Cj Washington 2021
Sacramento soulster serves up a sunlit suite of sweet tunes that seep under one’s skin and stay there.
Not a novice on the scene, this artist knows how to work the audience even from a distance and how to keep them focused: while other R&B performers deal in albums full of synthetic pieces, Cj Washington prefers to keep the listener focused and the impact stronger by packing melodies on EPs where his acoustic guitar, strategically placed in the mix, makes the result arresting and organic. That’s the way things go on “Love Songs & Low Pass Filters” whose five numbers find the Californian weave warm sophisticated polyphony out of his vocals, rendering some lines straight, some curled into melismata and some wrapped in effects, and binding everything with constantly shifting rhythms.
So while the piano-laden “Upside Down” is shifting the groove in a gradual manner, typical for Balearic dancefloors, Cj’s smoky voice radiating a slightly worried delight, and “Waiting On Love” is embracing a barrio vibe, “Thru 2 U” caresses the psyche with tender aural touch and drenches Washington’s strum in delicately ebbing ivories. However, “Him” lays nocturnal balladry on an erotically rocking sonic bed, and the magnificently multilayered “Raindrops” evokes not only the aftershave harmonies of barbershop quartet but also the petrichor freshness. All the cuts, taken in together, go to show it’s about time this musician come out from the shadow of people he worked with, like P. Diddy, and began to shine on his own.