New Music Releases: Week of March 18, 2016

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the latest edition of the New Music Releases!

We got an incredible line-up of great music to get to this week.

 

Gwen Stefani's latest studio album is her best one yet! (Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Gwen Stefani’s latest studio album is her best one yet! (Album cover property of Interscope Records)

 

This is What the Truth Feels Like by Gwen Stefani

It has been nearly 10 years since Gwen Stefani dropped her last solo studio album: The Sweet Escape. Since its release, Gwen became a fashionista, reunited with No Doubt, a coach on The Voice, divorced Gavin Rossdale and found new love in Blake Shelton. This is What the Truth Feels Like showcases songs that Ms. Stefani penned while dealing with the aftermath of her marriage to her longtime love and father of her children…Gavin Rossdale. With assistance from Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, Greg Kurstin, Mattman & Robin, Stargate and Fetty Wap, Gwen healed her heart in front of listeners and turned out some of her best material yet. A-

Tracks to Download: “Misery,” “Make Me Like You,” “Truth” & “Where Would I Be?”

Something Beautiful by Jordan Smith

Something Beautiful marks the debut album of Voice: Season Nine winner Jordan Smith. Republic Records gave Jordan two things that will help him solidify his future in the music industry: a powerful group of songs that helped him stay truthful to his talent and faith and access to an impeccable producer who knows how to help talent shine in the music industry: David Foster.  Many fans might be hesitant that this album is filled with covers, but I believe that if Republic wanted to rush out a debut album…doing an album full of covers was the only solution.  That being said, Jordan delivered and did not disappoint.  Listeners could hear the connection that Jordan had with each and every individual track that is on Something Beautiful. I hope that for his sophomore attempt, Jordan and the Republic Records team find high quality original material for Jordan to perform and also look into collaborations.  (I would like to see Jordan work with Celine, Jessie J, Lady Gaga, Pentatonix, Pink, Sia, the Weeknd and Voice coach Christina Aguilera in the future). Otherwise, I hope that he goes on tour this summer to promote his album, I would definitely like to see him perform live! B+

Tracks to Download: “Stand in the Light,” “Beautiful,” “Angel” & “And So It Goes”

 

FOX The Passion

“The Passion: New Orleans” cast delivered a brilliant cover album that made it my Album of the Week. (Album cover property of FOX & Dick Clark Productions)

 

The Passion: New Orleans by Various Artists

This Sunday, FOX will be airing its take on The Passion of Jesus Christ called The Passion: New Orleans. Set in the fabled Louisiana city, this live television event will feature music superstars such as Chris Daughtry, Jencarlos Canela, Prince Royce, Seal and Trisha Yearwood as they interpret the final hours of Jesus’ life. Music director Adam Anders (Glee) made a very courageous decision to use contemporary songs as the base that drives The Passion. Each song was perfectly picked out to represent each part of the emotional spectrum from sadness (Trisha Yearwood’s “Broken”) to joy (Yolanda Adams’ “When Love Takes Over”) and also symbolize actions such as betrayal (Chris Daughtry & Jencarlos Canela’s “Demons”) and current events (Seal’s haunting “Mad World”). The Passion: New Orleans is a fantastic album from start to finish and it is one of the best cover albums of 2016! Congratulations The Passion: New Orleans cast! You are my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “When Love Takes Over,” “Broken,” “I Won’t Give Up,” “Bring Me to Life,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero” & “Mad World”

Party Rock Mansion by Redfoo

Redfoo has invited listeners into his crazy world of party pop at his Party Rock Mansion. While he may be a master of beats, this album is not my cup of tea. Party Rock Mansion does not have enough substance to keep listeners active. It also feels like Mr. Foo took unused LMFAO tracks and repurposed them for his solo outing.  While his collaboration with Stevie Wonder may be his only saving grace, a good bulk of the tracks left me very dissatisfied. D+

Tracks to Download: “Lights Out” & “Where the Sun Goes

Came Here to Forget” by Blake Shelton

The Voice coach’s private life has been highlighted in tabloids over the past 14 months. If listeners to his latest single, “Came Here to Forget,” they might notice that this song is a veiled bridge between his divorce with fellow country superstar Miranda Lambert and his budding romance with fellow Voice coach and divorcee Gwen Stefani. This is probably one of Shelton’s most personal songs to date, as the guitars and superb drum section highlight the four-time winning Voice coach’s ode to the newest lady in his life.  B

 

Evynne & Peter Hollens' cover of "The Prayer" is a must download! (Album cover property of the Hollens)

Evynne & Peter Hollens’ cover of “The Prayer” is a must download! (Album cover property of the Hollens)

The Prayer” by Evynne & Peter Hollens

I love when friends of the blog release new music! Earlier this week, Peter and his lovely wife, Evynne, dropped their cover of the David Foster-Carole Bayer Sager classic “The Prayer.” What makes this cover stand out against other interpretations is the simplistic but beautiful piano background that is accompanying it. While I love hearing singers perform the Quest for Camelot anthem with a full orchestra and choir, the Hollens’ gorgeous approach is one piece of music that you need to download into your library! Congrats, Evynee & Peter, your cover of “The Prayer” is my Song of the Week!  A+ 

 

Alexander Jean Thief

Alexander Jean continues to blaze a trail of music glory with its latest hit: “Thief.” (Album cover property of Alexander Jean)


Thief” by Alexander Jean

Earlier this year, I had the chance to have A Conversation with rising music duo Alexander Jean. Comprised of two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Mark Ballas and accomplished singer-songwriter BC Jean, Alexander Jean is going to be one band that you have keep your eye on this year! Their first single of 2016 is “Thief,” is a powerful pop rock anthem that has a great beat and outstanding vocals from Ms. BC Jean. This song will definitely put a smile on your face! I cannot wait to hear their next single. A-

Take Me” by Adam Clark featuring Kait Weston

As always, Jake’s Take prides itself in introducing its readers to impeccable up-and-coming talent.  “Take Me” is a beautiful duet between New York-based singer-songwriters Adam Clark and Kait Weston. The duo’s superb melodies will hypnotize listeners and their voices perfectly complement each other.  I expect big things from both of these artists and I really hope that this song gets picked up on the radio. B+

I do not own any of the clips that are used throughout the article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar