Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Imran Khan – Imaginary

No, not that Imran Khan, leaving TSJ’s number of cricket-related songs at a disappointing zero.


Nina Lea Oishi: “Imaginary” is a montage of all the hip-hop stereotypes: private jets, wining and dining, attractive women, dance floors. Sadly, despite the hyped-up, exploding Punjabi beats, Imran Khan never elevates it above the clichés.

Edward Okulicz: My mother was, for many years, madly in love with the cricketer Imran Khan. She would say “I would like a clone army of Imran Khans. One to do the vacuuming, one to do the ironing, one to cook dinner,” or words to that effect. I don’t recall if she ever mentioned that she wanted a different Imran Khan to summarise (and well!) the last ten years of club-oriented R&B, but the unconvincingly strained chorus makes me think that I don’t.

Thomas Inskeep: If American radio weren’t so phobic towards songs in languages other than English, this could be a massive U.S. hit — and I expect it to be just that, across Europe. “Imaginary” ticks all the boxes but does so well: EDM stabs that never break into the dreaded drop, a spacious chorus reminiscent of Lil Jon’s production on Usher’s “Yeah!” (this has a very EDM&B flavor to it), and a rapper who’s got a great voice and a real sense of flow. Imran Khan reminds me of a sweeter-voiced Daddy Yankee, without the aggro-macho posing.

Katherine St Asaph: The beat, fake Mustard running into EDM running into reggaeton, sounds like the future. If only the industry had the infrastructure to allow this a proper crossover.

Brad Shoup: With no real exertion of imagination, this could be an American club hit, pop hit, whatever. (The e-brake drum tapping is just like Tiësto’s “Wasted” — which is to say, I’m sure it’s been heard three dozen times before.) But I can’t stop giggling at the chorus, whose English nouns are “girl,” “morning,” “breakfast” and “kitchen”.

Alfred Soto: Eurofestival beats beat on, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Will Adams: Rarely does genre collision sound as good as “Imaginary.” It starts out as standard RnBass, and then those trance synth stabs descend from the heavens, leading into a reggaeton; all the while, Imran Khan’s energy is palpable.

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4 Responses to “Imran Khan – Imaginary”

  1. Katherine nails it.

  2. Pretty sure that subhead fails to take into account “Joe Root” by Magic!.

    (Oh dear.)

  3. I know it’s not remotely the same thing, but Danza Kudoro was a hit a few years ago. And I think this can cross over too.

  4. He’s already a top-10 singer (with Katti Batti) on Radio Zindagi… but that’s probably not what you mean.