Azadi is Junoon's best-selling album that made waves not only in the sub-continent but in Europe and North America as well and established the Sufi-Rock style that Junoon has made distinctive.
After hearing Azadi one comes to the conclusion that the band is increasingly influenced by eastern music, with the tabla becoming an essential part of their music. The controversial Khudi (by Allama Iqbal) opens the album, the first of Iqbal's poems to be done in Rock!
Complete list of tracks
Another landmark for Junoon, Azadi screams of the group's unique 'home-grown'style. A blend of suffism and classical rock, this is Junoon's 5th album.
Azadi is an experience. As an interesting addition, Junoon have included special effects by the American recording and mixing engineer, John Alee Raubeson, who co-produced this album with the band.
In Khudi Junoon fuses notes of passion into Iqbal's motivating words. There was a strong reaction to the group's tampering with Iqbal's verse. Junoon was bad-mouthed for having overlooked the 'sanctity' of Iqbal's kalaam as well as for changing the word according to their needs. Nonetheless, the track is very powerful.
Tablas wild with zeal lead to a Qawwali-funk Yar Bina. What sets it apart from the rest of the songs is that the guitarline is less melodic and more dramatic than anywhere else.
The Sufi-styled Sayonee, the best-selling single from the album, is an extension of the attitude Junoon brought with Saaen. In some ways, a lot of the songs in this album are reminiscent of Saaen.
Muk Gaye Nayellicits strong likes or dislikes. But toward the end a modern-day 'Jugal Bandi' is well worth the wait.
Then comes an enticing Meri Awaz Suno which is again similar to a qawwali. Tambourines have added an ethereal touch to the frenzied guitars.
Jugal Bandi is exactly that in the true sense of the word. Starting off with a piece from an instrumental Aap Aur Hum from one of Junoon's early albums, it progresses into a battle between the snazzy six strings and the taut tactical tabla. In the end, this battle of the East and the West mellows into a harmony of both.
Azadi - by Junoon (CD)