By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to another exciting edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!
This week, I will look the latest offerings from the Queen of Country Music, several rising artists, two friends of the blog and the one and only Britney Spears!
Let’s get this party started!
Pure & Simple by Dolly Parton
In my humble opinion, Dolly Parton is the Queen of Country Music! I have had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Parton twice in my life (once in 2014 and this year) and every time I speak to her, Dolly’s positivity and endless amounts of energy always made my day sunnier. Her 43rd studio album, Pure & Simple, reflects her over 50+ years in the music industry and experience one universal topic that unites us all: love. Ms. Parton is one of the last legendary wordsmiths and arrangers in country music, and her music is always filled with sage advice that Gen X, millennials, and the digital generation should listen to. Pure & Simple is filled with many treasures and is worthy of being a part of her multi-decade legacy of toe-tapping and reflective songs. Congratulations, Ms. Parton! Pure & Simple is my Album of the Week! A+
Tracks to Download: “Pure & Simple,” “Can’t Be That Wrong,” “Outside Your Door,” “Tomorrow is Forever” & “I’m Sixteen.”
Brave Enough by Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling has grown tremendously since her America’s Got Talent performances. For her third album, Brave Enough, Lindsey ventured out and collaborated with artists outside of her genre. Among the featured artists that are spotlighted in this CD includes Christina Perri, Dan + Shay, ZZ Ward, Rivers Cuomo, Rooty, and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Lindsey is one of my generation’s brilliant composers and most distinguished violinists who have broken boundaries between classical and EDM music. Brave Enough solidifies her legacy and showcases her impeccable artistry that has no bounds. Bravo, Lindsey! A-
Tracks to Download: “The Arena,” “Something Wild,” “Those Days,” & “Where Do We Go.”
Kinda Don’t Care by Justin Moore
One country artist that has been gaining a lot of traction over the past few years is Justin Moore. The Nashville-based singer was named Billboard’s “Top New County Artist of 2009,” has been profiled in The Washington Post, People Country, and USA Today, and opened for Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker. Justin’s fourth studio album, Kinda Don’t Care, showcases why he is one of country music’s brightest stars. His husky and silver baritone voice bellows all across the record and with the help of country’s superb songwriters such as Rhett Akins, Natalie Hembly, Tebey, and Jaren Johnston, Justin churns out a smooth album that will satisfy both his fan base and millennials who love country music. I predict that Kinda Don’t Care might play a role in the American Music Awards, the Grammys, and several country music awards. B+
Tracks to Download: “You Look Like I Need a Drink,” “Kinda Don’t Care,” “Somebody Else Will,” & “Between You & Me.”
The Get Down (Original Soundtrack) by Various Artists
Thanks to Empire and Hamilton, Hip-hop music has made it into mainstream music. Now, Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Gurigus are giving Netflix users a chance to enjoy a hip-hop period drama called The Get Down. Set in the late 1970s in the Bronx, The Get Down showcases rappers found their voice in a nearly bankrupted New York City. The soundtrack features all new music from not only the series actors such as Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Jaden Smith, and Herizen Guardiola, but also Miguel, ZAYN, Nile Rodgers, Grace, Leon Bridges, Janelle Monae, and Christina Aguilera. This album is nearly on par with anything Empire has produced musically. This music collection will make you laugh, dance, and think about this grimey era and see if the lyrics’ messages translate into today’s society. B
Tracks to Download: “Ball of Confusion,” “Telepathy” & “Hum Along & Dance (Gotta Get Down)”
“Do You Wanna Come Over?” by Britney Spears
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we found the song of the summer! The latest single from Britney Spears’ upcoming studio album, Glory, is “Do You Wanna Come Over?” Written by red-hot songwriters and producers Alexander Rene Chila, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Mattman & Robin, “Do You Wanna Come Over?” is Britney’s tribute track to her most devoted fans in her army: The Millennials. Between the sexy hook “Nobody should be alone if they have to be” and the hypnotic and impeccable techno salsa background, “Do You Wanna Come Over?” is not only a great club anthem but also a guaranteed Top 40 radio smash. I cannot wait to see what Britney brings next week when Glory drops next week! A
“God, Your Mama, And Me” by Florida Georgia Line & the Backstreet Boys
If you paid attention to the Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line’s social media channels, then your mind was blown when it was announced that the groups were collaborating on a song together. “God, Your Mama, and Me” is not just the country version of “I Want It That Way,” but it is a superb blend of pop and country music. I hope that they release a lyrics video soon because this song would be an instant hit on both country and Top 40 radio. B+
“Homeward Bound” by Peter Hollens featuring 300+ Oregon Choir students
One of Jake’s Take’s dearest friends, Peter Hollens, released a new music video. This video single, “Homeward Bound,” found Peter tackling the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s version of the folk song. This powerful video features over 300 Oregon choir high school students, and it will give the listeners’ the strongest case of goose bumps. It was brilliantly executed and an excellent love letter to the late Koral, one of the Oregon choir high school students, who passed away during the school year. Bravo, Peter! “Homeward Bound” is my Song of the Week! A+
“All I Ask” by Collabro
My friends, Collabro, close out this edition of New Music Reviews with their cover of Adele’s “All I Ask.” “All I Ask” is Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert, Matt Pagan, and Thomas Redgrave’s first new piece of music since the dramatic departure of former member Richard Hadfield earlier this summer. The quartet sounds stronger than ever as their harmonies will make Collaborators swoon in delight. Also, I am so glad that each of them got the chance to shine with their solos. I (along with the thousands of Collaborators all over the world) hope that the guys return to the recording studio soon. A-
I do not own any of the music that is sprinkled into this article! They belong to their respective artists and record labels.