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New Music 3/4/14 Top Picks

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Happy Tuesday all,

For this fat Tuesday I decided to lavish in some good tunes as opposed to indulging in some Paczki.  With that being said here is a list of today’s new release that most excites me.

I’m “Happy” to start the list off with #1 Pharrell Williams – Girl

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If this album is anything like it’s lead single from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, then this album is sure to please. I’m must say I am still a bit upset about Happy not winning the Academy Award for Best Original song, however this is such an exciting week for Mr. Williams.

1)Marilyn Monroe

2)Brand New (Duet w/ Justin Timberlake)

3)Hunter

4)Gush

5)Happy (From Des Me 2)

6)Come Get It Bae

7)Gust of Wind

8)Lost Queen

9)Know Who You Are (Duet w/ Alicia Keys)

10)It Girl

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#2 on the list is a bit unconventional for me, considering I don’t listen to much rap music, however I have heard plenty of buzz surrounding  Rick Ross new album Mastermind.

1. ‘Intro’
2. ‘Rich Is Gangsta’
3. ‘Drug Dealers Dream’
4. ‘Shots Fired’
5. ‘Nobody’
6. ‘The Devil Is a Lie’ feat. Jay Z
7. ‘Mafia Music III’ feat. Sizzla & Mavado
8. ‘War Ready’ feat. Jeezy
9. ‘What a Shame’
10. ‘Supreme’
11. ‘Blk & Wht’
12. ‘Dope Bitch (Skit)’
13. ‘In Vein’ feat. The Weeknd
14. ‘Sanctified’ feat. Kanye West & Big Sean
15. ‘Walkin On Air’ feat. Meek Mill16. ‘Thug Cry’ feat. Lil Wayne

Deluxe

17. ‘Blessing in Disguise’ feat. Scarface & Z-Ro
18. ‘Paradise Lost’
19. ‘YouKnowIGotIt’ (Reprise)

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#3 is Glee’s Lea Michele debut album Louder. This maybe more my speed due to the fact that we both have roots in musical theater. I have heard that critics have given this project a less than impressive reception. Is this due to the coattail in marketing tactic Michele’s team offered after her boyfriends Cory Monteith untimely death back in July 2013?

1. Cannonball
2. On My Way
3. Burn With You
4. Battlefield
5. You’re Mine
6. Thousand Needles
7. Louder
8. Cue The Rain
9. Don’t Let Go
10. Empty Handed
11. If You Say So

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Lastly #4 on the list is Donnie McClurkin Duets album. Although wish he would have included some songs from more of my personal favorite gospel artists, one can truly appreciate the full album preview here:

1. We Are Victorious featuring Tye Tribbett
2. I Am Amazed featuring Preashea Hilliard, Erica Campbell
3. I’m Still Here featuring Tina Campbell
4. Anytime featuring John P. Kee
5. Write My Name featuring Dorinda Clark Cole
6. My Past featuring Tramaine Hawkins
7. Let It Go featuring Dorinda Clark Cole
8. Encouraged featuring Justin Savage
9. Come As You Are featuring Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp
10. All About The Love

Ten Things You Can Do To Make Your Relationship Stronger

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Value openness with your partner.
Keep your relationship open and honest. Agree that feelings should be expressed, ideas should be shared, and nothing should be held back. If you can’t share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse, then who should you share them with?

 

Be assertive and take responsibility for your feelings.
You may think your partner knows what you want, need, and feel. That’s usually not the case. Don’t be afraid to share your needs, thoughts, and desires with your partner. It’s more than likely your partner wants to hear what you have to say.

 

Maintain a positive and constructive attitude.
You may be having a terrible day. The baby’s sick, you got a parking ticket, and the dog crapped in your new shoes. You may feel like tearing the head off of the first person unlucky enough to cross your path. But this negative and destructive attitude is not conducive to effective communication.
Any conversation you have with your spouse will likely result in your spouse “catching” your attitude due to emotional contagion, or transference of emotion. This proven psychological and physiological process simply states, if you’re forced to interact with someone who’s angry, you will likely become angry. If you’re speaking to someone who’s happy, that happiness will likely rub off on you too.

You still have a choice as to what attitude you put forth. And since you have a choice, you’re better off choosing to react in a positive way than in a negative way. If your attitude sucks, even the best communication skills will be ineffective.

 
Use an appropriate voice.
Make sure your volume is correct. No mumbling and avoid yelling. Vary your pitch so as not to sound monotone. But avoid shrieks, shrills, and whining. This could be irritating to your partner and counterproductive.

 

Make sure your body language matches your verbal language.
Statistics suggest that over 70% of what we communicate to our spouses is sent non-verbally. It’s often not what you say, but how you say it.
Do you fidget or thumb through the newspaper during an important conversation? Are you flipping through TV channels on your remote control, while expressing your unwavering love and devotion to your mate? If so, you’re sending mixed messages.

Facial expressions, head shaking, rolling eyes, even crossed arms or legs – they all send negative messages. In order to keep your discussions productive, avoid these negative, mixed messages.

 
Avoid verbal abuse.
Refrain from insults, put-downs, and expressions of distain or disgust. Avoid generalizations and stereotypes. Saying them won’t make you feel any better. Such statements are hurtful to your spouse, and cause resentment, increased hostility, and damage your relationship.

 

Learn to respond rather than react.
Responding means an automatic, knee-jerk reaction to something that your partner has said or done. This initial response is probably not going to be the best response. It’s likely to result in you saying or doing something you’ll regret.
Instead, learn to regulate your emotions. To effectively use your communication skills, you’ll need a cool head. Take a moment to reflect. Take a deep breath and formulate a rational, constructive, and appropriate response to the situation.

 
Choose your words carefully.
Your statements should be non-threatening and have a constructive spin. When voicing your feelings, complaints, or even criticism, use “I” statements such as:
“I feel…”
“I believe…”
“I would like…”
These are non-threatening statements that focus on your feelings. They express how you’ve been affected by your spouse’s behavior.
Instead of telling your spouse what you hate, state what you want! Try using statements such as:
“It would mean a lot to me if you…”
“I love it when you…”
Or, instead of telling your spouse to stop yelling, say, “I hear you.”

Avoid “You” statements that would put your spouse on the defensive or trigger hostility. “You” statements may start with:
“You always…”
“You are…”
“You make me feel…”

 
Address your spouse’s behavior. Don’t attack your spouse’s character.
If your spouse has done something that hurt you, use statements such as, “It hurt me when you…” instead of, “You insensitive jerk! How could you…”
Once you’ve pointed out how a particular act or behavior has made you feel, express what you would like to see change. Then offer a suggestion on how to resolve the issue.

 
Don’t let anger, problems, or issues build up and boil over.
Don’t sweep problems under the rug, where they will fester and grow. Sharing your thoughts as well as your problems is healthy to every marriage. Doing so will deepen and strengthen your relationship.
Exercise your communication skills by talking with your spouse for thirty minutes every day. Talk about your day, your feelings, or the problems or issues du jour. Get things off your chest and use the time to bond.