After dropping his eighth studio album Watch The Sun, music videos for nine of the album’s 11 tracks and spending the better part of 2022 on the road, it would be easy to assume that PJ Morton is finally ready for a break. However, the New Orleans native is ready to spin the block again with the release of the album’s deluxe edition.
Newly expanded to 24 tracks, Watch The Sun (Deluxe) now includes two previously unreleased songs, “The Better Benediction Pt. 2” and “If It Wasn’t for You.” The former is a continuation of Morton’s breakout hit that featured vocals by Zacardi Cortez, Gene Moore, Samoht, Tim Rogers and Darrel “MusiqCity” Walls. Updated with all female guests, part two is just as rousing with soul-stirring verses from Lisa Knowles-Smith, Le’Andria Johnson, Keke Wyatt, Kierra Sheard and Tasha Cobbs Leonard.
The accompanying video, much like its predecessor, features Morton surrounded by each singer as they provide listeners with that little extra motivation to keep pushing through the tough times. Each lady effortlessly delivers powerhouse vocals that wrap around the listener’s ear like Sunday morning church service.
“If It Wasn’t For You” is a stirring ballad that once again highlights Morton’s ability to capture love in its purest form in song. Backed simply by his piano, he sings passionately about how love has made him a better man in every way. “If it wasn’t for you, I’d just be going along / If it wasn’t for you, I could’ve never been so strong / If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have a song to sing / If it wasn’t for you, there would be no me,” he declares at the song’s end.
The two new songs aren’t the only additions to the original album’s material featuring Stevie Wonder, Nas, Jill Scott, Alex Isley, JoJo, El DeBarge and more. The updated album also features each song’s instrumental version, now tracked live by Morton and his band through sessions at his NOLA-based Gumbo Studios and Studio In The Country, located in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Although the vocal renditions are great on their own, the instrumentals allow listeners to really delve into the layered nuances of Morton’s musical production, providing a wholly new experience in the process.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Morton’s Watch The Sun Tour live and in-person, then have no fear — he’ll be closing out the year with several US and European dates before wrapping things up where it all began, back home in New Orleans. Be sure to check out Morton if he makes his way to your city.