Americas Most Wanted 4 (Album Review)
Release Date: July 2006
No Of Tracks: 8
2001 heralded the beginning of the Americas Most Wanted series, which over the years has given us a number of hits such as Tenu Bulundee, Balle Balle Hogay Mitro, Block Party, and has propelled Sanj as one of the big hitters in the Bhangra scene. 5 years on from Tenu Bulundee, the first real hit for Sanj, the production duties are now handed over to his own ‘protégés’ Lil Sach + Kal M (formally one half of Sound Ministry).
The fourth in the series has been announced by EnvyRoma as the last one, although last time they said that was about Death Jam 5, and then came along Death Jam 2004, so don’t be surprised to expect one final Americas Most Wanted hurrah 2 years from now.
Alongside Lil sach and Kal M, theres a whole host of new talent on this album, with new vocalists Apna Swarn, to Shayn, and the duo from Texas, Deep aka Da1 and Kamla Punjabi, who are both making waves in mainstream hip-hop.
Is this just a quick attempt to capitalize off the success from the previous albums, or is this album, much like number 1 did, launch the careers of more Bhangra hopefuls, and act as a platform for future success?
Well no Americas Most Wanted album would be complete without Sanj, so he gives us a little track here. ‘Boli Panieh (Summer Jam Mix)’, this is an old track which has been re-made by Sanj, the original was off Pure Hiphop 3. One thing which is almost certain about an album from the Sanj camp is that, you are guaranteed a dance floor smasher, from Das Ja to Sohne Lengeh to Sara Pind and then Balle Balle, the new hit is now Boli Pani. The beat is nothing special, the vocals are by Soni Pabla, yet as like those previous tracks mentioned, all have a key ingredient, and Sanj as always knows how to make a real dancefloor track. It’s a shame the video for it still has not aired, watch out for this, coming to a club/car/wedding near you soon!
Another surprise on this album is the fact there is no Karan MC to be found, since AMW3 he has since parted ways with EnvyRoma and pursuing his own solo career. So in typical fashion they find another sick vocalist to replace him. This time a fella called Apna Swarn. ‘Duppatta’ is my personal favourite track off the album, due to three reasons. The beat is an old reggae riddim which has been used many times over, by Tigerstyle, Sean Paul etc. However this time its given a desi re-lick which really goes well with the song. Reason number two? The sick vocals of Apna Swarn, makes the track his own. Number three? The emergence of desi rapper; DEEP, coming from Houston Texas, he can flow between hip-hop and punjabi lyrics with ease. A top track. The production from now on has been done by Lil Sach and Kal-M.
Shayn is another new artist given the limelight here. His a Asian R&B singer (were have I heard that before?). For more info on him check out the FRESH ARTIST section on the site. The production on ‘Hole In My Heart’ supplied by Lil Sach and Kal-M is a pretty simple basic piano beat, which tends to get repetitive. The vocals of Shayn are quite impressive, however the dull production really kills the track off. The only upside is the rapping of Deep which lifts the track to another level for about 30seconds.
Next track is Changa Ni Lagda by Sangra Vibes… Oh S%ht I could have sworn it was? The similarity is quite scary. ‘Lagdi Pyari’ has been sung by IK (the one), who iv never heard of before, but does a reasonable job. The track is nothing special, and I just cant help singing Changa Ni Lagda over the guys voice.
‘Kini Soni’ this time around uses the more common version of the ‘Pakistan Riddim’ by Elephant man,. The vocals are by Binder Bajwa, who does a decent job as usual. The three rappers used have variable successes. G3, Cheshire Cat and Deep. With Cheshire cat being his usual worst. The original of this track has been done by a guy called DJ Fricktion, who put the track up for free download on his site after Lil Sach was going to release his version on his album Baad, Phat & Invincible. Sorry Sach, I prefer the original, although this is a decent track.
Get ready to get a headache. You know when producers make a song, you’d think there’s some sort of quality control in the process of making it? Now ‘Haat’ in all honesty isn’t too bad of a track. HOWEVER that annoying flippin sarangi during the song totally kills it off. Surely they would have found it annoying? I cant stand to listen to more than a minute of this track. A Shame, because it started off well, and would have been a real desi track.
My CD cover says ‘Man On Fire’ is track 7, however I somehow arrive at track 8 ‘In2Deep’. A little mix up there. This is Shayn’s second effort on the album, and im really feeling it. The production is more uplifting than Hole In My Heart. The singing style is your typical R&B singing, however there’s something that appeals to me about this song.
The deadly duo of Kamla Punjabi and Deep finally arrive on ‘Man On Fire’. More Info On Kamla Punjabi can be found once again in our FRESH ARTIST section. His one sick vocalist, not a rapper as others keep claiming he is (lol). Onto the track, it starts off with accapella by Kamla Punjabi, flexing his vocal skills. The production by Lil Sach and Kal-M is okay, although nothing to break barriers. In all honesty this is probably one of their (Kamla & Deep) weaker tracks. The original is much more effective which can be found on Kamla’s MySpace www.MySpace.com/KamlaPunjabi
At the beginning of the review I asked whether this was just a quick spin off or a chance for new hopefuls to showcase there ability. It’s a bit of both. However for the money I paid for it and the quality of tracks I got back, this album is a joke. I should have just paid for the £7 digital download, were I would have got 3 extra tracks. In all honesty the only real songs on this album that can carry any weight are Boli Panieh and Duppatta. The rest are a mish mash of old sounds and just poor production. Envy seem insistent on trying to release at least one album a month, and most of these albums seem to be coming from the hand of Sanj/Jnas or whatever he calls himself. Since May we have had Asian R&B, Rouge and now AMW4, in all three albums Sanj has played a major role in over seeing the project. Maybe he should now begin to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. The positives here are quite simple, the emergence of Apna Swarn, and the growing limelight to DEEP, who I am personally a big fan of. If you really want this, than id suggest you download it for £7 from ENVYROMA.COM, but that’s only if you REALLY want it. It’s a sad sight to a see a great series go off in a bad way. Boli Panieh will do the usual damage on the dance floors, however its not enough to warrant a £10 price tag for such a weak album.
AMW4 gets 4/10
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