Release Date: June 2006
No Of Tracks: 8
BBC Asian Network Live 2005 saw the coming together of three of the Asian music worlds biggest stars, Gurdas Mann, Abrar Ul Haq and Sukshinder Shinda sang a song which already now has become a cult hit. The ‘Collaborations’ idea was formed. Out of this unique collaboration a whole album was set out with Sukshinder Shinda teaming up with the likes of Gurdas Mann, Abrar Ul Haq, Jazzy B, A S Kang + many more to produce an album which has been touted as ‘THE BIGGEST PUNJABI ALBUM IN HISTORY’ (by MovieBox themselves)
The album which was first set for a SEPTEMBER 2005 release has been heavily delayed, hit by the usual desi timing routine, now much common with all Bhangra releases. In the time of this delay the MovieBox promotion machine has been in over drive, hyping up this album, although it does not need any help. With a line up of these artists, it is pretty self explanatory.
As many have already bought the album, it’s labelled as a ‘Special Collectors Edition’. These three magic words could be enough to charge us an extra £2 on the price. The whole package given although is something that is rarely seen in a Bhangra album. No jewel case, instead a folding cardboard album cover, with space for the CD and the extra DVD full of all sorts of extras.
So anyway, finally the album has arrived, is it the biggest punjabi album in history? Should “Legalised” by Punjabi MC finally give up its crown?
In typical SimplyBhangra.com style, Collaborations will be given a tough inspection!
A special mention should be given to Abrar Ul Haq on this track, for me his the one who really excels here, doing a great job. Some have said he should have been replaced by another vocalist… Are you mad! Shinda gives his typical high class performance, and Gurdas Mann, well his just Gurdas Mann. Fantastic track, will be played for years to come, not just by Bhangra lovers, I think most people will adhere to this song.
The one downside is that, every track on this album will now be compared to this one, can anything surpass this or even come close?
The undisputed king of Boliyan AS Kang this time teams up with Shinda to give us ‘Groove Boliyan’. The beat is funky, mixed with some more Spanish guitars and a fast dhol, AS Kang kicks in giving a typical performance. Unlike the other two tracks, this one fails to make any sort of real impression. Before the album this was one of the songs I was looking forward to. The only real highlight is the vocals of AS Kang, which after a long time is good to hear again. The curse of the MC/Rapper strikes again. The track doesn’t do much for me.
Ni Mitrann Nu Chargii Daruu! The last time Shin (DCS) teamed up with Shinda, the end product was the massive hit, ‘Daroo’, this time we are given ‘Kurhi Akhiyan Nall’
To describe this song is two words; bubblegum Bhangra. Something that actually shocked me, I was expecting a hard hitting desi track, but Shin shows his versatility on this track, even singing in English! The tracks ok, but maybe Shin should stick to the Punjabi verses.
‘Hala Lalla’ is a very special collaboration, its Sukshinder Shinda singing alongside his late brother, Mohan Singh Nimmana. This song defiantly makes up for the previous two songs. The production is kept very desi, almost folk. The vocals from both are superb, one of my favourites from this album.
Meshi, fresh from the new XLNC album last year, sings on ‘Boliyan Te Boliyan’. The production is very repetitive, and feels as though has been lifted off the Groove Boliyan track earlier. Call it what you want, but ill call it near filler, which is a shame because Meshi is one of my favourite singers.
“Charka” is one of those songs which should not be instantly dismissed, it’s a deep meaningful track, which is an old Yamla Jatt track re sung by Manjit Papu. The production is very good, just one of those songs you really have to kick back and acknowledge. No it isn’t going to get your head bopping or you saying ‘naaa sick bass bruvv’, but it still makes its impact that’s its supposed to.
The complimentary club banger; ‘Shoulder Surf’, the song has the potential to be massive, collaborating this time with Takeover Ent from the west coast, the beat has been ‘sampled’ from a hip-hop track called ‘Tipsy’, but I’m sure no one is really taking any notice (except me). The lyrics are perfect, but something is missing, I’m not quite sure what, but it lacks to make it a real club anthem.
That’s it? 8 tracks. That’s what I though aswell. MovieBox have managed to do it again, anyone remember the days of the Bally Jagpal and B21 albums with about 3 new songs for £10. Times have changed since then, most labels have realised that the minimum required is 10 tracks for £10. But wait, MovieBox have taken it a step further, 8 tracks for £12. Ok so we get the DVD, Im not too bothered about a DVD, I’d rather have 4 more tracks on a album than a DVD. So what’s the reason for so little tracks? Collaborations Part 2 is already in the pipeline… could this album have been scaled down so tracks could be put on there? Whatever it is, there SHOULD have been more tracks than this, the price tag of £12 is a rip off. The sad fact is, most people will buy it, much like I did it, just for the two tracks, Collaborations and Kuri Labdi, and the rest of the album is a mixture of repetitive and reused sounds. The collaborations track somewhat carries this album. The Biggest Punjabi Album in History? Who are you kidding MovieBox.