|Review: Jaan Panjabi- The Album|
|Written by grant|
|Friday, 20 April 2007|
Limitless Records brand new release, Jaan Panjabi, has finally hit the shops after weeks of hype and anticipation. The title track has received massive and regular airplay on both Radio 1 and the Asian Network, and many hoped this was just a taste of what was to come from this mouthwatering release. Does Jaan Panjabi sit with the rest of the quality releases we have seen so far in 2007, or are we left with a pretender to the top spot?
Track 1- Jaan Panjabi
One of, if not, the most hotly anticipated track of the year by far, and it exactly lives up to the reputation that it has received. It sounds just that little bit sweeter playing and owning the real thing on the stereo rather than having to jump around to the radio version. Top production from Panjabi By Nature, Limitless Records golden child. Heavy dhols coupled with some massive additional production help this tune smash through your speakers, aided by the great vocal performance from Charanjit Chani. I can not remember the last time a bhangra tune came as strong as this one. Top tune, and for me easily the best song this year so far. Panjabi By Nature certainly keeping it raw and ‘homegrown like Ras Kwame’.
Track 2- Tere Nain
The ever familiar and welcoming vocals of Dippa Dosanjh kick off this track in fine style, before PBN brings the beat in in frantic style, slamming into your ears creating that certain urge to get you up and nach. Many have accused PBN of recycling his beats but when they are on fire like this you can’t really complain. Coupled with a wicked bass this track is full on, catchy, and an example of why PBN is one of the most talented producers in the UK scene as we speak.
Track 3- Dil Ney Lagda
A purely beautiful introduction sweeps in for track 3, as the first real slower number on the album kicks off. The vocals of Jeevan Maan are well suited and laid back for the chilled vibe this number is aiming to create, which it manages to achieve with great success. That’s a lot of praise from someone who is not normally a fan of the slower numbers, but sitting here listening to this beautiful little track in the sun definitely has gone some way to changing my mind.
Track 4- Kamaal Kargaye
Similar sound to Tere Nain but again it’s that heavy and successful PBN formula that always seems to work. He always manages to create a full on concoction with his arrangements and production. It has got that certain feel to it which will easily have you nodding along before you know it. Maybe the only criticism is that it is too similar to Tere Nain but nevertheless still worth a listen.
Track 5- Mere Naal Gal Kar (Talk To Me)
A nice laid back intro greets us, before the slamming hip hop beats of Offlicence come into full effect. This is not like the rest of the album, as the track is more of a desi/ hip hop fusion rather than straight up Bhangra that PBN has brought to the table. I have to admit it has a much more professional sound to it than a lot of other hip hop tunes that are coming out the scene. However, as usual, it feels like its missing something lyrically. The beat however is hot and you could easily see it having a wide range of crossover appeal.
Track 6- Dil
Baring Jaan Panjabi, this track with the legendary Lembher Hussainpuri was perhaps the track most people were hotly anticipating on this album. A pretty laid back number with a smooth PBN style bass is the standard here, before the full on Bhangra madness hits you in the face and as with the first few numbers on this album you are taken back to that place where you can not help but move. Not as catchy or appealing as Jaan Panjabi in my opinion but I know this track has its massive amount of fans.
Track 7- Nikki
Like Dil Ney Lagda, here we have another slow number which has that certain edge to it that does not completely take the tempo or the vibe away. Sanjay Dhaliwal does a great job on the vocals and it is a slower number that you can listen to time and time again without necessarily ending up being to heartbroken afterwards.
Track 8- Dil Mitra Da
The albums second song produced by Karam Sandhu, and we are back to some good bouncing Bhangra beats. It definitely keeps in tone with the rest of the album and the vibe that PBN has created with his tracks earlier on. In fact, to an extent, it’s too close to this vibe. Maybe a slightly different direction would have made this track stand out just that little bit more
Track 9- Putt Sardar Da
That old school, massively upbeat flavour is back in style for Putt Sardar Da. For all those who want a taste of the Bhangra time machine this is the track for them. An extremely upbeat number which can not help but put a smile on your face as you listen to it and it shakes the album up a bit as we near its end. Gugandeep Kaur and Sunny J do a good job on the vocal side of things as the beat shuffles and creeps along in mesmerizing style.
Track 10- Nach Kuriye
This track may as well be called ‘Aaj Me Peeni’- that is how similar this number is to PBN’s hit from his last solo album. HOWEVER, I still I love it!!! Aaj Me Peeni smashed it and so anything with that type of vibe and formula is bound to have me going crazy and this track is no exception. Again, it has that PBN vibe to it and follows the formula of heavy beats, catchy vocals and smooth basslines.
Track 11- Duniya
‘Garage- I don’t care about garage’- well actually, we do for track 11, Duniya. However, this for me im afraid is an extremely poor imitation of that ‘Landaaan sound’. Maybe a few years back, but in today’s scene garage is as good as dead. Even worse, this is the worst track on the album and it has been left till last, which really hampers this album as it leaves you on a bad note. Definitely a filler, and lets the standard of this album down greatly
On the whole, Jaan Panjabi is always going to be a massive album simply down to the fact that the title track has proved to be so massive in terms of popularity and air play. It is getting regular weekly play on Radio 1 with Bobby and Nihal and not many Bhangra acts can achieve that in today’s scene. PBN’s tracks on this release may sound recycled but the point is is that it’s a formula that works. It worked on Ready or Not and it works here. However, I think we need to hear something new on his next solo release. Plus the standard of the other tracks on this album I don’t think is close enough to PBN and that kind of detracts from the albums overall quality. But this album is definitely not far off if not up there with the rest of the front of the Bhangra class for 2007. Jaan Panjabi will be a contender for track of 2007 in December, but with heavy competition from Jag’s Klimax’s release, the war to win your hard earned cash is very much on.
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