By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to another exciting edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!
Let’s get this party started!
The Definition of by Fantasia
One of my favorite R&B/Soul artists to have come from the recently departed American Idol was Fantasia Barrino. Every time she hit the Idol stage, Fantasia told a story and with her impeccable one-of-a-kind voice. Her fifth studio album, The Definition of, showcases her at her best. Fantasia mixed sultry and sassy on the R. Kelly-penned “Sleeping With The One I Love,” blended two musical genres (R&B and country) in “Ugly,” and channeled her inner Mary J. Blige on “Roller Coasters,” which features a sweet beat dropped by Aloe Blacc. The Definition of is not only one of Fantasia’s best albums, but it is also my Album of the Week! A
Tracks to Download: “No Time for It,” “Ugly,” “Lonely Legend,” “So Blue,” “Sleeping With The One I Love” & “Roller Coasters.”
What I Do All Day & Pickle by Kosha Dillz
I love when friends of the blog release new music! Kosha Dillz made his first appearance on Jake’s Take three years ago when he took on “The Five Question Challenge.” Fast forward to now, he released his fourth studio album: What I Do All Day & Pickle. The album has reached six Billboard individual charts and I so glad people are going crazy for Kosha’s unique and personal raps. Also, Kosha also introduces his audience to rising artists such as Nina Dioz, Ida Hawk, and Flex Matthews. Also, keep an eye for Kosha’s explosive collaboration with fellow Jewish rapper and reggae master Matisyahu, you will not be disappointed. Congrats, Kosha! A-
Tracks to Download: “Dodging Bullets,” “Hola Chaverim Shalom Amigos,” “4 in the Morning” & “Varsity Blues”
High by Jarryd James
The last album I am looking at this week is High by Australian singer-songwriter Jarryd James. His debut record, High, takes listeners on an intriguing listening journey. Jarryd’s music is very suave, and the songs are very introspective. High is a very sturdy debut album, and I hope that Jarryd breaks through in the international music market because I know that so many people would be interested in listening to his music. B+
Tracks to Download: “1000X,” “Can’t Help It,” “Give Me Something” & “Do You Remember.”
“Stronger Together” by Jessica Sanchez
A friend of the blog, Jessica Sanchez, released a new anthem for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Written by Bruce Thomas, Carole Bayer Sager, and Babyface, “Stronger Together” is a terrific up-tempo track that should unite everyone together no matter what their political preferences. After you listen to this song, I guarantee that you will be a better mood. Congrats, Jessica! “Stronger Together” is my Song of the Week! A+
“Setting the World on Fire” by Kenny Chesney & Pink
I am not a huge Kenny Chesney fan. Several country artists such as Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, and David Nail have always run circles around him. However, when I saw that Pink’s was on his latest single, I had to check it out! “Setting the World on Fire” brilliant fuses Pink’s pop rock voice and Kenny’s country vibes together in a superb song that could be a candidate for one of the summer’s most surprising duets. While I may not wear a Kenny Chesney t-shirt anytime soon, he is slowly winning me over. B-
“Bacon” by Citizen Four
With One Direction on a permanent hiatus, one boy band hopes to fill the void they left behind! Meet Citizen Four! This foursome is made up of X Factor USA alums Josh Levi and Austin Percario and brothers Carson and Conner Boatman. The recently signed Island Records group released their cover of Nick Jonas’ “Bacon.” It is probably one of the best covers I have heard this year. The group’s harmonies are slick, and I have a feeling that a lot of Millennials and Generation Z members are going to be wanting more from this band. I have a feeling that they are going to be the hottest breakout act of 2016. B+
“Take My Hand” by Katie Perkins
Another rising star that you need to keep your ears and eyes out for is Katie Perkins. The Connecticut-based country singer is breathing new life into the country-pop field with her latest single: “Take My Hand.” Backed by some of Nashville’s talented musicians including Brad Paisley’s drummer Ben Sesar, Perkins’ powerful anthem will bring hope to people struggling on the road of life and heal them. Katie’s vocals are lovely, and her songwriting showcases a bright future in the music industry. A-
“Outside Your Door” by Dolly Parton
Rounding out this edition of New Music Reviews is the one and only Queen of Country Music! Dolly’s latest album, Pure & Simple, is scheduled to drop August 19. The second single off of the album, “Outside Your Door,” is essential Dolly. You can hear the warmth and passion in her voice as she coos “I’m standing outside your door.” I hope Dolly Parton was standing outside of my door because I would love to have the chance to sit down with the country music legend for a conversation and sing a song or two. B+
I do not own the clips that are featured in this edition of “New Music Releases.” They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.