New Website, New Look, New Mailing List….

carlos

 

HOWDY WORDPRESSERS,

I have exciting news for you…  I’ve switched from Word Press to my own personal website…   I’m really excited about the freedom I will have to share with you all more Music, WTH Moments, and more inspiration…  If you would like to continue receiving emails and updates from Peauxetic Expressions, please click on the link below.

Please subscribe to my mailing list at  www.peauxeticexpressions.com

 

Thanks again for joining the Peauxetic Expression Family….

 

Carlos

One Republic “Feels Again” For A Cause

Ever since seeing them open for Maroon 5 a couple of years ago, I instantly became a fan of One Republic. Their CD, Waking Up, is still in heavy rotation on my iPod. From “Made For You” to “Good Life” to “Secrets” to their massive hit “Apologize”, the group seems to do no wrong. Needless to say, I’m eager to hear their new CD (as yet untitled), set to be released at the end of this year. Check out their new music video for the song “Feel Again”, which was just released last Tuesday. The song is linked with Save the Children and Ad Council’s “Every Beat Matters” campaign. One Republic used the heartbeats taken from healthy children in Malawi and and Guatemala, as part of The Heartbeat Project online initiative. Not only is “Feel Again” a great song, but for every download of the single on iTunes, part of the proceeds go towards preventing the death of infants and children around the world. Go to www.EveryBeatMatters.org to find out more on how you can help.

In the meantime, check out One Republic’s new single “Feel Again”. What do you think about the song and the music video? It’s also rumored that B.O.B. will be featured on the new CD as well. I’m interested to see how that collaboration will turn out. Make sure you go out and purchase the “Feel Again” single too….especially since it’s for a good cause.

Bump It Or Dump It? The Only Refill of A New Kiss

Maroon 5: Kiss

I recently bought the new CD, Overexposed,  from one of my favorite groups, Maroon 5. After listening to the CD, it was much more pop sounding than I expected (think “Moves Like Jagger” on steroids). But there are some great tracks on here nonetheless. However, one of the songs, “Kiss” (a remake of the old Prince classic) should have been left in the old school vault with lock and key away from Maroon 5. I will give them credit for creating an original sound that is totally different from the original. But that’s also the problem. This song sounds more fitting as background music in Pappadeaux (my favorite restaurant). I’m just really not feeling this one. But who knows, maybe it will grow on me. Make sure to check out my review of the CD as well on the first video above.

Jimmy Needham: The Only One 

I didn’t know who Jimmy Needham was before hearing this song on The Truth Bowl (www.thetruthbowl.com) YouTube Channel.  I quickly took notice to Jimmy Needham’s soulful voice once the song started playing. His singing reminds me of a cross between Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. “The Only One” is featured on his 5th CD (where have I been all this time…SMH), Clear the Stage. If I hear a couple more songs that are as good as this one, I plan on purchasing it. This gospel song has a soft rock, even slight country feel to it. It’s definitely worth a listen, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Make sure to check out his website too, www.jimmyneedham.com. There’s some interesting blogs on here and other content related to his music.

Elle Varner: Refill

My first time hearing of Elle Varner was on the track, “Only Wanna Give It To You” featuring J Cole. I thought the song was pretty catchy and wondered how Elle Varner seemingly appeared out of thin air. I loved her voice as well. It’s gritty, but light and smooth at the same time. But her new single, “Refill” is the one that really got my attention. The song speaks about comparing that first time meeting with someone to being at a bar getting refills of drinks. The lyrics are clever (“Feelin like a conversational lush/I don’t know how much is too much) and the music is interesting. If you just listen to the production, you would think this is a jazzed up Dixie Chicks song, complete with a recurring banjo playing in the background. Her debut CD, Perfectly Imperfect is set to be released soon.

Alicia Keys: A New Day 

Since her marriage to producer Swizz Beatz and birth of her son in 2010, we haven’t heard much from singer Alicia Keys. It’s been 3 years since the release of her last CD, Element of Freedom. Last week she leaked a new track, called “A New Day”, from her upcoming CDNo word yet on what it will be titled, but the song “A New Day” was produced by her husband, Swizz Beatz. It’s an upbeat track that has a lot of energy. The lyrics are surprisingly a little cliche and uninteresting here though in my opinion. I doubt this will be the first single from her CD. As many songs by Alicia Keys do, I’m sure this one will grow on me.

Two Can Play That Game

Life is a game.  No matter how you analyze or dissect it, it’s all a game.  Let’s take dating for instance. We say we don’t like playing games, but we play them don’t we? Don’t think so? I beg to differ. Just think about dating or just going out on the weekend. Ladies, do you not get dressed up in your most form-fitting dress, put every strand of hair in place and flawless makeup? Guys, do you not put on your best smelling cologne, maybe do a few extra push ups, and shave right before we walk out the door. Again, it’s all a game to get what you want out of life.

One of the games we find ourselves on the extreme cooperative or non cooperative end of is when it comes to the work place. Do you consider yourself to be an over political or under political person when it comes to the workplace? Even if you possess qualities of both, chances are you lean more heavily to one side. I recently finished reading a really informative book on workplace behavior and scenarios called Survival of the Savvy: High Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success (sheesh….say that 10 times fast) by Rick Brandon, Ph.D., and Marty Seldman, Ph.D.

I received the book as part of a course I took for work called, “Organizational Savvy”. The class and the book both discuss how we all have a “political buzz” about us, whether we realize it or not. Are you known as the over bearing project leader or maybe the passive leader who needs just a push of aggressiveness to really succeed? Brandon and Seldman define “organizational politics” as  informal, unofficial, and sometimes behind-the scenes efforts to sell ideas, influence an organization, increase power, or achieve other targeted objectives. The purpose of the book is not to take you completely out of your comfort zone. It’s more so to help you realize that if you do certain things as an over or under political person, you will more than likely get specific results. The best thing is to take pieces of each side to be stern, balanced, and progressive in your career.

So you may be thinking, “I don’t care about my job,” or “This doesn’t apply to me”. Not so fast….it does. Whether you’re in the corporate world or not, you have to deal with people in everyday life. As long as we have to deal with people, there will always be politics.So why not incorporate these values for what we get paid to do? It just makes sense. Make sure to check out Survival of the Savvy…You can find it online at Amazon.com and at your local bookstore. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you read it.

It’s game time, so how are you going to play? Share your testimony of times you had to deal with organizational politics and how you handled it?

Hidden Costs To Be The Boss

Me at 24 years old.

I first noticed it when I was 25 years old. I didn’t want to do it….after all I was only a quarter of century old. Isn’t this something I should be going through years down the line? But something eventually had to be done. I was dang near headed to be the Hair Club for Men President…or at least the Parliamentarian, LOL. When I started seeing pictures of myself with my head tilted back and I already looked bald, I told myself, “Ok Carlos, you know what you need to do”. After over a year of debating, I decided to go for it. I remember sitting in the barber chair and my barber asking me, “You ready? This is it!” I said, “Yeah, I’m good….Wait!” I sat there for a minute and then just told him to cut my hair off, lol. It was already almost gone anyway. What was the point of holding on?

As I was getting my hair shaved, I started getting excited about how much money I was going to save. Getting my hair cut every 2 weeks was $20 a pop, plus tip. So I was looking at potentially saving $45-$50 a month. Yeah….this shaved head thing won’t be so bad after all. Plus it was so hot outside that Summer, so I was glad to feel any kind of cool breeze on my head. Then the reality set in. After getting tips from multiple friends, family members and my barber, it was time for me to shave my own head….only 3 days later! I thought I was balding…why was my hair growing so fast!? I started thinking I may have gotten in over my head on this one. After a few bloody massacres, I eventually was able to shave my head without getting too many nicks, lol.

But there’s one thing nobody told me….RAZORS ARE EXPENSIVE!!! The razor I use, the Schick Hydro 5, costs $10.94 at Wal Mart for a 4 pack refill. I shave my head and face all at once, so I can only use each razor twice before it gets dull. WTH?! So that means every 8-10 days or so, I’m back in the store buying another refill. So in a month’s time, I’ve gone through almost 3 refills which….only a few dollars cheaper than my regular hair cuts were…SMH. Not to mention trying to grow a beard or sideburns. Unless you have a very steady hand with a straight razor and great clipping skills, you may come out with a lopsided trail of hair across your jawbone. Aaagghhh….so that leaves it up to a professional to do. Which costs about $15. WTH?! Got to be more careful….

My favorite shaving cream, from The Body Shop

Ok, so maybe I didn’t really calculate all the costs associated with going bald, lol. Nevertheless, I still enjoy it and other than the days I have to shave in the morning, I just get up and go. And maybe I didn’t realize all of the tedious effort that goes into shaving, but unless I want to look like a wolf, it has to get done, lol. I know I’m not alone here….you may laugh now but I know  you have a situation where you didn’t quite count up all the costs. True, mine is more visible, lol….but we’ve all been there before. So let’s hear your story….

Bump It or Dump It??? Vocal Wars Behind the Music

It’s Monday so you know what time it is….today I’m giving my reviews on new music from Rock to Gospel and Rap to R&B. But the question is, do these songs have repeated play potential or will they not even make it to the second verse before you hit the stop button? Check out my reviews and listen to see for yourself. Bump It or Dump It???

Brandy is making a return to music again this year.  However, with her recent Behind the Music special and reunion with Monica on the new song, “It All Belongs To Me”, many are calling this more of a comeback than a return.  So does she still have what it takes to deliver music with substance that rules the charts? Time will tell, but the first single from her upcoming Two Eleven CD, “Put It Down” featuring Chris Brown, just may give her the boost she needs. The song is produced by Bangledesh (“A Milli”, “Diva”) and has a catchy rhythm and even features Chris Brown and Brandy’s alter ego “Brand Nu” rapping.  Everything is promising here except for the main element that needs to be…the chorus…Instead of the edgy, grimy effect the song tries to go in, the chorus waters it down to bubblegum pop at some points. But hey, who really listens to words in popular music now anyway? Be on the lookout for Two Eleven to hit stores next month. I have a feeling this song will be growing on me…

Goodie Mob is most known for hits like “They Don’t Dance No Mo” and “Soul Food”.  It’s been 13 years since the release of a Goodie Mob album with all four original members (World Party).  Since then, the group’s resident eccentric soul singer/rapper, Cee-Lo has found success with the short-lived Gnarles Barkley and 3 solo albums. But apparently the group still had an itch to get back together. Perhaps their most crossover sounding song to date, it makes smart business sense that the group debuted the song on NBC’s “The Voice”, where Cee-Lo is one of the judges. But this song is crossover in a good way, without coming across contrived. The only weird part is the song features mostly Cee-Lo, with the other members merely chanting in the background. I think this will gain a lot of new fans for Goodie Mob and perhaps be the biggest song of their career. Hopefully the old fans will be open-minded enough to receive it as well. The song also has great lyrics that actually mean something…what a concept, lol. Look for the song to be featured on their new project, Age Against The Machine.

Maroon 5 has always pushed the envelope, but managed to sugar coat it to the point where it’s barely unrecognizable. From their upcoming album Overexposed, the group has teamed up with rapper Wiz Khalifa to give us the addictive “Payphone”. The song lyrics are a little explicit at some points. But so are some of the group’s other successful hits (“Wake Up Call” and “If I Never See Your Face Again”). The song talks about a fairy tale love story gone wrong and time too far spent.  Just the word payphone sounds like an obsolete word that has been buried to never be spoken again.  A few language beeps aside, Maroon 5 can more than likely count “Payphone” as another notch on their string of hits. Plus Wiz Khalifa will gain more crossover exposure, so it’s a win win situation.

Marvin Sapp seems to be following the old saying, “Strike while the iron is hot”. He’s been releasing CD’s back to back every year and a half for the past few years now (since “Never Would Have Made It). On his new CD, I Win, the opening track, “Teach My Hands To War” is a great song that’s sure to get you hyped up and ready to praise God.  The song is basically saying that you’re going to use your hands as weapons of praise against the enemy. Powerful message and the music is busy, but in a good way. Just be careful because you may forget you’re listening to a gospel song if you just listen to the music. The go go inspired tempo here has a bit of a throwback feel but is still current at the same time. I’m not sure if this song will be released as a single from I Win. But one thing’s for sure, it’s definitely the stand out up-tempo track on the CD.  I’m sure this would be a wonderful song to hear in concert.

“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/