music industry.

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