No Reservations to Karma
By Amanda Tung-Shun, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB
1992 Island Records
Popular music is what is hot in one's country at any given time. Pop music in India, bhangra and punjabi. In Jamaica it's reggae and calypso. Now if you combine two or more of any type of music you get a different sound altogether. Apache Indian has done this and No Reservations was one of his top selling albums.
Apache Indian, despite his last name, is from England. With his different Indian and Jamaican backgrounds, he mixed bhangra, reggae and hip hop to create his style. By linking the various cultures, he has made himself known as the first true Asian artist. Apache has won awards from both Asian and Reggae industries and has been recognized in Britain with hit song "Boomshackalac" in the top 40 charts. No Reservations was his first album followed by the single release of "Boomshackalac" called Nuff Vibes. Make Way for the Indian and Wild East followed and then a greatest hits album as well as Karma in 2002.
This album is great. While some songs lack a good meaning the overall effect is good. Apache Indian sings mostly about issues and places, he doesn't always sing about love. The first song is "Chokthere" and is about him rising to the top of all the Bombay (now Mumbi) charts and coming with "...a new stylee..." Song five is "Aids Warning" and that is what the song is. A warning about aids and what could be done about it. In "Arranged Marriage" he talks about the Indian culture of having your parents choose your partner. In "Come Follow Me" Apache sings about India. It talks about the history right down to everyone bathing in the Ganges. This song would have been one of the best on the album but some "pagalli" (crazy) guy at the end had to continuously say "just joking" for no reason. Featured on this album is Frankie Paul and Maxi Priest.
Like most things, this album has its faults. "Guru" is a song talking about the Indian Prophets. Now Mr. Indian can sing about whatever he wants and does, but he does it better than this song. The music was uneventful and the chorus of two lines was sung unfavorably and the music doesn't fit very well.
Some of the best lyrics on this album are from two of the most popular songs, "Chokthere" and "Arranged Marriage". "Number one in all the Bombay Charts, take me hand me a tear them apart, tell when me come me bring a new stylee" starts off "Chokthere". In these lines he says that he is number one in Bombay with him he brings a new style. Style meaning his mixture of different types of music in one. In "Arranged Marriage" he says "The time has come mon fe Apache, Fe find one gal and to get marry, But listen when me talk tell everybody, Me wan me arranged marriage from me mum and daddy". This is strange. Since about 1990 most Indians wanted to fall in love and marry who they wanted not who their parents choose for them. Unless of course they pick the same girl. Here Apache is saying that he wants his arranged marriage from his parents. The last line of the song is amusing. "Me wan gal to mek me roti". He wants a girl to make him roti, kind of like pita bread, but softer. Apache is good at blending English and Hindi words together in his music. He also does well to place his name in almost every song he sings.
Overall, this album is great. It the best mixture of bhangra and reggae out there. Of course, it might be the only mixture of these two wonderful types of music out there. This type of music is hardly ever slow and will make you want to get up and dance. Dancing is what you have to do when listening to this album. You should also listen because he does talk about issues effectively in his music and get his views across. This album can be the life of your next party, but first, you have to buy it.
The songs that Apache Indian sings are great and people can relate to them. "Come Follow Me" shows that he is proud of his heritage as is everyone. "Don't Touch" is a song that says you can say what you want about him but if you try to fight you'll be sorry. Who can't relate to that. He brings out important issues like aids, sings about them and gets through to people. Now that is cool.
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