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Miss Pooja Romantic Jatt Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Miss Pooja is transformed from sweet girl next door to seductive songstress.

Jaspreet Pandohar 2009

The poster girl of Punjabi music, Miss Pooja, makes a welcomed return with her tenth album – not bad going for an Indian music teacher turned international singer who’s only been on the scene since 2007. But if you’re expecting more of her trademark traditional floor fillers then be prepared for a surprise. With Romantic Jatt you’ll find a thoroughly modern missy who’s more studio slick than home baked.  

Collaborating with seven different UK producers, Miss Pooja certainly isn’t short of admirers. Rishi Rich, Tigerstyle, Kam Frantic, Aman Hayer, Punjabi Lab, Sunil Kalyan and Tarli Digital are the lucky guys who get to work with the current Queen of Bhangra. But it’s a case of quantity over quality with the overwhelming number of music makers bringing an inconsistent feel to the album.

From the word go it seems like the music is more a statement about the producers than the songstress herself. Before we even get to hear Miss Pooja’s vocals on the opening track, Kise De Naal Pyar, we are hit with the announcement of Rishi Rich followed by the all too familiar basslines that grace his productions. While, thankfully, most of the others refrain from making such declarations, it's obvious they desire the acknowledgment.

But the attention belongs to Miss Pooja, whose feisty vocals are as pitch perfect as ever. Romantic Jatt, the title track produced by Punjabi Lab, is a snappy number on which the diva delivers her punchy lyrics with aplomb. The Tigerstyle Mix, featuring Roach Killer, is somewhat unnecessary though, failing to elevate the song to a higher level.

It’s left to Kam Frantic to create something more interesting. He gels best with Miss Pooja, transforming her from the sweet girl next door to seductive songstress confidently romancing her man in Mere Do Nain and Chan Fika Fika. Markh Punjaban Di is the closest we get to classic Miss Pooja thanks to DJ Vix, who turns up the tempo on the short, sharp boliyan-style verses.

On the surface it’s a well-polished album, but dig deeper and it’s easy to identify Romantic Jatt’s weakness. Having made her reputation singing duets, the lack of opportunity to spar with her male peers leaves Miss Pooja sounding half the performer. She’s at her best when engaged in verbal repartee, be it with Nirmal Sidhu in Char Panj or Harjit Heera in Desi Jatt. On her own, Miss Pooja seems incomplete.

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