Loven – “Lost” (Featuring Arjun)

Burban, Dubstep, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Remix, Tamil, UK Asian

Score: 7.0

There is something missing in this otherwise quality effort from Loven. The beat bumps hard; golden boy Arjun delivers a solid chorus; the breakdown is superb; the concept is timely and well-executed; even the video takes welcome risks. So pretty much everything is there. However, something is holding Loven back when it comes to delivering his hard-hitting lyrics: there is a reticence in his voice, even as he drops jewels such as “We need to pass the pound, instead we pass the buck…” It’s not a deal-breaker, but it does prevent an otherwise cleverly-constructed “Lost” from eclipsing the raw, visceral fervour of its predecessor, “Breathe.” When delivering vocals, the only thing to be afraid of is fear itself – once Loven has “Lost” that sense of apprehension, he can start to truly move onto the next level. (Reviewed by Rahul)

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Arjun – Teri Meri Remix (Featuring Priti Menon)

Cover, Hindi, Pop, R&B, Remix, UK Asian, Video

Score: N/A

By now, you should know All About Arjun. He’s one of those special talents that succeeds at pretty much everything he does, and we’ve charted his progress over the last few years. Here is another Bollywood remix where he duets with a Hindi-singing female whilst he gives the original an R&B twist. He plays his 28 instruments, sings beautifully, has girls swooning – no news there. But Priti Menon does a superb job, and addresses our criticism of Arjun’s previous effort “Kabhi Kabhi” (where we felt the two female singers didn’t contribute enough). Here, that is most certainly not the case – when I first heard Priti’s version of Rihanna’s track “Unfaithful” I couldn’t get it out of my head for 2 days straight. Not the song, her voice. It’s incredibly warm and addictive; it trades in subtleties that only a a chosen few can deal with; it has dynamic range but complete control. Watch out for her. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Arjun – “Why This Kolaveri Di” (Remix)

Burban, Classic, Hindi, Pop, R&B, Remix, Soul, Tamil, UK Asian, Video

SCORE: N/A

Seeing as Arjun’s remix of “Why This Kolaveri Di” has become a career-defining moment for him, it’s only appropriate we post a reminder and a heartfelt congratulations on reaching 5 million YouTube views. Stunning. (Posted by Jesal)

Smartz – “Inter Relations”

Hip Hop, Rap, Remix, UK Asian

Score: 8.2

Not, as some have thought, a song detailing the breakdown of Inter Milan’s relations with numerous managers since Jose Mourinho left – this Smartz number instead describes a courtship “between an Indian and a Muslim,” exploring the topic brilliantly. Aside from the fact that last time we checked, there are about 180 million Muslims here in India, we are willing to forgive his transgression, as this is certainly a track of quality with its heart firmly in the right place. Smartz is an MC that we admire: he has lyrics better than the vast majority of his contemporaries, his subject matter varies nicely, and although his vocals are occasionally a touch inconsistent, he’s clearly improving. Some of the lines are truly superb, and to be honest, our only misgiving is the use of the “Jaaneman” instrumental: why even go there? A song this good surely deserves its own beat, and to be declared a classic in its own right… Perhaps the most beautiful thing about “Inter Relations” is that Smartz refuses to judge: he just floats above the situation, depicting it with intricate detail, and although his delivery is just so emotional, he resists casting the first stone. That’s a sign of real greatness, right there.

RKZ – “Gonna Be That (BURBAN Remix)”

Grime, Hip Hop, Remix, UK Asian, USA

Score: 7.4

Perhaps inspired by Swami Baracus’ successful upgrade of “Break This Game,” RKZ groups together most of the notable UK Asian – sorry, BURBAN – rappers (save for the bizarre omission of Shizzio) for a remix of “Gonna Be That.” It’s a traditional posse cut with a few notable talking points. AC leads off with his usual OTT flair, dropping a long and winding verse that works perfectly as the opener. RKZ follows, but doesn’t drop any new bars – a shame, as this suddenly seems subtly out of place. Surely on such a large scale remix, some fresh lyrics wouldn’t have gone amiss… Next up, probably the best feature of all – it’s nice to have MC’s like Swami Baracus that actually pay attention to lyrics, flow, breath control, multisyllabic rhymes… He straight bodies the track. We hear new stuff from Lost Souljah about as frequently as Lauryn Hill has babies – a shame, as she’s a distinctive spitter. Her verse here is deceptively good, but doesn’t seem to fit in as cleanly as most of the others. It’s difficult to explain, but her style is so unorthodox that it would almost be better to hear Souljah just on her own (this should be read as a bizarre and confused compliment). Raxstar’s verse is (unsurprisingly) good, hitting a particularly nice groove in the second half. Over-the-pond rapper Kaly holds the anchor position, and although he’s certainly a talented lyricist, his verse just doesn’t work in the slightest – the slowed down delivery is an anti-climax, and it isn’t helped by the sequencing. It probably would have been wiser to have placed Lost Souljah in the anchor position, but despite a few minor flaws, overall this should be considered a solid remix.