By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to the latest edition of New Music Releases!
This week, four of the biggest albums this year dropped, two of The Voice’s favorite family members debuted new singles and I review a single from a band that is going to top the charts!
Xscape by Michael Jackson
One of the most talked about albums is the latest posthumous album from the King of Pop. Executive producers L.A. Reid, John McClain and John Branca have gathered eight unreleased tracks and handed them to some of the biggest producers in the business: Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and Dr. Freeze. They breathed new life in the intact songs and created some of Michael’s best material. While both “Chicago” and “Loving You” might slow down the listener’s experience, the latter tracks and the originals make up for it. We still miss you, Michael! B+
Tracks to Download: “A Place with No Name,” “Slave to the Rhythm,” “Do You Know Where Your Children Are” & “Love Never Felt So Good (feat. Justin Timberlake)”
The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album by Various Artists
The World Cup starts up in a month and already FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) has released a soundtrack that will provide the energy and emotion to the games. Soccer fans would definitely buy a couple of the tracks including the collaborations between Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte and the astonishing mash-up between three music giants: Santana, Wyclef Jean and Avicii. I have a strong indication that this album will be a must have for the summer. A-
Tracks to Download: “We Are One (Ole Ola),” “Dar um Jeito,” “Vida” & “The World Is Ours”
Blue Smoke by Dolly Parton
My Album of the Week (and probably the best Country Album of 2014) is Dolly Parton’s 42nd studio album: Blue Smoke! When I had the chance to interview Dolly earlier this year, she told me that Blue Smoke that has “all of the colors of her career.” This is a beautifully produced and well-written album that will take listeners on a ride on the emotional spectrum. Keep an ear out for vocal cameos from both Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson, who help Dolly cover two of her most emotionally driven duets: “You Can’t Make Old Friends” and “From Here to the Moon and Back.” All I can say…Brava Dolly! A+
Tracks to Download: “Blue Smoke,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “Home,” “Lay Your Hands on Me,” “Lover du Jour” & “Try”
Rewind by Rascal Flatts
It is very hard for any Country act to release a new album the same week that Dolly Parton releases a new CD. In all honesty, Rewind is a mixed bag of great songs and absolutely boring ballads. What happened to the “Life Is A Highway” or “Easy” Rascal Flatts? Their new sound is not working for me and I believe fans might struggle listening to this CD! C-
Tracks to Download: “Rewind,” “DJ Tonight” & “Powerful Stuff”
“Eye of the Pyramid” by Will Champlin
My Song of the Week goes to one of Jake’s Takes favorite artists-Will Champlin! “Eye of the Pyramid” combines many musical flavors from the heavy metal-like synths to the sitar-like string arrangements. Will’s vocals never disappoint and this is the most delightful piece of ear candy that I heard in a while! A+
“Broken Ones” by Jacquie Lee
Jacquie Lee’s first post-Voice single is a strong blend of her mentor Christina Aguilera and Hayley Williams. “Broken Ones” showcases how much Jacquie has grown since the show and what direction her debut album is going to be. B+
“Real Girls Eat Cake” by the Janoskians
One group that you should keep an eye on is the Janoskians! The group’s hysterical and sometime crude songs would definitely put a smile onto the listener’s faces. I expect big things from this group. B+
I do not own any clips that are sprinkled in this article! They belong to the artists and representatives respectfully.