Master student Pooja Ramakrishnan reviews the Podcast Punch up the Jam.
Of all the podcasts I have listened to, none have so ambitious a title as this one. Punch up the Jam (PUTJ), with a snazzy opening tune, starts off as a potentially hyper-enthusiastic and fun-loving podcast. The show’s main theme is to take apart a popular song, interpret the lyrics, uncover a backstory and rewrite it as the hosts see fit. In the world of audio productions, PUTJ stands out amidst the hundreds of recordings on science, society, history or just talk show comedy. As far as I can tell, it is one of a kind: simultaneously a spoof and a review that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
With comedian hosts Miel Bredouw and Demi Adejuyigbe (with an occasional guest host or two) kicking off the banter right from the very first minute, your expectation of a phenomenally charged show rises. The first ever episode I listened to was Shakira’s Whenever, Wherever and the segment matched up to the hype with the most impressive part being the actual punch up: Bredouw rewriting the song and mimicking Shakira’s sultry tones as she sings to the beat anew. Her impressions are so thorough and enjoyable, and the mashed-up lyrics are comical yet catchy. It must be noted that Bredouw has an incredible range of voices and Demi does some good rehashing of lyrics as well.
Unfortunately, many of the episodes I listened to lost track and descended into an aimless tête-à-tête between the two friends (and/or a guest). With jokes that are barely comprehensible to the listener, the interest begins to dwindle. Yet, I ploughed on, despite the irrelevant themes, but soon found that it was only worth listening to the 100 minute long podcast for the punched-up jam or on occasion, the absurd yet amusing theories behind a popular track.
Sooner or later, the show began to feel unnecessarily long and it became increasingly difficult to remain absorbed. The anchors continued to talk among themselves rather than to an audience, and the result was a production that appears to have been released accidentally: without any effort invested in editing. The podcast culminated in being neither cohesive nor appealing. Thus, despite the high energy and creative song rewrites, this podcast remains somewhat of a hit and miss for me. It fits a niche and entertaining genre that has great prospects but needs fine-tuning before it can attempt to take the throne.
Pooja Ramakrishnan, Master student Environmental Engineering, is a science student during the day and a poet by night. She balances the two with her curiosity and fascination for the world we live in.