When Jazzy B (Jaswinder Singh Bains) releases an album, you sit up and take notice. The ‘Crown Prince of Bhangra’ is back after a 3 and half year hiatus to deliver his eleventh studio album titled ‘Rambo’…yes Rambo. The success of astronomical success of ‘Romeo’ cemented Jazzy B as one of the pioneers of Asian music worldwide. Record breaking sales, record breaking events and an ever increasing fan base catapulted Jazzy B as a true international star, if he wasn’t already.
The build up to this album has been as unique as ever, with the song ‘Rambo’ getting mixed reviews across the spectrum. I have to admit, I’ve never really been a huge Jazzy B fan, I’ve liked a few tracks here and there such as Soorma, Naag, Sardara and of course Londono Patola.
They say the hardest thing to do after a good album is to follow up with an even better one. Not many artists manage it, most fail to live up the expectations, will Rambo be the same?
Is it about time Jazzy B gave up the title of ‘Crown Prince of Bhangra?’
The album kicks off with an intro titled ‘Suited and Booted’, which is a semi-funny skit featuring Jazzy B, well it is kinda funny but I want songs not an intro!!!...
Track one is titled ‘I Love You’ and begins with a catchy hook line of ‘oh oh oh oh..oh oh’ which has been stuck in my head for a few days now. The song features collaboration with female Canadian rapper D’licious. The song is insanely catchy but I don’t think the inclusion of the female rapper does it any justice. She just isn’t very good. Just do what I do, forward to 1minute 30seconds and let Jazzy B take over, As soon as the tabla rolls in and Jazzy B starts to sing you find yourself more attached to the song. Production by Shinda is unique, a weird song but definitely one that will grow on you the more you listen.
Up next is ‘Glassy’ and features a brief cameo by California rapper Kanwar. As the title suggests it’s a pretty simple song, but don’t get the wrong impression, this song is just not another drinking song. The hard hip-hop beat at the beginning gives the impression of another generic track but before you know it the track explodes. Rapper Kanwar does a good job I think of keeping the flow of the song. But as always the voice of Jazzy B steals the show. Not really as hard hitting as older tracks, much softer, but definitely one that’s destined to tear apart the dancefloor. The highlight of the song? Jazzy B going into a boliyan… nothing better than a good boliyan right? If this doesn’t get you dancing, I’m not sure what will. Feel good Bhangra at its best.
We’re treated to an old Kuldip Manak classic at the beginning of ‘Jatt’, with the classic Jeona Mour bringing in a typical Jazzy B intro. Im sure by the end of this album everyone will know about Bobby Nagra Canedeh Valiya! Ok, let me break this song down. It’s a F*ckin classic! People will compare it to Soorma, but you really shouldn't. It’s much lighter and more happy-go lyrics this time around. Production by Shinda is fantastic, and much like every song on this album, this won’t hit you straight away, but the more you listen the more you don’t want to turn it off. I can’t big it up enough, if Glassy don’t get you dancing then you won’t be able to resist the call of Jatt! The complete song is over 7minutes long, but you really don’t notice. Classic, anthem, call it what you want. All together now... Jatttt mauujaan karddaa ehhh…
The whole direction of the album is flipped with ‘Dilla Nu’. Shinda unleashes the Guitar skills of Paul Sampson to accompany the vocals of Jazzy B. It’s a rock track, think Sher Punjabi by Aman Hayer. The song works well with Jazzy B really giving a awesome vocal display, its great to see him improving with every album. Another great song
‘Gaddi’ is up next and much like Jatt features another extended intro, which brings the song in well. Gaddi is one of the lighter songs on the album although to a desi tip it’s definitely pop Bhangra. Production is similar to ‘Majajne’ off Living the dream by Sukshinder Shinda, but nevertheless its still a great song. Much like every other song before this, on a first listen it was dreadful but the more you listen the more you want to sing along.
15 seconds in and I already know what to expect, I know I’ve already used this term before but this song is an anthem. With ‘Jawani’ Jazzy B epitomizes what he is all about. Hard hitting lyrics alongside a fantastic vocal range. This can probably be classed as the ‘Soorma’ of the album due to the confrontational lyrics. Whatever, its just another Jazzy B classic. If there ever was a Bhangra mosh pit, this song would probably start it off.
‘Dilbar Jani’ slows everything down with Sukshinder Shinda giving a master class in the harmonium. It’s a slow song, so it may appeal to a certain audience; no doubt it’s a good song with strong lyrics.
Now for the song that’s been causing debate among the Bhangra fraternity worldwide…you knowww ‘Rambo Rambo’. Firstly I’d like to congratulate the lyricist Karamjeet Kadho, who somehow managed to incorporate the words ‘Rambo’ into a Bhangra song. Don’t judge this song by the video, play it on your system, turn up the volume. Production by Shinda is on another scale, raw grimy yet still keeping a crisp flow going. Kanwar does another solid effort on the song. It’s a weird song and one only Jazzy B could pull off. Despite the crazy lyrics it’s actually a really good song. Don’t worry, you can listen to it on your own if you’re afraid to blast it.
Well that’s it. As I mentioned earlier, when Jazzy B releases an album you sit up and take notice and rightfully so. He is the biggest name in Bhangra and Punjabi music worldwide. Rambo (the album) has been slated by many, but don’t get confused, this album is better than Romeo and will go on to create anthems. Jatt, Jawani and Jadu are the full on desi tracks and each of them it can be argued are as good as each other. Then you have glassy and gaddi which are more lighter but equally as effective. Without even mentioning Dilla Nu and Rambo, which as different as they, can be called very good songs. You don’t get classics overnight, much as this album cannot be judged merely on one brief listen. I’m certain that Jawani, Jatt and to an lesser extent Jadu will blow up worldwide for Jazzy B.
The music by Sukshinder Shinda throughout the album is immaculate and goes to show why he isn’t just a Bhangra producer but nothing short of a musical genius. If you’re like me and doubted whether he had it inside of him to produce as he did 5 years ago then I will hold my hands up and say I’m wrong.
And for Jazzy B? Well I was right, he is no longer the Crown Prince of Bhangra anymore… he has firmly & finally cemented his rightful place as the King of Bhangra.
Give this album a proper listen, you won’t regret it.
Jazzy B – Rambo gets a 9/10