There is no denying the fact that the music scene in Pakistan has always been distinct and diverse. And with the resurrection of Pakistani cinema happening in the decade that has passed, Pakistan music industry gets to once again boast of its distinguishable film music. Many of the films that released in this decade had a soundtrack that was not only catchy but also proved crucial in marketing the film to the audience. The film music not only topped many musical charts in the decade but also helped new, independent musicians in getting a platform to showcase their talent on a large scale.
Here are the ten of the best film music albums that came out in the past decade, listed chronologically. We are looking at the quality of the film album as a whole and not just counting individual songs.
Bin Roye (2015)
Music: Shiraz Uppal, Sahir Ali Bagga, Shani Arshad and Waqar Ali
The 2015 release film Bin Roye has one of the most wholesome soundtracks for any Pakistani films released this decade. With music composed by Shiraz Upal, Sahir Ali Bagga, Shani Arshad, and Waqar Ali, the soundtrack consists of ballads, upbeat pop music, and a shaadi anthem. One of the most commendable things of the film’s soundtrack is how each song fits in the narrative of the film seamlessly however, they each hold their own as stand-alone songs as well. Ballay Ballay remains a popular song for mehendi ceremonies while O Yara‘s haunting melody and stirring lyrics convey the emotion of deep love like no other.
Dekh Magar Pyaar Se (2015)
Music: Soch the Band, Mooroo, Asrar and Saira Haider
While this 2015 release might not have gained many favorable reviews from the critics, the one unanimously praised feature of this film is its brilliant soundtrack. The soundtrack consists of modern remakes of beloved classics and famous folk songs. Apart from these the original songs and the inclusion of tracks produced by indie artists give the album a wholesome feel which is an instant favorite for any music lover. The upbeat version of Kaala Doriyaan gave the new generation a fun way of enjoying this folk song.
Ho Mann Jahaan (2016)
Music: Zebunissa Bangash, Atif Aslam, Faakhir Mehmood, Jimmy Khan, Mai Dhaai Band and Ehtasham Mallick
This coming-of-age film released in 2016 was based on a group of three friends who all had musical aspirations. Naturally that meant that the soundtrack of the film had to be strong which it was. In addition to that it featured much diversity in the genres of the music and had everything for something. Featuring famous qawaals, folk singer, pop singers, as well as indie singers, the music of Ho Mann Jahaan is like a kaleidoscope of diversity all brought together with much care. Because seven out of the ten songs featured in the soundtrack were remakes of already made songs, the soundtrack showcases the kind of musical talent and diversity the country has to offer. Shakar Wandaan Re will forever remain a bop and its ability to bring everyone on the dance floor to do the song’s signature dance step cannot be matched by any other song.
Punjab Nahin Jaungi (2017)
Music: Shiraz Uppal, Shani Arshad, Sahir Ali Bagga, Farhan Saeed and Ahmed Ali Butt
One of the biggest hits of the decade could not have happened without the help of its soundtrack. The music of Punjab Nahin Jaungi is composed by various artists to produce an album full of originally composed and completely filmy songs. While the romantic tracks Aye Dil and Tere Naal Naal made the audience swoon with their smooth melody, the film’s dedicated dance track 24/7 Lakk Hilna became the life of the mehendi dance floor. The special track Rab Rakha sung and composed by Farhan Saeed elevated the quality of an already wonderful soundtrack.
Arth – The Destination (2017)
Music: Sahir Ali Bagga
Arth‘s soundtrack consists of fourteen tracks composed by Sahir Ali Bagga. While the sheer number of the songs featured in the album might seem overwhelming to some, the soundtrack of the film is actually a crucial part of the film’s narrative as one of the main characters of the film is a musician. A musical film needs to have a strong soundtrack and Arth‘s soundtrack delivers just that. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan went on to win the LSA for Best Male Singer for his song Sanwar De Khudaya featured in the film’s soundtrack.
Teefa in Trouble (2018)
Music: Ali Zafar
This 2018 blockbuster film did many things and it did them completely right. With Ali Zafar, one of the most talented musicians of Pakistan, at the helm of creating music for his film, it was almost a guarantee that the soundtrack of the film would be a work of impeccable quality. Item Number was the most trending song of the year whereas the tracks Chan Ve and Sajna Door became the love anthems. The Lahori soul of the film was evident in the soundtrack with the rap song Butt Sahab and the inclusion of the traditional song Nahin Jaana.
Parwaaz Hai Junoon (2018)
Music: Azaan Sami Khan
Films based on patriotic themes demand to have music that can convey the energy of the jawaans who fight for the country’s safety and honor every day. And the debutant music director Azaan Sami Khan managed to create a soundtrack that perfectly captured all the emotional beats of the film’s story within the music. Main Udaa had the right amount of blood pumping zeal that suited the ambitions of the Pakistan Air Force around whom the story revolved. Thaam Lo, on the other hand, was the heart warming romantic track which sang of the romance of these youths. And Musafir was the perfect haunting track to close the emotional journey of the film.
Music: Zebunissa Bangash, Taha Malik, Jamal Rehman and Tafu
Not many films explore the reality of the world of Lollywood the way Baaji did. Its soundtrack in turn ended up both paying homage to as well as reviving the charm of the old-school Pakistani film music that was lost for so long. The soundtrack features of some classic Lollywood songs remade with a modern touch. Khilti Kali and Yeh Aaj Mujh Ko definitely manage to re-introduce the classics to a whole bunch of new listeners while Gangster Guriya is a song that is the reflection of the sensibilities of current cinema.
Parey Hut Love (2019)
Music: Azaan Sami Khan
With the film being heavily marketed as a grand cinematic affair, the music of the film had to be something similar. With Parey Hut Love, Azaan Sami Khan more or less cemented his position as one of the country’s most talented musicians for the soundtrack of Parey Hut Love was grand, filmy, but most importantly – original. Hayye Dil Bechara was the year’s most-viewed film music video and the song dominated the dance floors of the country. Behka Na as the soundtrack’s romantic number tugged the heartstrings of all the romantics. And Ik Pal was a clever remake of the traditional song Chan Maahi meant to be played profusely at weddings all around.
Music: Azaan Sami Khan
There is a range in Superstar‘s soundtrack that is so rarely found in any music album. Azaan Sami Khan’s third venture as a music director is perhaps his most complex work that could very well become his signature style. There is a grandness in the soundtrack’s romantic ballad Bekaraan, the blend of qawali with a distinctly pop sound in Ghalat Fehmi is a reflection of the feeling of heartbreak that can be quite messy and tough to reconcile with. While Noori provides the soundtrack a touch of masala that is true of the film’s world of cinema.