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)

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Rani – “Play This Game”

R&B, Soul, UK Asian

Score: 7.1

This is the debut effort from Rani, and it is a long time coming. Is it really worth the wait? Well, the most bizarre thing about this is the lack of confidence she displays on the vocals: it is truly perplexing, because if you watch the video from her own showcase (where she initially debuted the song), she sung it quite beautifully, and for some reason that hasn’t translated as well to the recording. Aside from that, you have a beautifully evocative instrumental from Arjun, a solid chorus and some catchy melodies. If you read that alone, you might be wondering why it has scored so highly – well, sometimes a track doesn’t have to be technically perfect to make you fall in love with it, just as the guy Rani is writing “Play This Game” about clearly had imperfections. We can’t really explain why this song is so damn catchy, nor why we love it so, but we really do. Sometimes, that’s just about enough.

Jay Sean – “Like This, Like That” (Featuring Birdman)

Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian, USA

Score: 4.6

From the sublime anomaly of last week – stunning ballad “Where Do We Go” – back to the Cash Money-sponsored (and thoroughly predictable) fare that we’ve come to expect. On “Like This, Like That” we are subjected to the cheap, unimaginative video (the type that Jay Sean himself lambasted at the UK AMA awards, you’ll remember) and the average R&B that won’t make any kind of impression on radio, clubs or the vast majority of fans. The verses – and instrumentation for those parts – aren’t bad at all, but inexplicably switch to pure pop (of the Nicole Scherzinger variety, nonetheless), and couple that with Birdman’s pointless guest spot, plus Jay Sean’s lack of belief in the song, you start to wonder about “Freeze Time” in almost every way imaginable. Oh dear.

Swami Baracus – “Break This Game (Allstar Remix)”

Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Remix, Rock, UK Asian

Score: 7.4

It’s extremely telling that Swami Baracus has released a remix of “Break This Game” more than six months after releasing the original. Back then, you may recall, it had a certain appeal but we felt it was disjointed and that Baracus, in particular, didn’t deliver on the lyrics (he’s certainly a far more capable MC than that). We also stated that he’d seemingly “disowned” it already, and this power-move remix certainly seeks to address the previous misgivings. What’s the change, then? Primarily, it’s an HR decision where the personnel have been drafted in to form a mammoth guest list: Sam Khan, RKZ, AG Dolla, AC & “Rowdy Brown” (we won’t spoil that for you). So how do they fare? Well, it takes humility to admit you basically fucked up first time round, and Swami Baracus absolutely destroys his opening verse with genuine aplomb. Sure, each MC only spits 8 bars, but his in particular is technical/venomous in equal measure (as it should be), meaning he easily walks away with the track. Khan does well too, as does AG Dolla. AC is solid but rather more self-promotional; RKZ has okay lyrics but makes up for it with brilliant delivery. But the six MC’s all combine well to make it a far more interesting listen. As usual, Kazz Kumar turns up, looks pretty, tries to sing and waltzes off – but, in her defence, they should surely have taken the original chorus vocals out to give her space, as she can’t really be blamed for such a clash. All in all, it takes guts to re-do a track in this fashion, and credit where it is due – Swami Baracus has made a series of excellent decisions the second time round. Much, much better.