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PAJAM Presents... 21:03

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jul
PAJAM Presents... 21:03
Sounds like … B2K, Dru Hill, Backstreet Boys, Next, Omarion, and other urban-leaning heartthrobs aimed squarely at the teenaged set. At a glance … it's not exactly what adolescents are clamoring for, but 21:03's debut is still a slickly-produced effort that recalls the glory days of urban-inflected teen pop.Track Listing Intro Spiritual Bizness Chozen I'm Sorry Young Love One Love Dance See Me Power of Christ Been There Don't Say No Sweet Spirit How Long Shout It Out Again I Say Rejoice (Bonus Track)

What is this, 2002? It's uncertain how relevant a manufactured all-boy R&B trio can be six years into the new millennium—and four years since the short-lived rise of B2K—but Detroit-based mega-producers PAJAM don't seem to care. After holding auditions for young, fresh-faced (and good-looking) talent, the production impresarios held a boot camp where the boys—Sean Grant, Torrence Greene and Evin Martin—learned how to sing, dance and have proper stage presence. And so on January 21, 2003—21:03, get it?—this up-and-coming act was born.

I was hoping the group's moniker would stand for something really deep—maybe a Bible verse about not being condescending toward others because of their youth, or perhaps a passage about youngsters ordaining praise. But a date? Not that it matters much when a group makes great music, but in this case it's a reminder that 21:03 was put together.

And like B2K, the results are only mixed. Nothing on PAJAM Presents … 21:03, is quite as immediate as B2K's "Uh Huh" or "Bump Bump Bump," but they do come awfully close on "Spiritual Bizness" and "Chozen." Both are dance-ready, bass-heavy stompers that are best relished while they're hot, since they quickly dissipate and give way to overdramatic balladry ("I'm Sorry," "See Me," "Power of Christ") that makes them sound older and more syrupy than K-Ci & JoJo.

In this regard, PAJAM falters for their inability to remain transparent and let the kids do their thing. Their production tactics are on-point, but they namedrop themselves so much, maybe it's no coincidence their name precedes that of the boys in the album's title. Their do-it-all work ethic literally spills into everything 21:03 does—image, beats, songwriting, and yes, even their voices—virtually eclipsing the boys' own presence in the entire project.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.