You could say that Atif Aslam is Pakistan's Madonna - in the sense that he's quick to pick up on a trend, and appropriate it. No wonder he's being called the 'King of Genres'.

How successful he is with these appropriations is often questionable. He's been from rock to pop rock to Sufi rock to Bollywood and back. His new songs have been Punjabi pop, where there was clearly a gap in the market for Atif to get into. It seems like more of an insights-driven marketing tactic than an artistic decision, but what to do.

His latest is Moonrise, an insipid ode to lovers 'who love to the moon and back.' The song came out with a music video in which Atif - and the audience - only have eyes for the lovely Amy Jackson, but with a subtext of wondering why Atif Aslam finds it impossible to remember his own lyrics while shooting a music video. He lifelessly opens and closes his mouth like a sort of fish, and I must say the poor editor has done a decent job at trying to match whatever it is he's doing to the vocals.

While Atif is devoid of all expression in the video, this is pretty much the case in his vocals as well. One would have been happy that he's not indulged in the random murkis that have been his trademark since Aadat, but perhaps a few of those would have added some emotion to a song that feels like a creation of artificial intelligence.

It should be Atif Aslam's goal to leave behind a legacy that can be a part of our cultural heritage - Moonrise won't be a part of that

Okay, let's have a look at what works: it is well-produced. Even though the producer did not manage to extract any emotion from...

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