New Music Releases: Week of October 27, 2014 (The Albums Edition)

Taylor Swift 1989

With the help of Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Shellback and Imogen Heap, Taylor Swift transitioned into the pop world! (Album cover property of Big Machine)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

It is time for another edition of New Music Releases: The Albums Edition

As I went across the music world for this edition, I chose artists who were either at the top of their game or working on a potential rebirth. So without further ado, here are the reviews:

1989 by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s legions of fans have waited months for this week and it finally happened! 1989 was released on Monday and fans have been buzzing about this album on social media! This album marked a huge departure for Ms. Swift as she left her country roots behind and immersed herself in the sounds of power pop! Gone are emotional and heart-tugging tracks like “Teardrops On My Guitar” and in our dance pop jump-educing tracks like “Shake It Off.” While I applaud Ms. Swift for doing this move and recruiting hitmakers Max Martin, Shellback, Ryan Tedder and Imogen Heap, I miss the personal “Carole King” emotional connection that was featured in her previous ventures. B

Tracks to Download: “Welcome to New York,” “Out of the Woods,” “Shake It Off” & “Blank Space”

Home For The Holidays by Darius Rucker

I admit that I do not like listening to holiday music before the day after Thanksgiving, but this year’s crop of offerings is taking me out of my Ebenezer Scrooge mode. Darius Rucker’s Home For The Holidays showcases a tender approach at some of Christmas’s signature tunes. In addition, he also gives the listener different musical flavors from Jazz (“What God Wants For Christmas”) to old school rhythm and blues (“Please Come Home For Christmas”). Also, keep an ear out for Sheryl Crow as she duets “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Darius in the middle of the album. Great show, Darius! A-

Tracks to Download: “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” “What God Wants For Christmas,” “Please Come Home For Christmas,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” & “Winter Wonderland”


Emblem3 Forever Together

Emblem3’s “Forever Together” showcases a band reborn with an impeccable sound. (Album cover property of Emblem3)

Forever Together by Emblem3

Since their first appearance on the sophomore season of the now-defunct X Factor USA, I abhorred this group because of their cockiness. However, I changed my mind! Forever Together marks the first EP without lead singer Drew Chadwick and it forced both Wesley and Keaton Stromberg to grow up and mature as both musicians and songwriters. All five tracks of this EP are worthy to download and is music to the listeners’ ears. Congratulations, Wesley and Keaton! Forever Together is my EP of the Week! A

Tracks to Download: “Forever Together,” “Obsessed,” “Don’t Know Her Name,” “Heavy” & “Love Will Be There”

My Dream Duets by Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow remains one of the greatest singers/arrangers of his generation! For his latest album, Mr. Manilow decided to duet with some of his favorite voices of all-time. While recording a duet with a pre-recorded track with a deceased singer might make some people cringe, Mr. Manilow treated each track with the delicate balance of preserving the classic vocals while updating and modernizing some of the arrangements. This was definitely one of his personal best albums. A-

Tracks to Download: “I Believe In You & Me,” “Goody Goody,” “The Candy Man,” “The Look of Love” & “What A Wonderful World/What A Wonderful World”


In all honesty, save your money and do not download The Flaming Lips' "With A Little Help From My Fwends." (Album cover property of Warner Bros. Records)

In all honesty, save your money and do not download The Flaming Lips’ “With A Little Help From My Fwends.” (Album cover property of Warner Bros. Records)

With A Little Help From My Fwends by The Flaming Lips

Oklahoma’s greatest rock band paid homage to one of the greatest musical groups of all-time! However, instead of a perfect psychedelic trip to the 1960s…it was an utter techno disaster! A lot of the tracks were just stressful to the ears that guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, Moby, My Morning Jacket and Tegan & Sara could not save the album! Worst album of 2014! F

Tracks to Download: None

Hope by Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle has emerged as one of the greatest vocalists from Reality TV! Her sixth studio album showcases her innate ability to interpret everything from Classic Rock ballads (“Wish You Were Here” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”) to gospel hymns such as “I Can Only Imagine” and “You Raise Me Up.” She never disappoints her listeners and gives listeners goose bumps! A+

Tracks to Download: “Wish You Were Here,” “I Can Only Imagine,” “Angel,” “Imagine,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” & “You Raised Me Up

I do not own the clips that are featured in this article! They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar