“PJ Morton: Following My First Mind” Review

A couple of weeks ago I made a post called “PJ Morton’s Maroon Young Money”.  At that time, PJ Morton was gearing up for the release of some new music that we only heard 2 tracks from. Well this week, PJ Morton has finally released his anticipated EP Following My First Mind. I downloaded it this week and here’s what I thought of it…. with a track by track analysis:

FMFM (Interlude)– Basically warming us up for the EP and explaining how it’s always wise to follow your first mind. For some reason, the production here reminds me of lost tracks that could have been used for Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak CD.

Never Get Over You – Love the beat on this one. It has a retro rock and soul feel that’s vintage but current at the same time (think Lenny Kravitz, but less hyper). PJ Morton sings about realizing that he’ll probably never get over a woman he was with. But somehow, like many of us, he’s still trying to make it work. This is one of my favorites.

Heavy Featuring Adam Levine– Just have one major gripe with this song. What exactly is “it”? LOL. When you hear the song, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I could try to draw my own conclusions, but I’m not exactly sure what this song is about (not struggling anymore, a broken relationship…eh, I’m not sure). Surprisingly, PJ Morton and Adam Levine’s voices mesh well. But I guess they should since they’re technically band mates now.

Don’t Break My Heart – This song grows on me the more I listen to it. When it gets to the bridge leading into the chorus (“Please don’t break my heart/Cause I can’t take it”), the song really picks up. Instead of a lonely heart-break ballad, this song comes off more as a plea to not let things get out of hand before either party’s heart is broken.

Built For Love Featuring Jazmine Sullivan– I love this song as soon as the first few seconds start playing. The lyrics are real and not overcomplicated. Jazmine Sullivan was a great choice too for the feature. This has a jazzy, R & B feel that’s addictive. Ironically, this is really the only straight R & B sounding song on the EP. The other tracks on FMFM have more of a rock influence. Hands own my favorite track. I can see why this one was chosen as a single.

Lover Featuring Lil Wayne– You didn’t think you’d get through the whole EP without hearing from Lil Wayne did you? This simplistically produced and bass heavy track finds PJ Morton throwing in the towel to avoid arguing (declaring that he’s a lover and not a fighter). I like the verses here, but the chorus is a bit redundant. Lil Wayne tones down his usual aggressive and witty flow for a smooth rap to accompany this track. Overall, a pretty good song.

Saying Hello Featuring Chantae Cann– This song has an old school doo wop feel to it…with a slight Beatles flare. I’ve never heard of Chantae Cann, but she has a nice voice and reminds me of Corrine Bailey Rae. The song says it’s ok to say goodbye as long as we know that soon we’ll be saying hello. Lyrically, this is one of the best songs on the EP.

Before I first listened to Following My First Mind, I really didn’t have any expectations. I was a little disturbed by the CD cover. But if its goal was to intrigue the listener into getting the EP, it definitely did that. Then I wasn’t sure how PJ Morton’s style would fit into the Young Money roster. After listening to the EP in its entirety, I can honestly say  PJ Morton was able to hold his own and still represent Young Money well. I would have liked a few more R & B songs, but I can appreciate the envelope pushing and style experimenting he does here. Definitely worth the listen. You should check it out.

To anybody that’s already heard Following My First Mind, what are your thoughts on it? Are you a fan of PJ Morton?

Make sure to check out the remix to “Heavy” at http://thedualists.com/. And you can download Following My First Mind by PJ Morton for free at http://www.pjmortononline.com/

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