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- 2008 End Of Year Review ( TOP 10 ) -

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

 

     9 – Jassi Sidhu - The New Adventures of – Leaving a hugely sucessful band and then trying to carve out a solo career is never easy. Jassi Sidhu seems to be doing fairly well though. After the lacklustre and somewhat boring 'No Strings Attached', Jassi Sidhu knew he had to come back with a bang. He somewhat delievered. Production from Aman Hayer and Rishi Rich helped give this album a little more creativity, but neither producers over did it on the originality side of things. The biggest let down was probably 'Ki Kehneh' which is down to the poor unoriginal production laid down by Jassi Sidhu. Nevertheless its a great bhangra album for your average listener, so if your a fan of Jassi, you will like this!  Click Here For The Album Review
 

   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


  7 – Aman Hayer - Groundshaker 2 – Making his third appearance in this years TOP 10  Aman Hayer does get around! He produces vast amounts of music every year and it can be argued that Aman Hayer rarely switches up his sound. However he usually does save the best for his own albums and Groundshaker 2 proved no different. 'Sher Punjabi' remains one of my favourite songs of the year featuring the emphatic vocals of Nirmal Sidhu. Groundshaker 2 also saw Aman Hayer making a sucessful singing debut. I argued in my review whether Aman Hayer has delivered a full blown classic 'album' to date and I still do not think he has. Regardless; Groundshaker 2 features a number of quality tracks and is one for your collection. Click Here For The Album Review

 

 

   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'

 

  5 – DJ H & Rags - Reloaded – Easily one of the biggest albums of the past couple of years. The promotion, the hype the videos, everything was done to perfection! I don't think we will ever see an album released with such precision with nothing left to chance. DJ H & Rags brought out an overall product that has been tough to match throughout the year. Drawing producers from across the world, Reloaded delivered the smash hit singles 'Jawani', 'Mar Javan' and 'Char Panj'. It's hard to argue with the overall package put foward. However my only gripe with this album would be that out of 16 songs many of them featured old reused & tired song formulas. Musically this album didnt really achieve the heights it promised, regardless if you want to get someone into bhangra, this is a great starting point! Click Here For The Album Review

 

 

 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

 

2 – Jazzy B - Rambo – You knowww...  Rambo Rambo. C'mon we were all saying that stupid line when it first came out right? This album got A LOT of stick. I mean it's been classed as one of the worst Jazzy albums ever..which is nothing short of madness. If you can tell me that Jatt, Jawani, Jadu, Rambo, I Love you, Glassy  even Gaddi do not constitute a  good album then every artist may aswell give up trying.   For what it's worth, I'v never reviewed an album and took into account an artists image or perceived personality, it seems a lot of people who judged this album saw the Rambo video and judged the album as 'Jazzy B on an ego trip'. I couldn't care less. Rambo is a great album and falls just short this year. Bhangra without Jazzy B would be very very boring.Click Here For The Album Review

 

 

  1 – Panjabi MC - Indian Timing - So were do I start with Panjabi MC. His back! After such a long absence from the Bhangra scene he came back with 'Indian Timing'. It's impossible to sum this 20 track album up with one word. So i'll try in a few sentances. I'm not sure if this album will go on to create another Mundian tu bach ke, I think that's what a lot of people were looking for. Let me just say, that out of 20 tracks I can honestly say that I genuinely like and have played out around 15 tracks. This album contains such a diverse set of sounds and moods, you got your all out dhol heavy bhangra tracks, you've got 'Jeona Mour' which may go down as one fo the first Bhangra 'diss record'. What about Makhna? anyone seen this on a dancefloor?..I have..and it tears the place up! Talking about the dancefloor, this album contains album made and constructed for one simple purpose..to make you dance! 'Snake Charmer', 'Panjaban' & 'Kee Laghda'.  Moving away from the Bhangra, My personal favourites include full blown non bhangra singles  'Chips & 'Holiday'. What about the gritty Jagga and THAT b line?  Il stop now. Indian Timing is a classic. Nothing left to say. BUY IT!  Click Here For The Album Review

 

 


 
Remember, if you like what you hear, go out and support these artists who put time and effort into making music for us! No one is forcing you to buy the below par albums, however when a album is full of quality then there is no excuse! Go out and support our industry, the onus is on you the consumer to support the good talented artists. Keep Bhangra Alive.
 
Written by Sukh