It’s been less than a week and we declare that PJ Morton’s new album ‘Paul’ has instantly become a classic piece of work. As if his previous Grammy nominated and award winning albums ‘Gumbo’ and ‘Gumbo Unplugged’ didn’t give us what we’ve been missing, he came back one year later with a vibe!
There aren’t many current musicians that are generating art as creatively genius as he is today. We have heard time and time again that PJ Morton evokes the remnants of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and even Curtis Mayfield. But let’s dive into the project that showed PJ Morton stripped of it all, giving you his best work yet with self titled album ‘Paul’.
Love and Dreams
The first track Ready starts with a funky roller coaster of musical infatuation, committing to love and growth. This one is relatable to anyone who had to mature and make up in their mind that they are done with all the games to be with the one they truly love. Practicing (feat. Tobe Nwigwe) will undoubtedly hit home with the dreamers of the world. We often run into people who set limits on themselves and offer advice on our goals. In the end we walk away feeling disheartened. The reality of it is, those who give advice most are in return afraid to follow their own dreams. We don’t know exactly what will happen especially if it’s never been done before. This song encourages us to keep going and at the end of the day, no one really has the answers to this journey called life.
Believe and Own It
The song Kid Again similarly inspires his listeners to shoot for success. He sings about how we as adults lose that passion and ability to be imaginative thinking of the impossible as possible. Yearning For Your Love is the remake of The Gap Band with a groovy vibe and uncanny instrumentation. Buy Back The Block begins with a clip of a news reporter announcing that the late Nipsey Hussle passed away. If you were a fan of Nipsey or got a glimpse of what he stood for, you know he was an advocate of ownership! The lyrics of the song are quite simple and we can hear chanting to “buy back the block” with some call and response flavor. You get dual enjoyment from it’s music content as well as encouragement of proprietorship in the community.
Fight For It
Built For Love (feat. Jazmine Sullivan) peeled back my edges and left them to find their way back to my forehead. This may be a bit bias but hands down she is one of the best vocal and lyrical talents in the industry. I was waiting for this collaboration! They musically captivated experiencing obstacles of love and fighting for those who are worth it. Don’t Let Go is an a capella piece with what sounds like a keyboard synthesizer with its soothing harmonies. This is one of PJ Morton’s distinctive sounds. It gives you no choice but to listen to the lyrics and really absorb the message in the music. WE HEARD IT LOUD AND CLEAR PJ. Don’t Break My Heart (feat. Rapsody) showed love to all the once brokenhearted peeps who’ve healed and don’t ever want to feel that way again. I can relate.
Pride and Injustice
Say So (feat. JoJo) was another track that displayed soothing vocal abilities of Morton and childhood favorite JoJo. This song had me vicariously going through relationship issues and wanting my man to profess his undying love for me. MAGA? (feat. Angela Rye) sheds light on the realization that there is still injustice happening in this country in 2019. Black men are still dying and the President is responsible for the rising of home grown terrorism . Angela Rye came through with commentary on the fact that while the 1950’s was great for some, we were prohibited from sitting at the same restaurant counters, drinking out of the same water fountains, and even voting. She then goes on to name several men and women who have loss their lives to police brutality or injustice.
Long story short, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. The messages sent through his songs are parallel with what we go through on a daily basis. If not for the music alone, we can definitely get our dose of inspiration from the lyrics. If you have not heard it, please check out ‘Paul’ on all platforms. Let us know what you think in the comments.
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