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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 made me want to get up and shuffle with my fist on my forehead.
better than radiohead
Once you spend some time with it you see why it belongs on this list.
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
Not too devoted to it
If I had to torture someone for exactly 1.5 hours I would simply play them this album.
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.
This was something new and different. I was a bit concerned that it might grow a bit tiresome, but it definitely did not. Outstanding!
The Pakistani Paul Simon
Thats a 5
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.
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'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.
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.
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
Interesting stuff here, was quite the jam.
I found this very interesting to read about and I think what is great about this challenge is to be exposed to popular music from different cultures, which is a completely different music style: in structure, language, chord structures, timbres, everything! So for my music education this was great. Was it my bag and would I listen again? Probably not. And no disrespect to Nusrat as he was a really big deal! He brought the Sufi style of music to the main stage internationally And literally he played at WOMAD and everyone loved it and it shot him and the style into notoriety. 1hr 30 mins felt like a lot but apparently that's was one of his talents - absolute stamina to keep going.
Cool to get something so different. I probably won’t revisit it, but it was a pleasant listen
So why this album - of the possibly over 200 that Khan released? It's on a 'pukka' Western label, Real World, and has a western art director in charge of the sleeve. So I guess that. And that it's one of only four or so you can link to on wikipedia. My point being, and I enjoyed this album, is that is it better or worse than the other 200? I have no idea. And bluntly I'm not sure the compiler of this list really does too. Maybe he has a quawwali expert he can run this one past. But I've got no reason to believe it's not representative, and its a good listen, even if it's cultural value entirely goes above my head. let's finish with an anecdote: I attended an early WOMAD Festival in Essex in the mid-eighties and Nusrat was on the bill. We listened for an hour or so, then decamped to the main field to listen to New Order, who were great, then we came back and the man was still going strong. Respect.
I actually enjoy these little detours from music that was popular in the UK in 1982. I thought the book was going to have more of it - I didn't realise it was 99% known "classics", thought there would be lots of deeper cuts. This album overstayed its welcome but I really enjoyed the first song. Dude can really sing. It only had 1 speed and it got a bit old by the end. tbh I had always assumed Islam has some kind of stuffy ancient law against this sort of thing. (update: it does - this comes from India/Pakistan, while the purists in the middle east forbid musical instruments lol). Anyway, 3/5.
World music standard rating
Good background music but I simply lack the cultural exposure to appreciate it in what it fully is.
I was very devotional during this time
This is really good. I can only compare it to Bollywood music, and I know it’s a little different, but I need something to orient myself to as I listened to this. I’m pretty sure when I saw AR Rahman in concert he performed some Sufi songs, probably some of these. That’s all I can say about it besides saying I liked it. Energetic, always driving forward. As long as music has a momentum, I can get behind it.
I had no idea what was going on, but I could feel the intent of the songs and power of his singing.
I might enjoy this if I was in the right mood, but I wasn't really in the right mood today. 3 stars.
This was a nice change of pace. The rich, full sounds matched the intensity of Khan nicely. It could be a bit repetitive at times but also somewhat meditative. I may have given this a higher rating if it wasn't so long. Although I will probably never listen to this album again, I am glad I listened to it today.
Too long and don’t quite like the voice. Well produced but that’s about it for me. I’d be curious how it does with other audiences
Didn't understand a word so can't comment on the lyrics but there is an energy, a liveliness, to the vocals and music that I enjoyed. Good beat, easy to dance to.
Pretty good, ended up liking it more than I thought I would
Un dels noms més reverenciats de la world music. Aquest és un dels treballs que va editar pel segell Real World de Peter Gabriel, i dels més reconeguts a occident. Música qawwali tradicional amb un component religiós força present. Si et trobes en el mood adequat, és gairebé màgic. La millor porta d'entrada a la música qawwali
A delightful album with a very unique sound. Enjoyed this one thoroughly. I am uncertain about what distinguishes it within its genre, but only because of lack of experience and knowledge on my part.
Love that some non western music is on here. A bit long, especially for my european ears, but it's good.
Different yet familiar, and I enjoyed it. Nice to listen to while I worked this morning. At times, the lead vocalist seemed to be yelling a bit but I get that was the intention.
I'm not an expert in this genre of music, but over the years I've been exposed to similar sounds and though it has meaning and purpose, I can't say I'm interested in hearing more. I have no idea what's going on and it seemed to go on far too long which really tests my patience and tolerance. Musically, it's skilled, world beat, folk, very ethnic with vocals that are used as another instrumental sound, so it's okay background music.
You can see why songwriters such as George Harrison and Jimmy Page were attracted to Near Eastern and Far Eastern music - a wealth of material from which to create music of their own.
It's fine but an hour and a half is a bit much
songs are way to long and repeititive. Quite a few enjoyable parts though.
Good music. Not my typical listen, but I enjoyed the album for it's soul singing.
One of those things that I suppose I feel sort of unqualified to rate? If this kind of music isn’t part of your culture / socialization, I think it might be pretty hard to get into. It is good background music for reading? Yeah, why not. Do I understand the impact or influence of this at all? Absolutely not. Are the songs way too long and repetitive? Definitely. Uhh, I guess we’ll go with 3 stars then?
Best Song: Yaad-E-Nabi Gulshan Mehka. Don't ask me why. Worst Song: Mast Nazroon Se Allah Bachchae. Don't ask me why. Overall: Lively, joyous music that I can definitely imagine returning to. Being unable to understand the lyrics leads me to appreciate the rhythm of the language. Otherwise, I feel like I completely lack the vocabulary to properly evaluate/appreciate this music.
For what it is, it is well done, there is a radio channel here that plays this kind of thing a lot, this is better than most of what they play. Thankfully I couldn't understand the lyrics, otherwise they would probs do my head in by being all goddy.
This was pretty good. It's something I could see myself putting on in the background as light listening. Not my traditional style of music but I can see how it was influential.
A lot of this has soundscapes that I find to be inspired. Layer upon layer of wonderful tonality is placed with a tremendous voice. Even if I can’t understand the lyrics I am grabbed by the singers sentiment. A beautiful piece.
Interesting but quite long
Cool blend of south Asia music style with some western influence thrown in. The music fan in me appreciates the talent displayed in this album; his vocal abilities are very, very impressive, as is his passion. Overall, though, it didn't move me as much as it probably should have.
https://music.apple.com/gb/album/love-and-devotion/1653513320 For those who use Apple Music - it’s the second half of this album. I bet this was an experience to see live. Loses a bit in translation listening while doing data validation tbh.
Totally new to me never even heard the Peter Gabriel produced more celebrated in the west collaboraton with Michael Brook. However despite my newbie status to this artist, I quite enjoyed this album. Found my self tapping my foot along with the music. Also found myself in awe of the vocal performance which is at times sunning. Ultimately it proved rather too long to digest in one sitting, a better choice might have been the more easily digestable Mustt Mustt still a nice discovery. 3.5 stars
Definitely a first listen for me, a little long for my taste but enjoyed trying something new to me.
Would I have listened to this on my own? No. Did I enjoy listening to Sufi devotional music? Yes. Would I listen to it again? Probably not, but never say never.
Ah bah pour le coup ça change vraiment beaucoup. Aucun élément de comparaison pour ce type de musique, mais ça va, c'est cool, ça se laisse écouter.
Kinda fun. 5/10
It is nice to hear music from the other side of the World. This is definitely something I would have never even considered listening to without it showing up here. It is nothing I would choose to hear again though. I can appreciate it and its influence on other similar artists, but it is not an album or a style of music that fits into my personal music likings. 2/5
Not my cup of very strong, sweet tea.