21:03 - Total Attention

21:03
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J. Moss has a gift for capturing the real life joys, pains and temptations confronting young Christians today. That, to me, explains a major part of his appeal. The other part of Moss' appeal is that he and his PAJAM collaborators - Paul "pda" Allen and Walter Kearney - understand the language of 21st Century R&B and hip-hop influenced gospel. They give the listeners hot hooks, pumping beats and lyrics that speak the language of youth - all in the interest of glorifying God.

The PAJAM crew bring all of their production talents to the table on Total Attention, the sophomore album by the trio 21:03. The PAJAM crew selected Evin Martin, Torrence Greene and Jor'el Quinn - 21:03's members - after holding a "Making the Band" type casting call. The group's name refers to Jan. 21, 2003, the day and year that the group was formed.

J. Moss has a gift for capturing the real life joys, pains and temptations confronting young Christians today. That, to me, explains a major part of his appeal. The other part of Moss' appeal is that he and his PAJAM collaborators - Paul "pda" Allen and Walter Kearney - understand the language of 21st Century R&B and hip-hop influenced gospel. They give the listeners hot hooks, pumping beats and lyrics that speak the language of youth - all in the interest of glorifying God.

The PAJAM crew bring all of their production talents to the table on Total Attention, the sophomore album by the trio 21:03. The PAJAM crew selected Evin Martin, Torrence Greene and Jor'el Quinn - 21:03's members - after holding a "Making the Band" type casting call. The group's name refers to Jan. 21, 2003, the day and year that the group was formed.

Total Attention has the feel of a PAJAM project. The record includes the high-energy dance and praise jams that made the PAJAM crew famous. The track "You" and the "When Doves Cry" influenced "Brace Up" are two of the best examples. "Talkin' About" is an example of how PAJAM skillfully wraps a Christian party song around a pop culture catch phrase - in this case the phrase is the exclamation "now THAT'S what I'm talkin' bout."

However, 21:03 has more than a little Take 6 in them. These young brothers can harmonize. That comes through on their take of the old school gospel tune "Down By the Riverside." The reworked song - titled "Riverside" on Total Attention - takes the listeners on a vocal trip from a cappella gospel "quartet" style singing to an ultra modern hip-hop influenced flow with drum machine complement.

The group sports strong solo performances on songs such as the mid tempo jam "U Got Me Through It" (feat. J. Moss), and praise and worship song "Free." No gospel record would be complete without a few tunes especially for the praise and worship teams, and Total Attention has a couple. In addition to "Free," praise and worship leaders might want to look at "Power of Christ." Often praise teams sing the verses and ask the congregation to join in on the chorus or the hook, and "Power of Christ" has a praise and worship-ready hook, "The power of your love/ the power of your grace/the power of your nail-scarred hands/changed eternal fate."

This record has enough balance to allow 21:03 to build upon the group's natural fan base of young people. Total Attention has something for everybody, and it's all good.

By Howard Dukes

 
World Premiere - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Album of the Month - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

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