Release Date: July 2007
No Of Tracks: 12
Sukshinder Shinda is one of the most recognizable faces in not only the Bhangra music scene but arguably the Asian music scene. After going completely solo with his album ‘Gal Sunja, Shinda has cemented his place as one of the top Bhangra artists with the massive success of ‘Balle’ and then ‘Collaborations’ which was released a year ago.
Undoubtedly one of the most talented figures in todays scene, a man who can play more instruments than I have fingers, he has been one of the pioneers of modern day bhangra in the UK and worldwide.
Now the Music man is back with a brand new 12 track album that promises to bring back the way of village life in musical form! Living The Dream hopes to make up for some of the disappointed fans who felt they were left a little short changed by Collaborations.
Track one is titled ‘Majajne’ and is an upbeat number by Shinda which has been produced, as you would expect immaculately. Shinda’s vocals do a fairly decent job in carrying the track; you can notice the difference in his vocal ability and the improvements from his first singing album Gal Sunja. A fairly average start to the album.
‘Aao Gidha Palay-eh’ is next and as the title suggests it’s a very traditional gidha track. Shinda does a great job on both production and vocals. The female vocals in the song are a great add on. The track is fairly catchy however in all honesty it really lacks any edge to call it in any capacity a hit song.
‘Wanga’ is track three and you may have already seen this playing on B4U, and is one of the tracks that will be getting a lot of airplay worldwide, well not due to the fact that it’s a great song, just simply its made for the wider audience. Folk Bhangra its supposed to be? I call it watered down Bhangra.
Track four is ‘Tere Bina’, beginning with an over eccentric intro, and features Shinda on the vocals with his fast singing style made popular on the song Soni Lagdi. A pretty slow tempo song which bursts into life after a short Boliyan by Shinda. Once again it has been produced and sang well, it’s a solid song.
The best song off the album is next and of that I’m pretty confident. ‘Tara’ is a superb song musically, vocally and lyrically! All credit to Shinda for this one, as the idea of the song is brilliant. The video for the track has also recently started to air on TV, make sure you check it out, as it goes perfectly with the song!
‘Lak Tera’ follows and is another lacklustre song which really offered nothing to the listener, a bit of a let down!
Track 7 is ‘Sangdi’ and is Shinda’s first foray into the hip-hop side of things, he once again hooks up with Kalikwest and this time East-coast rapper Don Revo. Previous collaborations with Kalikwest have all ended up in great singles and this is no different. It’s a good catchy song; Don Revo does well on his verse and definitely adds a new dimension to the song.
‘Vaada’ is a slow number, and is destined for the bollywood loving market, it’s a pretty decent tune and is a pleasant change from the rest of the album. It definitely showcases Shinda’s versatility as an artist, as if we already didn’t know that!
Another desi number is next titled; ‘Ni Munde’, it has a catchy chorus which seems to stick in your head, the song itself is solid and has been well produced and sung. But probably on par with songs such as Lak Tera & Majajne.
‘Punjabi’ is the next track and it’s another song that has been very well produced by Shinda, a great musical showcase in this song. Shinda’s vocals work well in this faster tempo song. A notch above most songs on this album, it’s definitely a grower.
‘Mela’ is the penultimate track and is another song which lacks anything to really make it a song which you will listen to again. It is an ok song don’t get me wrong, but I’m sure Shinda can do much better!
The final track on the album is the one everyone has already heard and the one that is going to be the most popular track off the album for a lot of people. ‘Chardi Khalla’ is the dance floor hit on this album, and is set to do some damage on a dance floor near you! Although the song itself is good, its not exactly that great, its good for the dance floor, but the novelty factor on it slowly wears off.
Overall this album is a pretty lackluster effort from Sukshinder Shinda, no one doubts his unquestionable talent at producing and making music as his outstanding record has proved this in the past. However Living The Dream has fallen way below standards that Shinda himself had set with the release of Gal Sunja and Balle. The outstanding songs that are worth mentioning are Tara & Chardi Kallah. If you were to push me then you could add Punjabi to that list. Sukshinder Shinda has built his reputation over the past as a man who delivers when it matters, a man behind some of the biggest hits in todays industry and someone who is unquestionably one of the most respected figures in today’s very shady industry. Not letting reputation get in the way, this album is a very poor effort. The production is as crisp as ever and without question Shinda’s vocals have improved, however many of the songs lack any sort of spark or dare I say originality to make them worth listening to again. I’ll probably get slated for this review, but this album was supposedly ready to release in march, that’s a just 9months after Collaborations was released. Is that enough time to create a solid album, alongside working for other vocalists? Lets just hope Shinda is not rushed on creating his next album, as it seems as though labels are keen on cashing in on his ever growing international selling potential.
Sukshinder Shinda – Living The Dream gets a 6/10