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Music review: Priyanka Chopra feat. Will.I.am -- "In My City"

Smells nice: Indian spice to American nightlife?

We know Bollywood loves to copy Hollywood, but can this Indian superstar's original debut album really make it here?

Priyanka Chopra in Toronto

In Hollywood, we only really have Mindy Kaling from The Office (only 50 percent because she's only half Indian) and Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar -- but Indians love to act.

Bollywood is India's movie industry (in case you lived under a rock). Permanently fixated on creating musicals, you can often find undeniable similarities to Hollywood plots such as Memento and Bollywood's equivalent, Gajini.

While they are not always unique story lines, the leading ladies often are beautiful and our featured artist, Priyanka Chopra, is no different.

IMDB lists Chopra's accomplishments to include being crowned Miss India and Miss World. Proving she is more than just a pretty face, she not only has starred in countless movies, she also has a budding music career.

Her debut, "In My City," garnered the interest of Will.I.am (of Black Eyed Peas fame) and is backed by Universal.

The song is surprising. Ever hear Bollywood music? It occasionally sounds like an old woman wailing -- but Auto-Tune it a bit, add a few upbeat beats, and you have the first few seconds of the song (great, another Jay-Z + Punjabi MC collaboration or Timbaland's "Indian Flute??"). But don't let that deter you. It not only sounds good, but after a few seconds, Priyanka's crystal clear and accent-free voice appears (I half expected there to be one, even knowing it's usually indistinguishable when someone is singing).

"I know you got your own town/I know you got your own ways/I know you got your own life/I'm just sayin' c'mon down to my place"

She's refreshing; you can almost hear the optimism and inspiration in her voice when she describes her "city." She may not have the singing range of Demi Lovato or even Ariana Grande, but her extent of positivity beams like a freshly minted (and freshly departed) Disney artist.

However, Priyanka's voice is sweet, but not childish. Aided by background drums and club beats, this easily can transfer into party music. Will.I.am weirdly reminded me of Akon -- who was recently featured in some Bollywood music, and his addition added some dimension to this song. Will.I.am also has collaborated with the talented Cheryl Cole, who I believe, with some vocal grooming and added sass, could be the direction Priyanka will gravitate toward.

An Indian website, HindustanTimes.com, indicates this song is a tribute to her moving around a lot because of her father's medical career. She has come a long way from beauty pageants to acting, and now to a musical career. This song may not sound like it has a lot of depth, but it certainly appears the background story suggests otherwise. The track is likable, airy, and fun -- all the makings of a hit and certainly shows a lot of promise for Chopra.


Photo courtesy of Dominic Chan/WENN.com.

Check out more music reviews:

Music review: Lana Del Rey's "Ride"
Music review: Neon Hitch's "Love U Better"

Music review: M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls"

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