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No Other Place
Over many weeks, this song has burrowed its way into my head. It is now my favorite recording by either of Umair or Talha Anjum.
Anjum has a few different modes that range from existentialist to gangster. This song leans on the former end of that spectrum. While it may lack the aggression of Anjum’s other recordings, it does not lack bite. Anjum’s writing artfully turns every verse on its head. He does this without resorting to broad metaphor or pun, and I am consistently moved by the rhythm, plainness and beauty of his writing.
The speed with which Umair has cemented himself as a pillar of production in this country is frankly, staggering. The genius of his work is the minimalism. There’s never desperation to find a catchy hook in loud beats or obvious melodic hooks. Instead the layers are created under the breath of the vocalist. Over time, this style has become Umair’s signature.
The obvious comment to make about this song is how it showcases the versatility of this pair. If they had produced only this, I would have to be singing the song and their praises. But that they can do this and everything else should put an end to the refrain that the real talents of this country’s music were in decades past. When it comes to the choosing which generation of Pakistani music I’d rather be in – there’s no other place I’d rather be.