Home Lifestyle Multan Sultans PSL9 song is not Multani | The Express Tribune

Multan Sultans PSL9 song is not Multani | The Express Tribune

Multan Sultans PSL9 song is not Multani | The Express Tribune


Despite featuring powerhouses like Natasha Noorani, Maanu and Talal Qureshi, the cricket anthem has nothing to say


Pakistan Super League’s anthems for its 9th edition face a tremendous challenge: like every year, they have to cohere and indulge a wider music taste and capitalise on Pakistani awaam‘s love for cricket. However, this year, there is no denying that the cricket league comes sandwiched between sheer political discord and uncertainty.

But fans of Multan Sultans have neither a Prime Minister now nor a decent anthem to help them momentarily forget the former reality. So far, no cricket song from PSL9 has surpassed its previous offerings but Multan Sultans’ cricket song is not just a run-of-the-mill anthem.

Sultanat is a lacklustre effort that barely maintains any cultural connection with Multan, except for flashy drone shots of the city’s major sites. To lend some perspective, here is a city crowned as a spiritual capital, entangled with histories of various empires and captures. A city of this much historical import and potential for creative pathways could not have been represented worse in the PSL than this song does.

There is a fine line between due recognition and projecting difference. Listening to Sultanat, there is little about the song’s execution that suggests its link to Multan, save for some ad hoc references to ‘sohan halwa.’ Peshawar Zalmi’s latest Zalmi Yama gets this somewhat right, being both danceable and grounded, if not the next big hit. Sultanat is neither catchy nor inventive; it’s also not Multani.

The anthem offers a dull audio-visual package that diverges entirely from the point of making an anthem for Multan in the spirit of cricket to include generic auto-tuned rap. Maanu, Natasha Noorani and Talal Qureshi are a powerhouse trio on their own but fail to impress here. Noorani, who has a commendable body of work of her own, was a poor selection to sing this song with a vocal performance that’s too clean and sanitised.

Pitch-corrected rap and glossy vocals try to impart a sense of ‘new’ but in a market saturated by this sound, Sultanat makes no effort to innovate in a way that could speak to a city that cannot easily be mistaken for just some city.

The music video is the only way of developing a vague understanding of the purpose of the song. While there are interesting cuts and transitions and also some amusing cartoonish motion graphics and VFX, the supporting audio track is too shallow to appreciate any of this. Everything done to visually include the aesthetic of Multan feels like a vague urban replication and reconstruction of what seems traditional to those at the ‘centre’.

Despite the efforts, the song is far from an audiovisual treat. Especially detached from its visual component, the song relies a bit too much on the typical synth horn plugin that every PSL music composer has been given free, no-limit access to. At this point what holds back a PSL song or anthem from being a meaningful ode to cultural representation is an overreliance on this particular sound.

It has to be understood that a strong anthem can be made without overusing these synth horn melodies. Not only does it feel like an IPL rehash, but over 9 years this sound has grown too monotonous and non-expressive. In a nutshell, Sultanat sounds like a roughly produced generic with in-the-face Bollywood elements.

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