To say this album was eagerly anticipated is a massive understatement. I’ve been a huge Badal Talwan fan ever since his first track ‘Kasoor’ featuring Aman Hayer. He has released a few tracks here and there with the likes of Dj Dips, Popsy etc but they have always been far apart. I always wondered when he will release an album so was so relieved when he / Dj Dips announced that they were working on one together. We’ve had the album for a few weeks now and have been analysing and enjoying each and every track; bare with us as this is a mammoth 15 track album. Check out the official Bhangra Central review for the album below:
Track 1 – Rab Ne Rounaka
Prior to the public release, this was teased on Instagram as well as Badal dropping a few lines live. Rab Ne Rounaka is a superb track from start to finish; it’s got that trademark UK Bhangra sound that’s often imitated but never duplicated. I loved the boli / switch up mid track as well. The thing about Badal is that he can actually sing and has a good tone of voice. It’s strange saying that but some singers release tracks and they are nowhere near as ready. This is one of my personal favourites and has been on repeat for a while now; a smashing way to open an album.
Track 2 – Yaaria 2 ft Roach Killa
Dj Dips & Badal released a monster of a track last year called Yaaria featuring Roach Killa. Having heard a snippet of it month’s prior I knew it was going to be a big track and damn was that an understatement. Yaaria became the next DJ Dips’s classic and i’d say its already up there alongside Gera De De as being a must-play, stable track in every DJ set. It always gets the crowd going, dancing and singing along. One of the biggest tracks to come out of the industry in a while; the duo decided to top that with a sequel / part 2. The track follows the reggae vibe as the original and again includes Roach Killa. Dj Dips does enough to switch it up and make it distinct from the original with the production. If I compare the two, I would choose the original as that came out of nowhere however as a standalone song, this is a great track. Roach Killa’s flow is on point as always and works with the track. This is another one that I had to keep on repeat; its so addictive!
Track 3 – Jere Kende Si ft Kam Frantic
This was another track that was showcased on Dj Dip’s Instagram. Jere Kende Si switches up the tone and pace of the album and is on the slow side. It has some great musical pieces throughout the track which really set the vibe. Deep and emotional lyrics are perfectly articulated through Badals vocals. The production on this is on point; fits the track and is nicely done. The track also features additional production by the legendary Kam Frantic. This is a really good and emotional song, really enjoyed listening to this one actually.
Track 4 – Seetiyan ft Kiran Dhanoa
Track 4 on the album is Seetiyan which features a guest appearance by Kiran Dhanoa (another one of our favourite artists’ who needs to release her debut album.) This is one for all the Bhangra fans; hard-hitting production, catchy lyrics and a punchy delivery by Badal.The one thing I will say which is evident in this track and the entire album is the progression in Dj Dip’s production. Not only in the quality but also variety; confidence to branch out and include elements from different genres and to do so in a way which feels seamless and natural is remarkable. This is a catchy track and the chorus will get stuck in your heads for a while.
Track 5 – Yaara
Yaara is up next and again we heard small previews of this in mixes before but hearing it in full is another thing. I liked the chorus with the additional female vocals; gave it a nice atmospheric touch. Again the music pieces are great throughout the track. I liked the female vocals towards the end of the track; that was a nice addition. Another catchy, very well produced track; nothing more to say other than this is one track to check out.
Track 6 – Kach Da Dil
Things are switched up with Kach Da Dil; it’s a more slower paced track and it is another one of my personal favourites from the album. I thought Seetiyan was catchy but Kach Da Dil was stuck in my head for days. It’s good to see Badal singing different styles and tempos and not being afraid to experiment. I like the change up mid track. The production on this again is quality – no unnecessary samples or vocals / rappers.
Track 7 – Balaune Bakare
Another hard-hitting bhangra track – Balaune Bakare is up next. The track as a whole is nice and the lyrics are straightforward; production is also fitting, however having listened to it a few times, it can get a bit repetitive. Overall it’s a nice track but is overshadowed by some of the other hard-hitting bhangra tracks.
Track 8 – Kadeh Sajana ft Mentor Beats
Kadeh Sanjana features additional production by Mentor Beats. I loved the flutes on this track. Its a got a great vibe going on. You can hear and sense the emotion from Badal’s vocals as well. There are no unnecessary samples or instruments to take away from the song. Its hard not to stick this on repeat a few times! Overall another good track on the album.
Track 9 – Aish
Aish starts of with a nice vaja piece, before we start to hear the backbone of every bhangra track – the dhol. Aish is a track that is all about living your life! This is another superb track – a positive and uplifting message throughout the track – I’m always keen to hear a tumbi on a track (having learned how to play one myself), so it was good to hear it on this track too. The thing with most of the tracks in the album are that they have a definite repeat factor; I found myself easily listening to these tracks again and again and not just because I was doing the review, they are extremely catchy. It is definitely one to check out from the album.
Track 10 – Clip
Clip is up next and this is another bhangra track. Clip has some nice musical pieces throughout the track and lyrics are catchy and it’s got a nice flow and melody. It’s got all the ingredients you’d expect for a dance floor track. Badal sounds great on the track. I do like the production on this. I think this track could have benefited with a female artist though giving her perspective.
Track 11 – Suit Panjabi
Suit Panjabi is another one of my favourites from the album; the intro to the track was fantastic. DJ Dips showed a snippet of this on his Instagram not too long ago. It starts with a great intro; it kind of reminds me of the intro to Kasoor. This is a fun and energetic up-beat track; the tumbi sounds crisp throughout. The lyrics are easy to understand and very catchy.
Track 12 – Ous Kurri
Track 12 is Ous Kurri and this again is on the slow side. I am not usually a fan of the slower tracks but as with the other ones in the album it has grown on me. It’s one of those tracks that gets better the more you listen to it as you will pick up on different bits on the production each time. The thing that I like about this track is Badal’s vocals; you can hear the emotion within each verse plus he has a nice tone of voice too. Again I can’t fault the track; it ticks all the boxes; a must listen.
Track 13 – Akha Billian ft Sunil Kalyan
Akha Billian featured additional production by Sunil Kalyan who does an incredible job. The track is just made for the dancefloors; fast-paced production; addictive lyrics and vocals that are on point. I loved the switch mid track; that was a nice addition. It kind of made me want a full on Boliyan track; perhaps something we will see in the next album?? This is is a great track and DJ Dips does a fantastic job with the production overall to make it sound fresh and not like the typical tracks at this tempo. This was another track that had its fair share of repeats.
Track 14 – Yaaria 2 (Folk Mix)
Ha Ha! – I was not expecting this! When I saw the Folk Mix in the title for the remix, I had imagined something totally different. Nice to hear a bit of Challa at the beginning / Yamla Jatt – Tere Ni Karara mid track. The track has grown on me after half a dozen or so plays; I still prefer the original but this is a bold mix. I like the fact that Dj Dips has decided to branch out with the production and styles; there actually is a track for everyone on the album. And the good thing is that its not a cheap attempt to please everyone by sticking samples and typical beats. Each track sounds as though it had been carefully planed, organised and developed.
Track 15 – Whiskey Di Bottle
Whiskey Di Bottle was released as a free download a while ago and has been included on the album, which I like. It is a big track and I felt it didn’t get the attention / reach as many people as it should have. And with it being on the album, it should give it more exposure. I loved the music pieces throughout the track; the production is spot on and Badal sounds great on this track. As far as I can tell it is the same as before, no changes made in the production / lyrics etc. and to be honest, it didn’t need changing. We started the album strong with Rab Ne Raunaka and ended it on a strong note too.
Well that certainly took a while to get through! 15 massive tracks by a phenomenal vocalist produced by an incredibly talented producer representing UK Music in a big way. I always knew the album would be something special, it just took a while to release. Dj Dips mentioned it was a culmination of 7 years of effort and work. Most times when a producer has a track for a while and then finally releases it, it can sound dated and old; however happy to say that it wasn’t the case with Desi As Folk. Each track sounds as fresh and up-to-date as the tracks being released currently; a credit to all the team involved.
The album has got something for everyone, in that there will be something that everyone can relate to. My personal favourite tracks from the album are Rab Ne Rounaka, Yaaria 2, Jere Kende Si, Kach Da Dil, Suit Panjabi, Clip, Akha Billian and Whiskey Di Bottle. The one thing that I would have like to see on the album is a female duet track; having been a massive fan of Chaska Duet, it would be good to hear more of those type tracks – Maybe something to add to the next album!?, which i’ve been told is already underway. Badal is an incredibly talented vocalist who deserves to be recognised more and hopefully this album is the perfect opportunity and platform for him to reach that next step.
The official BhangraCentral.com rating for Desi As Folk is 9.7 out of 10
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