Release Date: March 2008
No Of Tracks:10 + 2 Bonus Tracks
The self styled original Bhangra pop star Jassi Sidhu is back!...is that a good or a bad thing? After the relative failure of ‘No Strings Attached’ Jassi Sidhu promises a brand new style and more importantly a brand new sound! Being a solo artist isn’t an easy task as Jassi has found out, the massive success of his debut solo album ‘Reality Check’ is something he is still paying for. Trying to better an album that set such high standards has not been an easy task. His sophomore release No Strings Attached provided little innovation, that lack of originality has led Jassi to a whole host of new producers.
Seeking a new sound Jassi Sidhu has turned to Rishi Rich and Aman Hayer. Now if I was a vocalist and I was in desperate search for some originality and innovation I would not turn to producers who in my opinion have been guilty of reusing much of their sound. Rishi Rich and Aman Hayer do not exactly epitomize originality or innovation, they have their trademark sound and tend to stick to the tried and tested formula. Wait, were have we heard that before?
Without wanting to sound too much of grumpy git, I have to say the one thing I have been looking forward to was the much anticipated duet with the legend Malkit Singh…who now comes with a M.B.E after his name. Is it really going to be the New Adventures of Jassi Sidhu, or the same old kahani? Read on to find out folks!
If you haven’t managed to see the video to this song playing on the usual Asian music channels, then turn on your tv!! ‘Ki Kehneh’ is the main single off this album and features the Bhangra legend Malkit Singh (MBE)! The promo described this song as ‘arguably the biggest collaboration in UK Bhangra’, and many would find it hard to disagree with that statement. The intro to this song is nothing short of brilliant…which nicely builds up the anticipation. However after that brilliant intro I’m brought back to reality with a thump and I’ve realised everything that’s wrong with Bhangra today. Ki Kehneh epitomizes why us avid bhangra fans are sick and tired with artists failing to live up to the billing. The song has been produced by Jassi Sidhu and it shows. Taking a similar intro to Simon Nandhra’s ‘Dil Mangdee’ it’s a fast paced desi number. Malkit and Jassi take turns to describe how beautiful a girl is (yawn), the over use of the word ‘Ki Kehneh’ means this song is completely annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I found myself tapping my feet to it at the beginning, but 4 minutes in, I found my self tapping forward as fast as you can say Ki Kehenh! Oh and to top it off, this song sounds awfully similar to a song released by Mick St Clair back in November 2006 (Click Here For The Video) . Ki Kehneh? Not much really.
Rish Rich has been busy with his flute loop CD as a soulful flute introduces ‘Sohni Lagudhi’ which is his first effort from the album. After the fast paced Ki Kehneh we are brought down to this slower number but its more laid back than slow. Production wise, Rishi Rich does a usual job which you may have heard before. It has a few original elements which is nice to see. A fairly basic song but one that’s catchy and a pretty good listen.
‘Sohneh Guburoo Dheash Punjab Dhea’ is the third track and has been produced by Aman Hayer, who has been described by Jassi as the ‘finest Punjabi producer in the industry’. As Groundshaker 2 went to show in patches, Aman Hayer is capable of switching up his sound to give us something special, but this time around this is as Aman Hayer as you will get. On this ‘hardcore’ Punjabi production Jassi Sidhu seems to struggle to adapt to trying to get to grips with the the lyrics and the style of music which Aman Hayer delivers. A little out of place to say the least.
‘Mirza Kitheh Mardhaa Si’ is another upbeat fast paced song that has been produced by Jassi Sidhu and Mighty B. As the title suggest it’s a song about the folk legend stud; Mirza. Production is pretty un-Jassi Sidhu like although more so towards the old B21 sounds. The overall song leaves a lot to be desired about.
Canada isn’t really known for its talented producers. Although being spoilt for choice for talented vocalists it still lacks in the producer department. We hope that’s all going to change. Puma Sarai has been enlisted by Jassi to produce the track ‘Thearah Pyar’ and definitely gives a new edge to this album. On a somewhat RnB vibe this song is everything Honkeh off No Strings Attached wasn’t. The funky production means this song is definitely up there as one of the better listens so far. Big things ahead for my Sarai I think, lets hope he pushes the limited Canadian Bhangra scene further! The lyricist Happy Bains always has a knack for writing good sad songs, an oxymoron if I ever saw one.
Onto ‘Aek Largayah’ which has been given the Aman Hayer treatment. Once again its on a very desi tip, which I think Jassi Sidhu was aiming for. Unlike Sohneh guburoo previously it’s a slightly better effort with decent production from Aman Hayer. Far more listenable than Sohneh Guburoo and a pretty good effort overall. The improvment is evident.
Oh no… the cheese is back! Jassi Sidhu does his best to sound as camp as possible on the intro to ‘Koori Dill Mangudhi’ but thankfully the song quickly turns into a full blown desi number. I know what some of you are thinking…whats up with the weird track names, believe me; it’s not me being stupid he has actually called it ‘Koori’. Maybe its his Birmingham accent, I really don’t know. Anyway onto the song which has been produced by Rishi Rich, but somehow I found that really hard to believe. It sounds all out like a Jassi Sidhu production, a little confused here. Nevertheless its another pretty decent track. Lyrically its boring, maybe Jassi thought spelling the song in a different way may make them more original.
‘Nuchunah Hi Nuchunah’ is up next and has been produced by Jassi Sidhu. Not much to say about this track, its pretty standard in all aspects. Next.
After the disappointment of Ki Kehneh im hoping Rishi Rich can conjure up some magic on ‘Thaal’. Much like Ki Kehneh it’s a very upbeat number with Rishi doing his best for the planet by recycling...his music that is! The violin pieces throughout the song are pretty catchy and a nice little addition. A catchy track and probably one of my favourites off the album.
‘Koka (Lut Keh Lehgiyah)’ is Aman Hayers final effort from the album and he has saved his best till last. By no means is this a classic it does go some way in making up for the lacklustre songs that came before this. For any budding dhol players out there just study any Aman Hayer produced track on how to play properly. With a alternating tempo throughout it’s a really well made track, with Jassi Sidhu changing his tempo of singing to match the majestic dhol powered by Aman Hayer. Great track., just turn up your speakers. For me it’s the best song from the album, Jassi usually does save the best till last.
The UK version of this album features two bonus remix tracks, one of which is ‘Thearah Pyar (Remix)’ its pretty much the same track as before but features the rapper ‘Grips’ who does a fairly decent job. Bonus track is just a nice way of saying Filler!
The final track on this album is most definitely NOT a filler! The Rishi Rich remix of ‘Ki Kehneh (Remix)’ and features Mumzy who has been working with Rishi Rich recently. The smooth beat and the flow of Mumzy make this song a easy listen. Mumzy is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character switching up his flow continuously throughout the song. A little like a cross between Sean Paul and Jay Sean, although not good as neither. The song itself is possibly better than the original and you don’t say that often about remixes so all credit to Rishi Rich for this one.
The New Adventures of Jassi Sidhu is exactly that. Jassi Sidhu has to be credited for realising what went wrong on No Strings Attached and opting for new producers and to try and bring a new sound to this album. Unfortunately much of the album is B grade material from the producers, who always do seem to save their best work on their own respective albums. Musically Jassi Sidhu seems a little lost in what he feels most comfortable on, 10 years in the industry and 3 solo albums later Jassi you feel is still trying to find something that will really suit his voice. The B21 sound had been done to death and although it worked 8 years ago, trying to recreate it wasn’t really going to work, so all credit to staying away from that. He does seem more comfortable on the songs produced by Rish Rich, which have a more pop sound to them, although hearing a full album produced by Rishi Rich won’t do him any favours either.
Jassi Sidhu has a very unique voice for a Bhangra vocalists and trying to harness that talent and bring the best out of it is going to be a massive challenge for him in the coming years. For now Jassi Sidhu needs to go back to the drawing board, as do Rishi Rich and Aman Hayer who do themselves no favours at all with their monotonous efforts.
And don’t even get me started on Ki Kehneh, its best left unsaid.
Jassi Sidhu – The New Adventures of Jassi Sidhu gets a 6/10