By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
I hope everyone had a fantastic Father’s Day weekend!
This edition of New Music Releases features new material from recording icons Jennifer Lopez and Willie Nelson, rising superstar Sam Smith and hot new singles from some old favorites!
A.K.A. by Jennifer Lopez
The American Idol judge dropped her tenth studio album yesterday. I loved 2011’s LOVE? so much that I had high expectations for A.K.A. Unfortunately, at times during this album…Jennifer disappointed me. By having too many guest artists on the album, it would lose the attention of the listener. Despite this, there are some superb singles on this album and great production and songwriting from Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Sia Furler and Cory Rooney. Hopefully, Ms. Lopez can recover from this and return to her “Dance Again” and “Live It Up” days, C+
Tracks to Download: “First Love,” “Tens” & “Booty”
In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
One of the biggest heat seekers of 2014 is Sam Smith! The British singer-songwriter produced some impeccable quality songs. His arrangements are fresh and his vocals will punch viewers in both the gut and the heart. I think this is a great start to a massive (and hopefully) superstar career! Congrats, Sam! Your debut album is my Album of the Week! A+
Tracks to Download: “Money On My Mind,” “Stay with Me,” “I’ve Told You Now,” “Like I Can” & “Life Support”
Band of Brothers by Willie Nelson
All hail the King of Country! Willie Nelson’s fifth studio album of the 2010s showcased his return to songwriting, as he co-wrote nine of the album’s 14 tracks with producer extraordinaire Buddy Cannon (George Jones, George Strait & Reba). In addition to top-notch songs, Willie’s superb vocal and guitar licks will leave listeners in a trance. Bravo, Mr. Nelson! A-
Tracks to Download: “Guitar in the Corner,” “Wives & Girlfriends,” “Whenever You Come Around” & “The Wall”
“Walk It Out” by Jennifer Hudson feat. Timbaland
Jennifer Hudson is back! Her second single for her upcoming third studio album, “Walk It Out,” marks her second collaboration with Timbaland. (Their first was 2008’s “Pocketbook”) “Walk It Out” is a strong R&B/Hip-hop mix that will dominate the urban radio charts. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the album and I hope that it drops soon. B+
“Maps” by Maroon 5
Maroon 5’s first single off of their upcoming album, V, is my Song of the Week! “Maps” is strong pop rock anthem that might remind music lovers of Bruno Mars and the Police. There is also a strong possibility that One Republic’s frontman (and collaborative partner), Ryan Tedder, has also rubbed off of Adam Levine as the Denver band’s sound is influenced heavily on the single. Throw in some superb lyrics and production from Tedder, Benny Blanco and Shellback and you get a catchy summer hit that will dominate the radio waves this summer! A
I do not own all of the album artwork and videos that are sprinkled throughout the article! They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.