PJ Morton & Opinions on Drake


PJ Morton is an indie soul artist that just happens to be in Maroon 5, one of the biggest pop groups in the country. But his solo sound is light years away from Top 40 R&B, blending his New Orleans  gospel roots with strains of Stevie Wonder. PJ joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance. Plus, Jim and Greg discuss the cultural zeitgeist which is rapper Drake's latest album.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Music News


Greg and Jim discuss "the album of the summer," Scorpion by Drake. According to Billboard, the album was streamed more than 300 million times within the first day of its release, possibly making Drake one of the biggest-selling artists ever. But does the music live up to the record-smashing numbers? Our hosts' answer: Only partly. Jim concedes that Scorpion is incredibly well-produced and sees Drake at his best since his debut studio album Thank Me Later. However, at 25 songs and 90 minutes, it's far too long and its moments of greatness too few and far between. Greg agrees, noting that Scorpion shines most when Drake is genuinely vulnerable instead of just self-pitying. Jim and Greg highlight the track "Nice For What" for its smart sampling of numerous tracks, most notably "Ex-Factor" from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It's a timely nod to the upcoming 20th anniversary of that album—Lauryn Hill's seminal solo turn after departing from The Fugees—and plays off its themes of independent womanhood.

PJ Morton

PJ Morton

PJ Morton is an indie soul artist who has worked with industry heavy hitters like Solange, Erykah Badu, and India.Arie; but with his latest solo effort, 2017's Gumbo, he's finally receiving a new level of recognition. The album was nominated for two Grammys: one for best R&B album, and one for best song, for the cut entitled First Began.

PJ joined Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation and an intimate performance.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!