By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to another exciting edition of New Music Releases!
This week, I will give you my take regarding some of the hottest new music from some of the best artists in the world.
Let’s get this party started!
Storyteller by Carrie Underwood
It has been three years since the American Idol winner released new material. For Storyteller, Ms. Underwood recruited veteran songwriting collaborators such as Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey and Brett James, but brought in new blood in the form of Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose, Zach Crowell and Little Big Town producer Jay Joyce. When I first heard “Smoke Break” and “What I Never Knew I Always Wanted,” I was worried that Ms. Underwood’s album would be full of ballads, which would make the listening experience unenjoyable. Luckily, there is plenty country rock tracks such as “Renegade Runaway” and “Dirty Laundry” that are sprinkled throughout the album. While there are some songs that should have not been included, I thought that it was a solid album from Ms. Underwood. B+
Tracks to Download: “Renegade Runaway,” “Heartbeat,” “Choctaw County Affair” & “Chaser”
Sounds Good Feels Good by 5 Seconds of Summer
Australia’s favorite export pop punk band is back with their second studio album! For their sophomore effort, Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin and Michael Clifford upgraded their successful formula that was featured in their self-titled album and exponentially improved it with their catchy songs including “Hey Everybody!” (which samples Duran Duran’s New wave anthem “Hungry Like the Wolf”), “Jet Black Heart” and “Catch Fire.” All of the tracks would not only satisfy the preteen crowd, but also the millennial pop rock fanatics. 5SOS should also thank their co-writers: The Madden Brothers, John Feldmann, Bonnie McKee, Andy Taylor and the Monsters and the Strangerz for helping create toe-tapping tunes that will definitely put a smile on the listener’s face. Congratulations, gentlemen! Sounds Good Feels Good is my Album of the Week! A+
Tracks to Download: “Money,” “Hey Everybody,” “Permanent Vacation,” “Jet Black Heart,” “Catch Fire” & “Waste the Night”
That Would Be Me by Harry Connick, Jr.
The multi-talented Grammy-winning singer-actor Harry Connick, Jr. is back with a brand new studio album. What I really enjoy about Mr. Connick, Jr.’s latest offering is that there are a lot more up-tempo tracks that really lets the American Idol judge showcases his artistry. Earlier this week, I had the unique opportunity to interact with him during his Facebook Q&A. When I asked him about the challenges that he had to overcome while creating this album, he stated: “it was hard letting go of some of the responsibilities i usually have… but, in the end, it was a great experience.” Well, Mr. Connick, Jr.! That Would Be Me was a great listening experience and one of my favorite records from you yet! A-
Tracks to Download: “(I Like It When You) Smile,” “(I Do) Like We Do,” “Do You Really Need Her” & “Where Prisoners Drown”
General Admission by Machine Gun Kelly
For longtime readers, I can be extremely picky with Hip-hop/rap music. However, when I heard the sophomore effort from Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), I was extremely taken by his machine gun-like beats and lyrics that were endless power punches that were showcased throughout his album. MGK has the potential to be the millennial generation’s Slim Shady. All he has to do is continue to be himself, recruit superb collaborators like Lzzy Hale, Kid Rock and Victoria Monet for more impeccable tracks and tour the country, then he can be a great rapper that everyone will admire! B
Tracks to Download: “Alpha Omega,” “Bad Mother******” & “Gone”
“Hello” by Adele
It has been three years since Adele graced us with her presence. The Academy Award and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has released a haunting ballad that not only tugs at the listeners’ heartstrings, but also will give them chills! Welcome back, Adele! You have been missed! A+
“Looking Up” by Sir Elton John
Every time I see that Sir Elton John releases new material…I get giddy as a schoolboy! He is one of my all-time favorite musical legends. “Looking Up” is the first single off of his upcoming 2016 studio album: Wonderful Crazy Night. This song is just not only pure bliss, but it also shows that after collaborating together for 48 years, both Elton and his legendary songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, still got the magic to have their listeners dance in their seats. I cannot wait to listen to the full product next year! A
“Used to Love You” by Gwen Stefani
Earlier this year, The Voice coach experience the ultimate heartbreak when she and her longtime husband, Gavin Rossdale, divorced in the public eye. “Used to Love You” marked the first time that Gwen expressed her feelings on the divorce. The No Doubt front woman turned her tragedy into triumph with her latest hit single. I love hearing this honest side from Ms. Stefani and I want to let her know that Jake’s Take has her back! B+
I do not own any of the video links that are sprinkled throughout this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record companies.