Chakdey.Com’s chief reviewer Ramneek Tung gives his verdict on Randy J’s debut album ‘Notorious’, having hit dizzying heights with the anthem ‘Notorious Jatt’ alongside Prabh Gill, we see if it can continue the trend or wide. See what Ramneek makes of the album, what caught his eye and his constructive critique on the release!
Chakdey.Com’s chief reviewer Ramneek Tung gives his verdict on Randy J’s debut album ‘Notorious’, having hit dizzying heights with the anthem ‘Notorious Jatt’ alongside Prabh Gill, we see if it can continue the trend or wide. See what Ramneek makes of the album, what caught his eye and his constructive critique on the release![divide]
Released back in May of 2011, Randy J’s “Notorious Jatt” has dominated dance floors. Combining sublime production, Prabh Gill’s vocals and the Pizza Hut referencing lyrics of Maninder Kailey, the tune captured the youth, finding unparalleled success without any major publicity. Naturally, the modern classic created anticipation for a future full-length release.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/RandyJNotoriousReview.jpg” width=”415″ height=”415″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
Simply titled Notorious, the 10 track offering sees the young musician experimenting with a variety of sounds and vocalists, including the iconic Surinder Shinda, Kaka Bhainawala, Angrej Ali and Saini Surinder. Although he never recaptures the glory of “Notorious Jatt,” Randy J doesn’t seem to be preoccupied with the impossible, as he places an emphasis on producing a diverse album, and for the most part, he succeeds.
Opening up with the Aman Hayeresque “Anakhi Jatt,” the always reliable Angrej Ali delivers a passable tune marred by pedestrian emceeing. Although some might be fond of raps over Bhangra beats, these hypemen aren’t exactly the Punjabi equivalent of Flavor Flav in enhancing the main artist’s vocals or Rakim with their lyrical skills. The art of rapping in Punjabi music does work occasionally but it plagues Notorious, and disturbs the cadence of certain songs, as the lyrics awkwardly switch from Punjabi to English.
Randy J does, however, find success when he steers clear of flat English lyrics, and simply relies on teth Punjabi. “Jadon Tera Lakk Hilda” is a prime example, and sees the producer leave the desi instruments at home in favor of providing an electronic aural canvas for Saini Surinder’s fine vocal performance. After the IDM influenced number, Randy J makes an abrupt transition with the elemental Bhangra of “Jatt Dil Da Na Bura,” which goes down as another highlight in the posthumous career of Kaka Bhainawala.
Later in the album, “Jeona Morr” has Surinder Shinda revisiting the penultimate track from his famed 1981 album. It’s a decent attempt at reworking a classic, but the Charanjit Ahuja produced original is incomparable, and has been taken out of context on this release. Jeona Morh is meant to be digested in its entirety, and taking one track off the concept album is somewhat blasphemous. Still, Randy J has his moments on the composition with some crisp tumbi pieces, and Surinder Shinda, who has obviously taken the utmost care in preserving his voice, is still a top-tier vocalist.
“Jadon Chori Chori,” featuring Deep Jandu, who might just be the best singer to come out of Canada since Jazzy B, features an impeccable vocal delivery, and has been cleverly placed before Randy J’s flagship track “Notorious Jatt,” emphasizing that there’s more to the producer than his highly successful youth anthem. It should also be mentioned that it’s a wise decision to position “Notorious Jatt” as the album concluder because it allows the listener to experience the depth of Randy J’s production before inevitably hearing the ubiquitous cult favorite, which would have overshadowed the rest of the record if used as the opener.
If listeners purchase Randy J’s Notorious with the expectation of another blockbuster comparable to “Notorious Jatt,” they might be disappointed but an album should never be defined by one song. And Randy J doesn’t shamelessly exploit his smash hit as an anchor for this release. The young composer makes a genuine attempt at showing his musical range, resulting in some satisfying tunes including the abovementioned Deep Jandu and Kaka Bhainawala tracks. Although the album has flaws, which are mostly the result of ill-fated attempts at garnering urban appeal, Notorious proves that there’s more to Randy J than just “Notorious Jatt.”
Let us know what you think of the album and the review in the comments box below!