Former Gotee artist Ayiesha Woods is back with her latest independent EP, entitled The Runway Project. The album's title and eponymous track are actually a reference to an airplane runway and not that of a fashion show. Woods' new EP explores some different sounds, but overall, remains fairly gospel-centric in nature. The opening track, "Humbling," talks about how God's blessings are humbling to us, set to a reggae-flavored soundtrack. It's a good message, but not really indicative of the entire EP musically. "Runaway" follows with a strong CCM/pop vibe. The CCM trend continue with "Jesus Lovin' People," but the song also carries a strong gospel influence. Woods sings, "We're just some Jesus lovin' people lovin' people like Jesus" in the chorus. While "Hope Again" follows in the same vein musically, "Perfect" brings an R&B feel into the mix. "Don't Miss Me" is meant to be a fun song, but in the end comes off a bit cheesy sounding and dated -- the 80's and 90's definitely come to mind with this track. The EP's shortest, and final, song, "This Side of Life," is the most CCM radio ready tune present and has the potential for some serious air time if picked up.
While The Runway Project isn't the most innovative CCM album you'll hear, Ayiesha Woods brings enough diversity to the table to make it interesting. The absolute best part of the EP are Ayiesha's vocals. She has an extremely strong voice that's a joy to listen to. While I'm not sure what happened with Woods and Gotee, I would love to hear what this EP would sound like with the production the label could offer. Fans of Woods' earlier work will be thrilled that she's still making music, and CCM fans that want to hear a wonderful and soulful voice will also find The Runway Project to be right up their alley. While listeners shouldn't expect to be blown away musically, tracks like "Perfect" will certainly make you pay attention. Given the EP's official release date, it just may make the perfect addition to your significant other's Valentine's Day celebration.
- Review date: 2/8/17, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com