Arjun – “Excuse Me Girl (Ambarsariya)” featuring Rekha Sawhney & Reality Raj

Score: 7.7

Arjun himself described the video to “Excuse Me Girl” as “semi-pornographic” (sarcastically, of course, as it’s really not) and he wrote the song on a flight between India and England (we’re guessing this popped up on his MP3 player about 4 minutes prior). He’s still focused on (eventually) cracking the R&B scene in the UK, but for now it’s all about consolidating his rapid expansion within India and the surrounding markets. It makes sense, because the R&B scene in Britain is a relatively limp thing right now, whereas he could be an absolute hero in India doing his Prius hybrid of clean, safe R&B mixed with that desi flavour. The numbers alone speak for themselves, and are truly mind-boggling (seriously, take a look at how many Facebook fans he now has). As for “Excuse Me Girl”, Rekha Sawhney’s “Ambarsariya” sample really helps make it, adhering to Arj’s thus far successful formula of “blending Eastern and Western values” (sorry, that’s totally Shaadi.com). It’s a densely packed few minutes, with relatively simplistic but infuriatingly catchy lyrics burying their way into your psyche. An extremely young sounding chap called Reality Raj (nope, us neither) pops up to rap about 8 arguably needless bars, but it doesn’t specifically detract from the track. EMG is a fresh enough, summery take on a well-trodden path. The ladies at the front (and at the back, too) will indeed love this. Full lyrics below, by the way. (Reviewed by Jesal)

LYRICS:

(ARJUN)

This is for the ladies at the front, at the back
This is your song, where you at, where you at?
This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club
Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up

(REALITY RAJ)

Why you playing silly games, acting like we cannot be together?
I know I give you them butterflies when we see each other
I’ll give you all of it if you just let be me your lover
Miss One Of A Kind, what’s really been on your mind, wassup

(ARJUN)

Excuse me, girl, what’s your story?
I just wanna get to know you better
I would do anything for you bae
Everything about you is so fascinating
Give me 10 minutes of your time, babe
I know that you’re shy but I gotta see you smiling
 
We could be like Romeo & Juliet
Why you playing hard to get, girl?
What you see is what you get
With me…
Just give me something
I’m standing every day underneath your balcony
I’m never giving up until I know your name
 
Excuse me, girl, what’s your story?
I just wanna get to know you
 
This is for the ladies at the front, at the back
This is your song, where you at, where you at?
This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club
Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up

(REALITY RAJ)

Why you playing hard to get, acting like you gon’ find someone better?
I made a promise I’mma shelter you from any weather
I’ll give you 21 flowers to show you to show you I’m forever
Grateful, cos I will be eternally faithful to you

 

RKZ – “Favourite Song”

Score: 7.2

With a beat that makes you screw your face up in the most cliched way, even prompting an “Ooooooohweeeeeee!” or two, “Favourite Song” is a musical treat. RKZ is still in a highly experimental phase in his arc, both drawing heavily from the Soulquarians movement and combining it with his own burgeoning confidence. Dope. Ass. Shit. (Reviewed by Rahul)

RKZ – “Still Oceans”

Score: 6.8

It’s refreshing to be able to type the title of the review and not have to stick a “Featuring” into it. This is just RKZ on his own, with a track from his forthcoming mixtape “Science X Soul”. You can perhaps start to sense the general musical theme he’ll be deploying – a juxtaposing of Soul-ful vocals, perhaps some live instrumentation but an underlying theme of Science (be that electronica or the hip hop variant). “Still Oceans” is a lush summer track with a barely-there chorus, an addictive guitar strum and RKZ’s relaxed rhymes. It’s pretty damn cool. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Raxstar – “Got Me Singing” Featuring Mumzy Stranger

Score: 5.8

“Got Me Singing” desperately sounds like the Raxstar of old – his lyrics and flow sound like the 2010 version, not the far more distinguished one we’ve come to know and love. The track is a smorgasbord of ideas, with some parts working well and others sounding shoe-horned in: Mumzy’s simple chorus is deceptively catchy but not one to necessarily connect to; the instrumental is decent but fussy; and (regrettably) the Luton MC is abysmal, phoning in every verse. It’s telling that his long-awaited album still hasn’t been released or even mentioned for a couple of years now. He’s getting YouTube views, making money, growing in popularity and doing well within the parameters of “Asian MC/Mela” standards. But Raxstar was the great hope: we were sold a different dream and his increasingly scatter gun approach hints at utility over artistic integrity. We hope we’re wrong about that, and pray that stuff like this doesn’t make the cut. (Reviewed by Raman)

TaZzZ – “Teardrops” ft. Rita Morar & Raxstar

Score: 7.1

A powerful and effective new track from TaZzZ takes a while to grow from Jaaneman 2.0 into Teardrops 1.0. The piano, use of a female Indian vocalist, Raxstar and the subject matter… They all play on those obvious themes, and fortunately most of it works well. Rax drops a stellar verse, Rita Morar is incredible (although it would have been nice to hear more of her, variety-wise) and the star himself is solid enough. TaZzZ’s delivery is, perhaps, a touch too angry for the overall tone of “Teardrops” and I’d argue that the drums slightly overwhelm the orchestration, but that’s admittedly nit-picking. This will find an audience. (Reviewed by Jesal)

 

Score: 7.9

And as an added bonus, here is the Unplugged version which, for our money, works better in almost every way (even the video, perhaps). The aforementioned orchestration is suddenly brought to life with only the occasional timpani for company. Excellent stuff. Rita Morar has incredible eyebrow control, FYI.

Bikram Singh – “Kawan 2″ featuring Gunjan & Tigerstyle

Score: 7.2

We’ve given Bikram healthy doses of shit over the years, but we always review every new song with a fresh pair of ears. And so it’s great to tell you, dear Reader, that alongside pals Gunjan and Tigerstyle, he’s delivered the charming “Kawan 2″. Gunjan’s gorgeous vocals are pure ear candy, and Tigerstyle’s relaxed production is definitely on point too. Mr Singh himself gives a passionate performance, and this is definitely one to just kick back and enjoy life to. (Reviewed by Raman)

Eyec Jaé – “So Dark” featuring Emmanuel

Score: N/A

Being the kind of wanky review site we are, it’s sometimes easy to forget that some of the artists we cover are: a) Sinfully young; and b) Human after all. Eyec released “Happy Midnight” a good while ago now, and at an extremely tender age. To fans and DJ’s, it’s tempting to look at rappers in binary code alone. And so, it’s great when a song comes along to jolt you out of that slump. While the nature of “So Dark” leaves us a bit reticent to issue any kind of criticism its way (hence no score), the song is more about showing your scars and attempting to basically just find the fucking lightswitch in pitch black darkness. Having gone through really bad periods ourselves, it’s important to recognise that – cliche or not – there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. (Reviewed by Rahul)