Gurj Sidhu released his highly anticipated debut album titled Sentimental Value at the end of February. This album marked the 10+ year journey of Gurj Sidhu. Having released a couple of single tracks over the past few years, he was ready to unleash the full album; Sentimental Value. The album contained some of the industry’s top music producers; the likes of which include Aman Hayer, Kaos Productions, Atul Sharma, Tigerstyle and Tru Skool. It also featured tracks produced by the talented Snappy and Gurj Sidhu himself. Check out the official Bhangra Central review for the album below:
Track 1 – Backyard ft Snappy
Backyard is the opening track produced by Snappy. It’s a really catchy and well produced track; a great track that gets you excited for the rest of the album. The production on this is fresh and compliments Gurj Sidhu’s vocals nicely. It’s already becoming a viral song with people from all over the world showing their love for it through videos and messages. It’s clear to see why; Backyard is an amazing track and a great opening track to the album.
Track 2 – Hounsla ft Atul Sharma
The incredible and legendary Atul Sharma produced Hounsla and is the next track on the album. I particularly like the backing vocals; they usually make or break a track and in this case they certainly add an extra level of power. Lyrics were provided by Dhami Amarjit and are easy to understand and follow along to. The flutes and sarangi pieces throughout the track really add to the track. Overall I really like this track and have to say this is already one of my favourites from the album.
Track 3 – Deep Obsession ft Kaos Productions
This track was originally released as a single prior to the album being released and has been included in the album. Now when you think of Gurj Sidhu you think of raw folk music. His vocals have a very distinct folk tone and his singing style suits those types of melodies and songs. Deep Obsession has all of that raw folk element in the vocals. The track itself is a DnB track. If you thought Punjabi music was predictable then this just flipped the switch on that assumption. This was a great swerve and production by Kaos Productions was very cool; loved the freshness. It is a case of raw folk meeting DnB and it works. It paid off for the guys to do something different. Whilst i would have liked to see a proper desi beat on this i am glad they didn’t go in that direction with this song.
Track 4 – Goriyeh ft Miss Pooja & Tigerstyle
Track 4 on the album is Goriyeh and it features the vocals of Miss Pooja. This track was produced by Tigerstyle. Miss Pooja actually recorded this track back in the days when she released Petrol; it kind of shows in the style she is singing. This is the first duet track from the album and its a great track. Tigerstyle’s production sounds as crisp as ever. Its quite remarkable the fact that that they produced this over 9 years ago! A testament to the Tigerstyle standard of quality. As far as duets go, this is actually pretty good from Miss Pooja. Both vocals are a great contrast and provide for a pleasant listen.
Track 5 – The Love Song ft Kaos Productions
After a string of hard hitting desi / DnB tracks, The Love Song is a great break point. This are switched up a little bit with this track; it’s one for the romantics, basically saying after you, there is no one else for me. I loved this track from start to finish; production was fitting and atmospheric. The sarangi at the beginning has a similar sound to the track Teri Ore from the soundtrack to Singh Is King which i thought was a nice touch. One thing that I think would have made this the perfect first dance track would be to add a female perspective / vocalist. This can easily be an amazing duet track that outlines a romantic dialogue between the two lovers. However even without a female presence, this is a fantastic track that brings out Gurj Sidhu’s more romantic side; its a got a great vibe going on. You can hear and sense the emotion from Gurj’s vocals as well. The Love Song is another one of my favourites from the album.
Track 6 – Jatt Da Lalkara ft Aman Hayer
Aman Hayer features for his one and only appearance on the album with Jatt Da Lalkara. Whenever you see Aman Hayer’s name on a track, you know its going to be good and Jatt Da Lalkara is certainly good; its way more than just good. A nice hekh to start of the track off; before we hear the trademark desi production by Aman Hayer. The mix of Gurj Sidhu’s vocals and Aman Hayer’s production mixers really well. Nothing more to say other than this is a quality song by Aman Hayer once again.
Track 7 – Mirza Flashback ft Kaos Productions
Mirza Flashback is exactly what it says on the tin. If you are a fan of the classic Mirza-type tracks then this is definitely one for you. Production was done by Kaos Productions; the algozeh pieces were great throughout the track. My only complaint with this is that the track can sound to be a little repetitive; though overall a great track.
Track 8 – Akhiyan Toh Door ft Tigerstyle
This is Tigerstyle’s second appearance on the album; this is more of a slower paced track. Gurj Sidhu’s vocal performance is great on this track and Tigerstyle provide a great beat alongside it. However for me personally, this was one of the tracks on the album that I just didn’t connect with / feel. Not to take anything away from the actual track – it had some great flute pieces but it is overshadowed by some of the tracks before it.
Track 9 – Village Madness ft Kaos Productions
Having a Jago track is risky especially since it will be mostly compared with Malkit Singh’s iconic version. And most do not come even close to his version, especially in that raag. However Gurj Sidhu flipped the script and decided to do it in a different raag (Pehrvee) and the result is phenomenal. This is another one of my favourite songs on the album; Gurj Sidhu’s vocals on this are quality. This track further highlights why Kaos Productions are in a league of their own. The production variation, musical pieces and hard hitting beats are unbelievable. It hasn’t got a bunch of samples or commercial pleasers; this is a straight up desi track. A real contender for the Jago track of the night for sure – Take a bow Gurj Sidhu, Kaos Productions and Amarjit Dhami!
Track 10 – Tere Vaadeh ft Miraya
The penultimate track is Tere Vaadeh featuring the vocals of Miraya. My favourite bit was Miraya; she added a totally different vibe to the track. This track was produced by Gurj Sidhu himself who does a nice job; the track has a very atmospheric sound to it. The album as a whole has a great mix of traditional tracks as well as slow romantic numbers
Track 11 – KK ft Kaos Productions
KK closes out the album at number 11. Production was done by Kaos Productions. Talk about leaving a lasting impression! KK is a phenomenal track and ends the album on a strong note. Production by Kaos Productions is hard hitting; the backing vocals give it that extra kick as well. The musical pieces throughout the album have been carefully selected and composed and its evident with each track. KK is yet again another favourite from the album.
The great thing about albums and in particular Sentimental Value is that there is so much variety that there is at least one track for everyone. If I were to sum up the entire album into one word, it would have to be DESI. Listening to the album; you can easily be forgiven for thinking that Gurj Sidhu was not born in the UK; his pronunciation and vocals sounds that good. Whilst adding Hip Hop samples and elements to the tracks has worked in the past, i felt that the exclusion on this album really made this a refreshing listen. Gurj Sidhu has a desi vocal and the tracks needed to compliment it, which i felt they did. He already has a number of new tracks in the pipeline as well as working on material for his second album.
It is safe to say Gurj Sidhu is here to stay and this album has not only secured his place but defiantly established his name as one of the biggest acts in recent years. The album broke numerous chart records; being Number 1 Worldwide as well as reaching at its peak Number 37 in the mainstream charts. A chart ranking that normally features the like of Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Jay Z, Eminem etc. The album has something for everyone; there were some songs that i really enjoyed such as Hounsla, Deep Obsession, The Love Song, Village Madness and some that I didn’t really feel. However as a complete package this is a solid album and definitely a must for all music lovers.
The official BhangraCentral.com rating for is 9.2
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