Urvah Khan – “Storm Clouds”

Canadian, Dance, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap

Score: 7.4

There is something so wonderfully charming about Urvah Khan. Aside from her stunning looks, brash personality and inimitable style, she’s just such a frickin’ one-off. It is no surprise that The Gospel of Urvah isn’t being spread effectively, as most people probably just don’t “get” her. But that is absolutely fine – in this case, it is them with the problem, not her. She has a wonderful musical ear, a talent for melody, a brutal honesty and a talent for penmanship. She is a classic artist in many respects: whilst so many Asians “do music” for image, popularity, money or sex, Khan needs to express herself through music. There is no other option. “Storm Clouds” is a different kettle of fish to “War Drum” – similar musically, but chronicling love, loss, despair and hope. Again, her influences are relatively clear, and that voice is something to get used to – but nothing worth having comes easily, and we urge you to just give the girl a chance. (Reviewed by Jesal)

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Jay Sean – “So High”

Dance, Pop, R&B

Score: 5.2

As far as Jay Sean’s career goes, it’s getting perilously close to the juncture where onlookers will just start to ask the obvious question: what is the point of it all? Don’t get us wrong, since “Down” was released in 2009, Jay has still cranked out some solid material including a couple of hits (“2012“), plus the gorgeous “Where Do We Go” – but there is just a lack of clear direction, it’s throwing darts blind in the studio and hoping something sticks. The thing is, he’s a clever guy, and he has always had good taste in music. But perhaps it’s finally time for people to start admitting what we thought all those years ago – moving to Cash Money records was not the best long-term career move. He’s constantly having to curb his natural instincts (R&B), and release mass market dance-pop. The problem is, it’s not even very good dance-pop, it’s not really connecting, and the R&B has suffered too. “I’m All Yours” was a good song, but didn’t really do anything. And “So High” is basically that song once again, minus Pitbull, plus inferior melodies/production to boot. There is such little of Jay Sean’s personality in here that this is simply major label focus-grouped dross, with no real function or purpose. The best bit by far is the breakdown from 2m26s to 3m10s – basically, shit bangs, hard. Aside from that, it’s business as usual. C’mon, Jay. You’re better than this. (Reviewed by Raman)

Raxstar & DJ Surinder Rattan – “Flirt”

Burban, Dance, Hindi, Hip Hop, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 7.7

“Look, I don’t normally do this…” True, Raxstar, but you did give full warning: “Mighta fell off but look at how I bounced back, Fuck it, my next single’s gonna be a house track…” The Luton MC stuck to his word (taken from the “Burban Cyphers“), and the result is a very solid number that doesn’t drop the ball, and provides ample radio fodder. If Rax can manage to string a few more of these together (along with, obviously, “Jaaneman”) and mix them with some great hip hop songs, he could have a genuinely strong album out next year. Surinder Rattan is precisely the kind of producer that he should be working with right now, for whilst Sunit almost always does the job with aplomb, variety is the spice of life, and “Flirt” has a subtle but indelible chorus, a competent house instrumental underpinning it all and an MC on form, delivering some nice punchlines. Of course, as with “Jaaneman” it is all very formulaic, let us not pretend otherwise – but the important thing for Raxstar is to connect with fans, and to do that you need a front-to-back package that functions on every level. That means: music, lyrics, chorus, video, stylists, artwork, promo… Everything to be perfectly synced. To be honest, the whole thing wreaks of Sid Ahmed’s genius at putting an actual campaign together (who knows if that is indeed the case, but these things rarely happen via serendipity alone). Either way, “Flirt” most certainly gets the job done. (Reviewed by Jesal)


Flirt - Single - Raxstar & DJ Surinder Rattan

 

LYRICS:
Look I don’t normally do this
And before you start making excuses
I can see it in your face that you’re ruthless
I aint said nothing why you throwing up your deuces?
Let me talk to you
The place that you’re going let me walk you to,
I must admit I like a little akhar (attitude),
I don’t want you easy to break like a papadh (poppadom),
You look cute when you has has (laugh),
Twenty for your thoughts like das das (ten / tell me)
I know you aint really in a rush rush,
So just stop for a minute like bas bas, (stop)
Just calm it down,
You know you’d look so good with my arm around you,
She said I’m pagal (crazy) I said I’m playing,
But your eyes are telling me what your mouth aint saying

CHORUS:
Akhan naal keghai dil tera sajana
(With her eyes she said I’m yours)

Why you wana take take take and not give give give
I just want to show you how I live live live,
You don’t have to tell them what we did did did,
Everybody wants to know what my business is,
But we could start off with a hanji hello,
she was like naa ji N.O.
LOL that usually never fails,
Still got a soft spot for ghetto girls,
I like them with brains though they got to be smart,
These days some of them are too chalaak (cunning)
Like kuri mere haan di (a girl similar to me),
Please never leave like “Peer Tere Jaan Di” ( “The pain of you leaving”),
You should stay for a while,
Every time I see you its making me smile,
So why you wanna settle for a cash and carry?
We should be a power couple like Ash and Abhi

CHORUS

TaZzZ – “Tere Bina” (Featuring Elijah)

Dance, Hindi, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 4.2

If it weren’t for the contribution of TaZzZ himself on the incredibly disappointing “Tere Bina” the entire project would be a waste. The moment he comes on screen and energises the melancholia, you realise that he should have pulled a Kanye and kept this for himself. Reading the usual PR spiel, you’d think that his “protégé” Elijah might actually be able to solve the Israel-Palestine beef using his voice alone. This may, in fact, be true, as it would quite possibly unite the two warring nations in universal hatred of just how inherently talentless and tonally appalling the youngster is. It pains us to say this, but Elijah doesn’t deserve his seat at the table – he cannot sing. Seriously. He just can’t sing. Surprisingly, the production is lacklustre and, frankly, corny (although given the subject matter, entirely unsurprising); little attempt appears to have been made to save Elijah’s vocals from the wreckage with a proper Autotune lifeboat (Junai Kaden is currently floating somewhere in the Atlantic); even the mixing/mastering of the whole thing sounds off. We like TaZzZ and he’s brought something to the scene in 2012, but this blind spot should never have made past the demo stage, and as far as blatant attempts to curry favour with the female market go, this is shockingly deficient. (Reviewed by Sohail)

Nyms – “Waste of Time”

Dance, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 7.6

A superb second single from Nyms (you may recall her first effort, “Whoa“) as “Waste of Time” proves to be anything but. It’s rare for me to hear a song only once, and still have the chorus in my head weeks later, but #WOT manages to do it. It’s a convergence of concept, character and cheek, and it must be said that Nyms is a genuinely talented song-writer: this is an actual song, from start to finish, not just a beat with some singing on it (there is a yawning chasm of difference). The only gripe we have is that at times it feels like Nyms needs to just go over the top in order to find the correct level of delivery – this is a touch too restrained, and whilst it is dark/moody, it deserved just a bit more oomph. But as a free download, this is pretty damn great – the “Daddy find another guy” line alone is peerless on so many levels. She’s got the talent, that much is certain. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Kee – Dil Lagda Nai (Featuring Tigerstyle)

Dance, Hindi, House, Pop, UK Asian

Score: 5.9

There are a number of points to address on the latest effort from Kee. Firstly, the song itself is produced by Tigerstyle – and is instantaneously recognisable as being derivative of their own recent single “Kudi.” That is not unusual in itself, as producers develop a “sound” and apply it to various tracks (think of the Timbaland/Danja era circa ’06). It’s certainly not a straight rip, either. However, here the Law of Diminishing Returns unfortunately applies, although fortunately it does possess an indelible melody in an otherwise blandly written/delivered offering. Secondly, this is labelled the “first single” from Kee’s new album… Really? The past two years of singles and videos are being jettisoned? May we politely point out that unless the album work is significantly better, don’t be afraid of including the quality tracks that got you here. It might just be a case of a fresh start – or maybe these tracks will be included as bonus cuts – but it would be a shame to deprive your audience of “It’s Over” & “Jaaneman Pt 2” – not to mention “Nai Nachna” & “Pyar Hai.” (Reviewed by Rahul)

Rishi – Stress (Featuring Nathan C)

Dance, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 5.9

Poor Rishi. The lad is clearly stressed. He really has stress in his life. Stress. Ohhhh stress. Stress stress stress. Yep. Stress. If we were to leave the review at that, it would qualify as approximately 98% of all you need to know about his new single, for those are pretty much the only lyrics we hear. Fortunately, the production is a dead-on replica of whatever is playing on the radio right now, with a very successful Swedish House Mafia impression assisting the singer. The addition of a rapper probably would have balanced out the song more, but it’s just too slight and reliant on the beat – a missed opportunity. Also, having a job working behind a bar is pretty stressful, so hey, just quit! #WhatRecession (Reviewed by Rahul)