Khan has dared to be different by stepping out of the Bhangra box.
Jaskirt Dhaliwal 2009-10-08
Imran Khan first bounced onto the Bhangra scene in 2007 with the single Ni Nachleh. He set girls’ hearts a flutter, and gained an army of fans with just one song.
Two years later and his debut long-play collection is a total U-turn from that initial Bhangra-heavy track. What Khan has instead delivered is the first Panjabi house record – the sound that Asian Network’s Sonny Ji of The Bhangra Mixtape has been mixing up and championing for two years has come to life on an original album.
Amplifier was the first single from this album to hit the airwaves in the summer, and was at first derided as a joke for its cheesy lyrics. But it has since blared out of car stereos, from Slough to Wilmslow Road, because of its thumping beats. The lyrics are simple, fun and cheeky, like much of the album.
Bounce Billo and Chak Glass follow Amplifier’s dancefloor-friendly beats and quality production. Unforgettable isn’t all banging basslines, though: Peli Waar hits you with its electro guitar riffs, Nai Reina and Gora Gora Rang could be straight out of a Bollywood movie, and the frantic pace is slowed down with love songs Bewafa and Aaja We Mahiya.
The 15-track album is disappointingly without the original Ni Nachleh, instead including a remixed version, and if you’re really looking for faults then on constant repeat it can begin to sound repetitive.
However, Khan has dared to be different by stepping out of the Bhangra box, successfully creating a distinctive sound with help from Turkish producers Eren E and Hakan Ozan.
Unforgettable it certainly isn’t and, much like Amplifier, you’ll either love it or hate it.