It's been quite a big year hasn't it? Some of the biggest names in Bhangra released albums this yea including; Tigerstyle, Aman Hayer, Jassi Sidhu, Panjabi MC, Jazzy B alongside massive commercial sucesses such as H Dhami, which has been the biggest or if not the biggest selling album of the year.
We've also seen some highly anticipated albums finally seeing the day of light! How long were we kept waiting for Illegal Demo? We've also seen the end of the 2008 delivering a new singing sensation, born and bred in the UK, vocalist JK is set to take over in 2009! Alongside highly antcipated albums by Panjabi By Nature, B21 (yeah right!), Sukshinder Shinda and a whole host of others.
As usual we have compiled what we think are the ten strongest releases of the year! Obviously we're not expecting you to agree with our view, so if you dont agree then post your own opinion in the comments section below!
Just to clarify that this Top 10 is NOT based on any type of sales figures! I also would like to stress that this album focuses on albums released in the UK so please dont expect any albums by Miss Pooja featuring xyz!
10 – Various – D-Unit 2 – I'm not really a big fan of compilation albums. Envy Entertainmet have been quiet for the past three years. They made an impressive come back last year with the new Zeus album and 2008 saw the release of 'D Unit 2'. The name suggests a cheap spin off, however this album contained some solid production and even better vocals. Production from Zeus on 'Aaj Kal Ki Hoygia' and 'Jee Vee' lights up the album, alongside young producers Bubble, GSL and N ZO who lay down catchy beats alongside thumping basslines. This is one album I played out to the max! Click Here for the 'Muskaan' Video
8 – KS Makhan - Yaar Mastane – Maybe a suprise entry for a lot of people out there, but KS Makhans latest installment contained 13 superb tracks. Unlike his previous albums this one did not contain a usual dancefloor number but instead featured heavily on quality of lyrics and production from Aman Hayer. Some of my personal favourites being 'Yaar Mastane', 'Sir Kadhve', 'Dil Kalla', 'Jatt Nachdi'. Well I could go on forever. If you haven't managed to grab this album yet then make sure you do, its a superb traditional album. Click Here for the 'Dil Kalla' Video
6 – XS Bass - Amplified - Back in the industry after a long break, XS Bass now contains original member HARJ D alongside The Wizard. 'Amplified' was one album which I picked up not expecting much, but boy was I left suprised. The quality of production on this album is second to none, some of which can be credited to the introduction of The Wizard. Featuring the vocals of Surinder Shinda (and son Maninder), Lehmber Hussainpuri, Jelly Manjeetpuri, Maninder Bawa and many more! The album digresses into more on the hiphop side at the end which featured three quality songs by rapper P-Lim. This album is worth getting for the songs Gabroo Punjab Da & Lovers Anthem alone! Click Here for the 'Gabroo Punjab Da Video'
4 – E=MC - F*A*U*J - Your eyes do no decieve you. I used a similar line last year when describing the Gupsy Aujla album and how he had improved so much as a producer. Well I can pretty much say the same about E=MC. Hands up who really didnt think E=MC was capable of an album like this? I didn't. How wrong I was proved. This album if anything proves one thing in the Bhangra industry. If you really want you can make it to the top, just by working hard and learning your trade. E=MC went away for two years and worked hard in learning production and music, the end product shows. Featuring the amazing vocals of Sukhdev Darapuria & others, songs such as 'Yaaari, 'Gera' , 'Aashqi', 'Punjab'. The politically themed 'Azaadi' remains a personal favourite, as it is a topic that is close to me. Canadian Bhangra will be led by genuine producers such as E=MC. Want 'real' sucess in the Bhangra industry? Do what E=MC did. Click Here For The Album Review
3 – Tigerstyle - Mystics,Martyrs & Maharajas – No One really doubts the credentials of Scottish brothers Raj & Pops (Tigerstyle). MMM has been one of the most eagerly antcipated albums, being talked about in late 2005 , we've all been sitting waiting patiently to see what Tigerstyle could deliver and if they could live up to the hype. Now, theres a reason a put them at No. 3. This was a superb album, it featured a level production that no one will be able to match and a level of creativity unheard of in Bhangra. Yet at the same time, this album lacked a spark to set it alight. This album was good, but at the same time it never felt as if it would light up into a great album. It still remains an essential for the collection Click Here For The Album Review