better than radiohead
Devotional Songs is a studio album by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party released in 1992. The music is Sufi devotional music known as Qawwali. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan PP (Punjabi: نصرت فتح علی خان; born Pervez Fateh Ali Khan; 13 October 1948 – 16 August 1997) was a Pakistani singer, songwriter, and music director. He was primarily a singer of qawwali — a form of Sufi devotional music. Sometimes called the "Shahenshah-e-Qawwali" (the King of Kings of Qawwali), he is considered by The New York Times to be the greatest qawwali singer of his generation. He was described as the fourth greatest singer of all time by LA Weekly in 2016. He was known for his vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours. Khan is widely credited with introducing qawwali music to international audiences.
better than radiohead
I really loved this music and learning of the great esteem so many had for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, especially, but not only, in Pakistan. It's always a little humbling to realize there's so much I'm not even aware of in this world. Turns out I have listened to him performing a different recording of "Allah Hoo" on the soundtrack to "Monsoon Wedding," which I played quite a lot when it came out. There he was all this time, and me not aware of who this artist was. I do feel a certain joy and contemplation while listening, which I think just hints at what really lies behind his music.
OK, I know I've bitched about the anglocentricity of this whole project. So I shouldn't complain too much when they branch out to something different. But damn, this sucks.
If I had to torture someone for exactly 1.5 hours I would simply play them this album.
The title doesn't lie here. I can hear the devotion in Khan's voice, and it's a major reason why the music is as good as it is. This is a deeply passionate collection of songs that shouldn't be overlooked by any fan of world music. Ali Khan's voice is an emotional beckoning.
The Spotify link actually leads to the double-release *Love Song* and *Devotional Songs*, called *Love & Devotion* for that reissue. But given Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan's protean discography, it's not a problem to spend a little more time with him anyway... I don't know much about the Qawwali school of music Khan was the grand master of, to be honest (I have another NFAK album at home, *Mustt Mustt*--one of his crossover collaborations with Michael Brook--but it's literally been *decades* since I listened to it). And obviously I can't understand the words Nusrat sang. Yet it's funny how "love songs" sounded like genuine "devotional songs" to me (and vice-versa). After I've listened to those two records, I've read some stuff online suggesting the two formats are actually deeply related to each other, so I wasn't that far off the mark, I guess. In a way, "love" and "devotion" are interchangeable here, even if the religious or romantic contexts behind them are not (and Khan would most certainly frown upon me for doing so). Oddly enough, I tend to prefer the instrumentation and harmonies displayed on *Love Songs*, even if critics more specialized and knowledgeable that I will ever be on the subject singled out *Devotional Songs* as the slightly superior album between the two. Whatever the case may be, it's a great experience to go through them one after the next... It's always odd to select a little bit of "global" music in a list clearly centered on the Western World. Maybe each continent could have its own 1001 albums list to enhance and praise different musical traditions from all around the world. I don't know if that's a good idea, but that could at least make up for the cultural bias of this particular list. No judging here, it's a bias that I personally share with Dimery and co., even if I know it's a flaw (admittedly an unavoidable one, wherever you come from). That being said, and to return to this particular double-release, I like this man's voice. And his music is rich, entrancing and far more varied in its harmonies (along with the different emotions it triggers) than the codified tradition it draws from lets on... 4/5. It's the sort of record that makes me eager to learn more, and there are not so many of them, are they? Since I've listened to that double-album, I've dug further, and found many gems by NFAK. Listening to them, I've come to realize that the lush orchestration and the edited versions of *Love And Devotion* have their charms and serve the songs right, but that some of the other live versions of those compositions out there are *way more* intense, just as they are longer and more adventurous. Feeling like I'm falling into a wonderful rabbit hole here. Thanks, Dimery and co. :) Number of albums left to review: 585 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 199 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 95 (including this one) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 123
It made me want to get up and shuffle with my fist on my forehead.
This was something new and different. I was a bit concerned that it might grow a bit tiresome, but it definitely did not. Outstanding!
Nice to be exposed to it. Apparently it is called Qawwali . Very different than what I am used to, but at the same time, definitely not alien, there is a familiarity with it that transcends language. 3.5 but would give it 4 for the novelty.
It's very difficult to find this. He appears to have recorded about eleventy million albums, a significant portion of them posthumously. Which is impressive indeed. What I've managed to find, I've enjoyed. So let's go for 4.
Once you spend some time with it you see why it belongs on this list.
The Pakistani Paul Simon
This is a wonderful album, every song had me tuned in. I feel sorry for people who can’t appreciate this kind of thing. I’ve found that listening to something outside of your own language lets you connect on a deeper level to the music. I loved listening to this and will be back for more!
You know, I don't know what they are saying in this music, nor do I really have much of an idea of how to describe it. It's really cool, though, how music can be so unfamiliar in terms of its language, structure, and instruments, and yet be so accessible. It's just a great listen, and Khan has an incredible voice 4/5
growing up on bollywood movies and music, sufi music like what's found in devotional songs is old hat to me! what is new to me, however, is nusrat fateh ali khan himself. he brought international recognition to qawwali music, sufi islamic devotional singing. despite dying quite young, his legacy lives on with how he continues to inspire young musicians today. from personal experience, this kind of music has appeared many, many times in south asian films since his death in 1997. his early death makes me wonder what kind of contributions he could've continued to provide to bollywood films! anyway, as far as this album goes, its music is serene and blissful. the vocals pack an emotional punch, even when you can't understand the lyrics. some may call this style of music repetitive, but religious singing always is--the singers want to express their love for their god(s)! outside of the singing, the instrumentation is good. using south asian instruments, the music has a consistent, rhythmic beat that acts as a trance. but since singing is the main focus of this music, it should be and is dominating over the instruments.
Not too devoted to it
This was a little unexpected. While maybe not my usual fare and not likely to become a part of my daily routine, I’m glad to have something like this appear on the list. Really great!
I don’t know enough about this kind of music to say anything informed or intelligent about it but I liked it and could use a bit more love and devotion in my world.
Thats a 5
Very interesting rhythmically and melodically, hugely enjoyed this album and will definitely revisit!
Was very surprised with this one. Absolute banger. Fully deserving of the 5/5
true hero of African music, addictive music, can listen to this for days.
Very powerful voice and hypnotic music i like it! caution, streaming services they had it as a double album called Love and Devotion Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party. 5
Great stuff! I wasn't too familiar with this specific album, but I love some of his other stuff, and have been a fan since he appeared in the "Natural Born Killers" soundtrack. Qawwali has a lovely hypnotic cinematic quality - I could happily listen to it all day. Fave track - "Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Dam Dam" let's say, but it doesn't make a great deal of sense to pick individual tracks off this album...
I also discovered Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan via the Natural Born Killers soundtrack and this is the first time I've really dug in since then. A great album each track awesome.
Dope ass album.
Really beautiful stuff - an amazing singer and great band. I like some of his stuff with electronic beats a little better but this is really moving music.
This is fantastic. Albums like this are why I started listening to this list. Never heard of this artist before. I'd like to be in a restaurant sitting on pillows, eating and listening to a band playing this type of music. This album makes me want to travel.
The vocals are astonishing, soaring and elegant and powerful and the interplay between voice and percussion adds so many layers to the sound. I feel ill judged to rate this - however, I found it moving, catchy and incredible.
where’s the gif of that white cat bobbing it’s head with its eyes closed. me af with these jams. this is absolutely the kind of thing i’d bump into just typing the names of random countries into spotify’s search but what a *voice* this man has. grateful to have been introduced to it. (and, admittedly, grateful to be listening to an artist from Anywhere But the US or the UK) the entry about this album in the book is a little weird.
Powerfully spiritual music performed by great musicians.
Had no idea what to expect, but this was an excellent soundtrack for a day.
Beautiful, but requiring further study.
This album is not something I ever would have been exposed to save for this project. I don't know enough about this style of music to say much about it, but I did enjoy the gentle driving beats and Nusrat Feteh Ali Khan's voice, which I read had the ability to withstand hours of uninterrupted singing.
I loved it!! I haven't listened to Nusrat's work before specifically but I have been getting more and more into this style of classical South Asian music (I know that's an insanely huge/broad category) I love this style of singing and instrumentation I think it's highly skilled and impressive. I enjoy the sounds and I am going to add this into my rotation plus spend more time exploring his wider body of work.
This is super, super dope. Love the percussion. Makes me wanna spread my arms and paddle turn for my life. Whirling dervish! Gonna have to revisit this next time I'm playing a strategy game in this part of the world. Also I can't wrap my head around all the people in the reviews complaining about how they can't understand what he's saying. Bananas. Though I don't even really listen to lyrics until several times through even when it's in English. Just interesting (and a lil frustrating) to see the different ways people listen to music.
A very impressive 45 minutes of music with a voice that carries power as well as gentleness.
qawwali and response
You're not exactly gonna put it on during your morning commute, but this album rips
Considering this is a genre I’ve never listened to before from a culture i have relatively limited exposure to, I got a lot from this. Beautiful music if you sit with it. I think I would listen to this again!
Wild and entertaining. 4 sitars.
Very interesting, I love this music. Much of it sounds the same being I don’t speak the language but the music is beautiful.
Better than The White Album
Wish there were more non-English/non-western albums on this list, always enjoy them when they pop up. The Spotify album the site links to is actually a double album which was probably a bit too much but enjoyed this one for being so different
Fun, lively. I'm not super informed about this genre, but I enjoyed it while it was on. The performances, especially vocally, are fun and engaging. Favorite tracks: "Haq Ali Ali Haq", "Yaad-e-Nabi Gulshan Mehka"
4.2 - Such a triumphant voice that’s both powerful and gravelly. He chants so confidently up and down the scales. I love the hand clapping, the call-and-response. This is a very human, very uplifting sound that can’t help but buoy the spirit.
Quite inspirational music really. Its a culture shock yeah but what they do they do really well. I have no scale to measure how this compares to "lesser" sufi music so I have to be trusting !
a surprising jam. so melodically complex.
Kovat instrut ja siisti lauluääni. Taas kerran tykkään että listalla on jotain muutakin kuin brittirockia. 4/5
Kaunis levy sisällön ja kannen osalta. Hienot vokaalit ja kauheet palkeet. Todella raikasta aina kuulla jotain muuta kun brittikamaa. Mutta pahus tämäkin on kokoelma! Noh... pirskatti. Musa on kyl kovaa! 4/5
Something I would never have listened to without this albums list. Grateful for the chance to hear it!
Screw in the light-bulb............ pat the dog..................... But no, this is why I love this thing - unlikely I would ever have come across this album in the course of my "normal" listening and it's a lovely lovely thing. Will it be a "go-to" in future? Unlikely. Am I pleased I heard it? 100%
Totalement inattendu, mais vachement bien. Beaucoup aimé Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Dam Dam, mais globalement toutes les instrus sont vachement bien la voix est vachement maitrisée, excellente découverte.
New discovery for me. Spotify links to the double album release: "Love Songs" and "Devotional Songs", and it took a couple of songs before I had figured this out. From what I heard I liked the opening song of Love Songs the most - great beat - but Devotional Songs is excellent as well, close to 5 stars for me.
Fun album, and I enjoyed it. This is the sort of thing where like, I was vibing the whole time, but never would think to turn it back on later. I don't know why that is. 3.5/5
- Interesting and energetic. - A bit too distracting when trying to do other things.
8/10. This was really cool, wasn't sure what this was gonna be like, but had a really good sound to it.
I honestly really enjoyed these, I thought they were well crafted and would heavily enjoy listening to them again.
There were some BOPS on this bad boy, I had a lot of fun.
Really interesting and unexpected. Beautiful.
This was a very good album, especially for a style of music I'd never listened to proper before
Now that's what I'm talking about! Every song on the album is exactly the same, but who cares when that one vibe is my jam?
His music let in a little light on the darkness of my soul!
Repetitive, meditative. Made for a pleasant work commute. Probably won't listen ever again but don't feel like I wasted the time.
Interesting music! Great voice.
There's a wonderful nearly thirty-minute cut of Ni Main Jogi De Naal out there, and it's more live, too. Devotional Songs fits six pieces of downright reasonable length. The dynamics of Khan's voice are perceptible if not evident; The recordings provide a divinely sweet hint of the improvisation possible in Qawwali.
Nice to see some world music on here. This album has some great beats and instrumentals. The vocals are madness. Like he going for it! And the backing group vocals are nice af too. Only getting four because it’s not really something I’m ever gravitated to listening to but it’s still fire
I could listen to this all day. No clue what a meaningful rating would be, other than the singer has a strong voice.
Next 5 songs played by my Spotify Algorithm: Mehdi Hassan - Ye Duhan Aabha Hanjura - Punjabi Folk Boliyan Mame Khan - Kesariya Balam Madhuri Sharma, NFAK - Mere Baad Kisko Sataoage (Lo-Fi) Abida Parveen - Dhundo Ge Agar Mulkon
My gateway to discovering Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was Jeff Buckley's cover of "Yeh Jo Halka Saroor Hae" on the Live at Sin-é album. And as soon as I listened to "Love & Devotion" all those years ago I could immediately hear the influence in Jeff's music. Nusrat's huge voice is unlike anything I've ever heard, and the arrangements on this album are mind-blowing. This isn't an album, it's a journey!
It's all very beautiful and great energy. A fun listen, but damn it was long! 4.5
The site links to a combo album and the listed album is the second half of the combo. It really slaps!
I was introduced to N Khan’s music decades ago. His voice is spectacular and is nicely augmented by percussion.
A great texture, interesting arrangements, and it's always nice to hear music from different cultures.
There's something about other culture's spiritual songs that makes you appreciate the immense talent that their faith brings out. Whether from the American Plains, the Asian and African continents - you don't know the language they're singing in, but you don't need to. You just jump in and enjoy the ride. 4.5/5.
First time I've seen the bonus tracks come *before* the actual album. I can find no information as to what this album's worth of tracks before the album actually are*. Stuck it all on anyway. The first one reminded me vaguely of Sting, ironically. Found it lovely though. About 4 long tracks in, wondering if I made a poor decision and I'll be tired of this by the time the actual album rolls around. Not so, things pick up again quite a lot, and a real good mix of sounds. Childishly I couldn't help but note he appeared to be singing about former Spurs and England midfielder Dele Alli at one point. *Thanks to another reviewer I discovered this is actually two albums as a reissue, the first being Love Song. This makes perfect sense.
Don't need to understand the words to enjoy the music.
This album of devotional songs has an effect that might stray from intention, as this heathen heard a psychedelic record in a space of its own; the closest I’ve heard to it is the Boredoms majestic Vision Creation Newsun. Cathedrals can awe non-believers as well as the devour.
Mjög áhugaverð plata. Kröftug og heillandi. Dýrka raddbeitinguna sem er í gangi þarna!
I don't understand it but it is very pretty. Essentially it's like Islamic prayer I think, in which case they're miles ahead of Christianity's bland hymns!
Beautiful music but i don't think it's for me
Yeah, I don't know how to approach this at all. This is so far outside my wheelhouse, I'm thinking about things and musically things sound very good, I especially like the sound of that really deep drum / percussion throughout. The vocals have a great rhythm, and they flow in and out of the music really well. No idea what's going on, though. An hour and a half is a long time. 3 / 5 stars.
I'm having trouble rating this one as well because I'm just not very familiar with the genre. I was also having some trouble finding it on Apple Music (managed to find a playlist on YouTube but I'm not 100% sure it was the whole album). I definitely liked the sounds, especially the drums in a few of the songs. I'm giving it a 3/5 based on personal enjoyment but he seems like a very influential musician and I should probably do more research, lol.
Enjoyed this very much, especially the percussion. 3/5.
As far as religious songs are concerned, this was not too bad. This may be partially influenced that since I do not speak the language of the singing, I could just vibe with the music and ignore any proseletyzing.
3/5. Quite good music, great rhythm and overall vibe. Don’t think I’d listen to it in my free time but it definitely was not bad.
It's clear from reading the reviews on this site that a lot of people don't understand that "Devotional Songs" is Side B of what is now a double album. I can see how doubling the time you spend with this genre might wear on you, but as it is, it's an enjoyable enough experience. Best track: Yaad-E-Nabi Gulshan Mehka
Well I guess I did need to listen to this before I die as there was no chance I would have listened to this if it wasn’t for the list so props for that.
I enjoyed some of this album, it was just way too long
I enjoyed this way more than expected.
I nearly stopped this album after the first seconds. While I was always interested in music from middle and eastern Asia it's certainly something just for certain moments with our western ears. After a while it clicked. There is something uplifting in it that I can't put my finger to it. While this won't turn me to Islam I see the general appeal.
This went on for way too long