By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to the latest edition of New Music Releases!
This week, a lot of fan-favorites dropped new material. So, without further ado….
Let’s get this party started!
Pentatonix by Pentatonix
One of my favorite groups, a cappella titans Pentatonix, have finally released a full length studio album! Unlike most of Pentatonix’s EPS, this brand new album features a bulk of original material. While most music critics might fault them for this new bold direction, Pentatonix proved to both their critics and fans that their creative catchy material is not only worthy of American Music Awards, Billboard and Grammy Awards, but also tons & tons of radio airplay. Also, keep an ear out for Jason Derulo and Tink, who make vocal cameos throughout the album. I am so proud to be a fan of this impeccable group and very excited to give Pentatonix—Album of the Week A+
Tracks to Download: “Na Na Na,” “Sing,” “If I Ever Fall in Love,” “Where Are U Now,” “Take Me Home”
Confident by Demi Lovato
One pop star that I am growing fond of is Demi Lovato. The former Disney teen queen and X Factor USA judge has bravely tackled and conquered her demons in public, while growing her massive fan base at the exact same time. Confident showcases Ms. Lovato’s growth as an artist and a songwriter as a bulk of her empowering tracks were co-written by her and some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights: Max Martin, Stargate, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac and Ryan Tedder. In addition, Ms. Lovato’s spicy attitude also brings out the best in her guest artists: Iggy Azalea (“Kingdom Come”) and Sirah (“Waitin’ for You). If Ms. Lovato continues to publish strong material, she could easily become one of her generation’s influential music icons. B+
Tracks to Download: “Confident,” “Cool for the Summer,” “Stone Cold” & “Kingdom Come”
Today is Christmas by LeAnn Rimes
We are officially 10 weeks away from Christmas! That means one thing…artists will be publishing Christmas records. Among the first artists to release a holiday album was LeAnn Rimes. The celebrated country artist brought her own distinguished twists to several holiday classics and other pop classics such as “That Spirit of Christmas” and “Celebrate Me Home,” which feature respective guest vocalists Aloe Blaac and Gavin DeGraw. While Ms. Rimes’ vocals are golden, I felt that some of the album was forced at times. However, this album could definitely be played at your holiday parties in the coming weeks. Anyway, LeAnn Rimes set the bar…so is going to follow her lead? B-
Tracks to Download: “That Spirit of Christmas,” “Must Be Santa” & “Celebrate Me Home”
Me 4 U by Omi
Earlier this year, Jamaican American singer Omi released one of the hottest songs of the summer: “Cheerleader.” As one of the most surprising new acts of 2015, there was pressure for the reggae fusion singer-songwriter to deliver a solid debut studio album. While Me 4 U’s title might give listeners a Prince vibe, Omi delivers a quality record that would make the Marley family and Jamaica proud of their native son. I expect big things from him in the future. A-
Tracks to Download: “Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix),” “These Are the Days,” “Hula Hoop” & “Stir It”
“Can’t Feel My Face” by Straight No Chaser
In two weeks, Straight No Chaser will drop their fifth full length studio album: The New Old Fashioned. Amongst the songs that will be on the record includes their cover of The Weeknd’s breakout hit: “Can’t Feel My Face.” The A cappella supergroup offers up a smoother alternative to the Top 40 for those listeners who prefer the human voice over EDM backgrounds. If they continue to release epic covers like “Can’t Feel My Face,” Straight No Chaser might challenge Pentatonix for a spot on multiple Best Albums end-of-the-year lists. A-
“Cry, Cry, Cry” by Judith Hill
The Voice alum and 20 Feet from Stardom singer-songwriter just premiered her first single off of her upcoming record on Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week. I am so happy that Ms. Hill has finally hit the big time with this super soulful power tune that not only beautifully showcases her impeccable voice, but also her ascending star power! Congrats, Judith—“Cry, Cry, Cry” is my Song of the Week! A+
“UFO” by Timbaland featuring Tink & Future
Celebrated Hip-hop rapper/producer Timbaland is back with new music! I have been waiting extremely patiently for new beats from him that are not Empire related. Mr. Mosley will showcase listeners that he is still one of the best producers in the business as his sick beats promises to hypnotize listeners. In addition, he also recruited the next generation of Hip-hop (Future and Tink) for support on this superb single. I hope that this track is a sign that Opera Noir or Shock Value III is on their way. B+
All videos that are sprinkled throughout this article are property of the artists and their respective record labels.
Judith Hill’s performance of “Cry, Cry, Cry” is property of CBS & Spartina Productions