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H S Talwar - Pasand (Album Review)


Record Label: MovieBox
Release Date: June 2006
No Of Tracks:

As Bhangra fans and buyers, we get used to knowing nothing about release dates, ‘bopin’ down to the shop and being told ‘album delayed’, or even finding out that a project has been shelved for life is something we’ve all become used to. Harbhajan Talwar’s Pasand epitomizes your typical Bhangra album; 10 new tracks, an in-lay that has more information on selling ringtones than the album itself and a series of p*ss taking delays which has made the project into a joke. This seems to be the industry norm of today, for one reason or another, labels find it impossible to release an album on time. Ok we can take a week or two, just to get the distribution right, or to allow the video to make more of a impact, but months is were it becomes a joke. Picking on this album is harsh, but I thought I’d get that all off my chest before I start!

 The follow up to ‘Ranjhana’ sees Mr HST team up with some heavyweight producers of the Bhangra industry to give you ‘Pasand’. With the likes of Tarli Digital, Simon Nandhra, Dj Vix, and the guy who seems to be producing everyone’s album Aman Hayer, this album is sure to be a hit right? Oh and I even forgot to mention Illegal Demo, who are back on Bhangra production after a long and unfortunate break due to other projects.

 So enough of this penji penji business, lets get down to reviewing this album. Hyped up as possibly one of the albums of the year, can it live up to its expectations? Well, you about to find out in typical style (evil laugh).

The title track is first ‘Pasand’, produced by Tarli Digital, its his only effort on the album, and what a track it is. The announcement at the beginning claims ‘this is the way it should sound’, got it spot on. The production is crisp, a pulsating tumbi and deep bass line gives it the ingredients of a sure fire hit! The vocals of Harbhajan Talwar are again on a high level, its good to see him back, with a voice like this he deserves this type of production to match. So a quality song? Yes, But (there is always one), the mc/rapper/waffler on the track, im not sure what his purpose on this song is, ‘Inspecta’, at times I can hardly make it what his saying, and in all honesty he has no place on this song. There are elements in the song which feel abit empty, and maybe he was brought in to fill the void. Possibly one of the biggest songs of the year has been ruined by the woeful attempt at rapping. Nevertheless a top track, you’ll have it on repeat much like I did.

 Simon Nandhra is back on production, after the massive hit ‘Kanoo Marda’ his back to offer his skills to ‘Tappe (Canadian Mix)’, so you’re thinking why is it called the Canadian mix? I have no idea, the mc even talks in a cockney accent, ‘ya know what I mean geez’, nothing Canadian about that. And even better is when the song is described as ‘one for the 2k5’, I nearly fell off my chair in laughing. Were in mid 2006 and im listening to a song on a album biggin’ up 2005? Unlike Pasand, this track doesn’t have one mc to ruin the song, it has TWO! My best Bhangra buddy ‘Cheshire Cat’ and some fella called ‘Battle Katt’, both are as bad as each other, ill just leave it at that. The production however is very good (lol), it sounds familiar to ‘Kanoo marda’ with the constant dhols together and a action packed bass line, which is no bad thing. The vocals are delivered in his usual accuracy. The song is good, nothing more.

The traditional beats are back on ‘Gulabi Chunni’ with Aman Hayer offering the production. In all honesty, Talwar’s vocals sound poor, for some reason the vocoder or what ever its called today has been added onto his voice, giving him some sort of robotic voice. Was that really needed? The production, we’ve heard it all before. Aman Hayer is seriously suffering from over production, getting to a stage were his music is beginning to sound the same, apart from a few minute changes. Does nothing for me.

Illegal demo are back, after killing it with Dekh Jawani from the first Urban Flavas, they give us ‘Yesterday and Today’. The true masters of the Bhangra garage scene give us a top track! The production is solid and as the credits announce the track has been fully produced/mixed/mastered by the trio. The mc on the track is better than the previous attempts; he goes with the pace of the music and tempo, which is essential. Top tune, now lads how about releasing the album?, its been nearly 3 years!

Chit Karda lifted DJ Vix from obscurity to the Bhangra echelons, and of course that was sung by Harbhajan Talwar. Vix is back to return the favour. The music man himself Sukshinder Shinda has played the dhol/dholki & tabla on ‘Mitran Di’, so expect nothing but perfection!. This song is a nice drum’n’bass lick, which switches from the deep baselines into a chorus powered by Shinda’s dhol. This track oozes quality, and you know time has been spent on it. A good change of production here. Turn up the woofer for the  full effect!

Aman Hayer produces the second of three songs on this album, ‘Bachke Bachke’. About 50seconds in the track, iv pretty much given up on it. The amateur mc’s return, I have no idea who it is this time, I don’t really care, who decides to put on these people on tracks? Isnt there some sort of quality control when producing songs? I didn’t pay £10 to listen to some constipated kid repeating the same lyric over and over again. What makes it even worse is the fact ‘2k5’ is mentioned again. I really feel sorry for H S Talwar; his vocals do not deserve this type of production or this amateurish display. Forward.

 Bob Rai (no relation to me), fresh from producing licks from Malkit Singh’s latest album gives us ‘Ghar Vich’ a slow and long intro is accompanied by a slow rolling dhol, you really expect the track to power into something that’s going to get your feet tapping. The production is not bad; the track gives you something different. The beat has been loosely sampled off a hip-hop track, and its been killing me which one it is! Take a listen if you know what it is; give it a post in the forums, because it’s been annoying me!

The token ‘Glassy’ tune is here, produced by Bob Rai once again, it has catchy lyrics. The production is kept desi. Glassy is a song that describes itself really. A song about getting totally hammered, and one that’s produced fairly well. This is Bob Rai’s better effort off the album.

A 6minute ‘Boliyan’ produced by Aman Hayer is here. The intro is done by that constipated mc I heard back on ‘Bachke Bachke’ thankfully this time his kept out of the song. The Boliyan once again is pretty straight forward, and so is the production. Its nothing groundbreaking, but what can you expect from Boliyans? Fairplay it isn’t one of the worst Boliyans I’ve ever heard. Overall it is a good song, one for you purists who love it fast; packed with dhol.

The last track, and in some ways I’m happy it is. It hasn’t been too good up to now that is. And boy have they left the best till last. ‘Unbreakable Love’ is the best song on the album, forget Pasand forget oh, wait, there’s only Pasand that is worth mentioning. Anyway onto the song, it has been produced by Jeet Bhogal, who I’m not sure I know of, although I hope to hear more of him in production. That song is quality! Talwars vocals absolutely kill it, the lyrics the vocals and production are brilliant! Both equally complement each other. It’s maybe not the happiest song, but it’s a great ballad, which deserves a replay each time.

10 tracks; a Boliyan, one song about getting pissed, mc’s ruining songs, sounds like your standard Bhangra album, and im sorry to say it is. The four songs which are worth mentioning are Pasand, Mitran Di and Unbreakable Love and Yesterday and Today. So? 4 out of 10 isnt too bad right? Believe me four is me being kind. With the producers on board, this album had the potential to be massive. Moviebox need to take the blame with this one. A label which commands a big status in Bhangra has made many mistakes with this album. Delaying it months on months has made into a joke. This is evident from the songs, which constantly mention 2k5. Another thing which I still fail to fathom is the constant use of rubbish mc’s on tracks which do not need them. I can’t see the logic in putting on someone who clearly does not sound up to the standard needed. Is it because the producer owes them a favour? Or you couldn’t be asked spending an extra hour on producing something so the mc is not needed? I paid a tenner for this album, I wish I hadn’t, labels bemoan downloading and piracy, bringing out an album like this puts the ball in there court. No it’s not the worst album ever, but hell with the talent that was there, it comes close. I would only suggest you buying this album if you have heard each song in full. Most of you have probably only heard the track Pasand, which gives a false image to the album, when I first heard the promos I hailed it as ‘the best iv heard this year’, ah how much I wish I hadn’t said that. Harbhajan Talwar vocals deserve better production.

Pasand gets a disappointing   “6/10”



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