Jake’s Take: Best Albums of 2015-Part One

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Countless albums dropped over 2015!

I have had the pleasure of reviewing a bulk of them and it was very difficult to determine which artists or groups made this countdown.

I hope that this week’s three-part column will showcase a diverse group of artists representing multiple genres of music.

Without further ado…let the countdown begin!

A Great Big World When the Morning Comes

Album cover property of Epic Records

15. When the Morning Comes by A Great Big World

Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Ian Axel and Chad King’s songs have captured the imaginations of its listeners. The duo continued to lift the music lovers’ spirits further in their sophomore album: When the Morning Comes. King and Axel’s superb lyrics brilliantly weave current events, social commentary and precious memories together!  Listeners received chills from When the Morning Comes’ lyrics combined with King and Axel’s impeccable instrumental arrangements.

Tracks to Download: “Kaleidoscope,” “Hold Each Other,” “Oasis,” “All I Want Is Love,” “Come On” & “Won’t Stop Running”


Adam Lambert The Original High

Album cover property of Warner Bros. Records

14. The Original High by Adam Lambert

While Adam Lambert made it to the Top 10 on my June countdown of the Best Albums of 2015…So Far, the Queen frontman and American Idol ambassador landed in the Top 14.  The Original High contained a lot of firsts for Adam. It was Adam’s first album from his new record label: Warner Bros. Records. It was also the first time that super producers Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney, Celine, Pink & Taylor Swift) and Shellback (Cher Lloyd & Maroon 5) produced a bulk of the album. Adam proved his case on why he is one of the most mesmerizing pop stars on the planet, as he delivered vocal touchdown after vocal touchdown. In addition, we also got to see Lambert grow as a co-writer as he assisted Martin, Shellback and a slew of other producers and co-writers such as Sterling Fox, Savan Kotecha, Lukas Loules and Ilya on creating the jaw dropping tracks that were sprinkled onto the album. In addition, keep an ear out for rising vocal starlet Tove Lo and Queen guitarist Brian May, who provide Adam with assistance on respective songs: “Rumors” & “Lucy” respectively. Overall, The Original High is a worthy successor to For Your Entertainment as his best album.

Tracks to Download: “Ghost Town,” “The Original High,” “Underground,” “Rumors,” “Evil in the Night” & “Lucy”


Celloverse 2Cellos

Album cover property of Sony Music Entertainment

 13. Celloverse by 2CELLOS

Earlier this year, I turned to iTunes to discover new artists. When I first clicked on 2CELLOS’ cover of “Smooth Criminal,” I was instantly hooked to their music. In their third studio album: Celloverse, cellists Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser took their listeners all across the musical genre universe with their outstanding covers of rock anthems (“Thunderstruck”), alternative folk (“I Will Wait”) and chart toppers (“Wake Me Up”). Also, keep an ear out for celebrated pianist Lang Lang…who provided the piano backing for a Wings classic.

Tracks to Download: “I Will Wait,” “Thunderstruck,” “Wake Me Up,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Mombassa” & “Live and Let Die”


Straight No Chaser The New Old Fashioned

Album cover property of the Atlantic Recording Company

 12. The New Old Fashioned by Straight No Chaser

Before Pentatonix, Peter Hollens and Pitch Perfect introduced a cappella music to the mainstream music industry, Straight No Chaser started the modern-day a cappella movement. In The New Old Fashioned, the group rehashed their successful formula of mash-ups and stand alone arm hair-raising tunes to create impeccable melodies. The New Old Fashioned not only put them back in the forefront of a cappella musical genre, but it was also one of my favorite albums of the year!

Tracks to Download: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”/”Proud Mary,” “Take Me to Church,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Make You Feel My Love,” “Shut Up & Dance” & “Let It Go”


CeeLo Green Heart Blanche

Album cover property of Atlantic Records

11. Heart Blanche by CeeLo Green

The founding Voice USA coach closes out part one of the 2015-Albums of the Year Countdown!

The five-time Grammy-winning artist returned his roots as a soul singer in this epic fifth studio album known as Heart Blanche.  For this effort, CeeLo recruited some of the hottest names in music such as Charlie Puth, Cook Classics, the Futuristics and Jack Splash for production assistance and the music makers did not disappoint. Listeners will not be disappointed with the impeccable tracks that are sprinkled throughout the album. “Sign of the Times” feels like a future James Bond anthem, while both “Est. 1980’S” and “Robin Williams” are retrospect tracks that will put listeners in a nostalgia mood. However, “CeeLo Green Sings the Blues” is the former Voice coach’s most personal song to date and I believe that the down-on-their-luck listeners would relate to.  While it does not have the same diversity that The Lady Killer had, Heart Blanche will attract hardcore fans of the “Forget You” singer, but also a new generation of music lovers.

Tracks to Download: “Est. 1980’s,” “CeeLo Green Sings the Blues,” “Robin Williams,” “Sign of the Times,” “Music To My Soul” & “Working Class Heroes (Work)”

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

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar