Atif Aslam’s ‘Rafta Rafta’ is a good looking disappointment

Rafta Rafta, the much-awaited song of Atif Aslam and its music video was released yesterday. Starring Sajal Alli, the latter was worth a watch. But the track itself was a sub-attempt at a feel-good, romantic number, especially when compared to the impeccable ballads Atif has offered many times before.

With its monotonous music and cliched lyrics, the song disappoints, to say the least. So much so that not even Atif’s vocal range and texture can save the day. Oddly, the part in Punjabi is as ostentatious as it sounds; Add a little flavor to the track.

But the samples layered with tabla make it reminiscent of so many Bollywood numbers that it could be mistaken for one. In retrospect, Rafta Rafta is one of those songs that takes away from Atif being really capable. Their singing, however, makes it passively audible but nothing that you would voluntarily, enthusiastically play in your car or sing along to. If anything, Rafta Rafta is another original from Atif which proves that he is currently struggling to create or excel the original track.

On the other hand, the music video is a three-and-a-half-minute story shot against the picturesque backdrop of Skardu. And if it wasn’t for this video, this song would have fallen flat.

It sees Sajal and Atif in their best outfits staring into each other’s eyes. And Sajal’s charm, paired with Atif’s patience, is a pleasing watch. Together they enjoy the splendor of the mountains and camp on the banks of a beautiful lake to gaze at the stars. They also end up at a romantic dinner, where Atif proposes to Sajal, which makes the video all the more dreamy.

Before Rafta Rafta, Atif Ki Raat was also not a big hit. But his productions are a different story. Raising the bar with Mustafa Jaan-e-Rahmat, Atif recreates Noor Jahan’s Aashiane Ki Baat. Titled Dil Jallen Ki Baat, Atif’s version of the song combines elements of South Asian classical music with a Western sound, almost imitating a trance number. Mid-song followed by a soft breakdown without settling percussion offered an almost qawwali experience that might leave one wanting more.

Nevertheless, Rafta Rafta released under the label of Taarish Music is directed by Hasam Baloch, jointly produced by Tarun Choudhary, Umar Ahmed, and written by Raj Ranjodh. The music video is directed by Hasam Baloch.

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