Those who are unfamiliar with The Washington Projects might, however, recognize the name SoulJahz; a band that Jekob & Rachael Washington were formally affiliated with. The siblings' debut, Commanders of the Resistance, was released independently in 2007 which has been followed less than a year by their digital holiday EP, Christmas.
Though the EP has six tracks, only three of the six have words, leaving the rest to be instrumental versions of each song. Why an urban/hip hop group would have instrumental takes of each of their songs is almost beyond imaginings considering their beats and melodies (or lack thereof). One possible explanation is that, while repetitive, the beats around "Stay a While" and "This Christmas" have some Christmassy aura that may intrigue those who has the patience enough to endure the uncomplicated instrumental tunes.
"Stay a While" only has one tune change from its piano-based hip hop and it's more like a slight add-on than any real change, which the repetition causes a song that otherwise had potential to slip into the average pile. The complex song "This Christmas" enables listeners to enjoy the song progress from the guitar slightly into quirky urban pop. Jekob drives a rather pathetic love song that has little to do with Christmas except that it was probably written while it was snowing outside his window.
Right in between the boring "Stay a While" and the more intricate "This Christmas" is "Thank You for Christmas," which is not only the middle between the three tracks but musically as well. The holiday tune gets interrupted by Jekob's rap interjection, but it's just short enough to help the song and not ruin the experience of the soft music and Rachel's vocals. The message about God's gift to the earth makes "Thank You for Christmas" also the strongest on the EP, that also says, "Take that X out of that name/ this is why Jesus came/ the greatest gift of all/ to take away all of y'all pain."
The music is pretty solid but the problem is the tune tunes overall are just too average to stack up to the likes of tobyMac, Kirk Franklin or even Madnisa's Christmas work. If you do decide to get it, leave the instrumentals and just grab the first half of The Washington Projects' Christmas EP.- Review date: 11/10/08, written by Nathaniel D. Schexnayder for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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