Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of October 14, 2016)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome back to Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!

We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get this party started.

 

(Album cover property of Interscope Records & Mosley Music Group)

(Album cover property of Interscope Records & Mosley Music Group)

Oh My My by OneRepublic

OneRepublic is one of my favorite pop rock bands! Every time, the Denver, Colorado-based quintet releases a new album, they release excellent material that would make several pop rock bands would turn green with envy. For their fourth studio album, Oh My My, Ryan Tedder and Brett Kutzle once again created extraordinary material that showcases why they are one of the best songwriting duos in pop music today. From their electropop hit “Kids” to “A.I.,” their duet with rock icon Peter Gabriel, OneRepublic’s latest record will hold their fans’ attention and might be able to gain new followers in the form of music aficionados who might be late to the party. In addition to Gabriel, the band also recruited French music duo Cassius, Electronic music icon Santigold, and songwriters/producers Benny Blanco, Noel Zancanella, and Ammar Malik who shaped this excellent album’s production. I hope that OneRepublic takes this album on tour because this album was set North America on fire. A-

Tracks to Download: “Let’s Hurt Tonight,” “Kids,” “Choke,” “A.I.” & “Lift Me Up.”

Revolution Radio by Green Day

It has been over 12 years since Green Day released its Sistine Chapel: American Idiot. The album rejuvenated the punk rock band and helped expand their horizons into the Great White Way and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While band members have rotated in-and-out over the years, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool have always been at the group’s core. Green Day’s 12th studio album, Revolution Radio, may not have the same thematic rock opera guidebook that American Idiot and their 2009 follow-up 21st Century Breakdown, but the millennial generation’s favorite punk rock godfathers deliver a fiery and simplistic studio album. The trio pulled the accelerator into overdrive with “Bang Bang,” “Revolution Radio,” and “Bouncing Off the Wall,” while at times reflective with tracks such as “Outlaws,” “Still Breathing,” and “Ordinary World.” (the latter song will give listeners chills).  This is a solid album, and it is a great record to have in your collection. Way to go, Green Day! B+

Tracks to Download: “Bang Bang,” “Revolution Radio,” “Bouncing Off the Wall” & “Ordinary World”

 

Melissa Etheridge Memphis Rock & Soul

(Album cover property of MLE Music & Concord Music Group)

Memphis Rock & Soul by Melissa Etheridge

My fellow Kansasn and two-time Grammy-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge is back with her 14th studio album. This time, she headed down to Memphis and covered some of the most recognizable rock and soul anthems that were penned by some of that fabled city’s greatest songwriters. I had the pleasure of seeing Ms. Etheridge perform “Hold On! I’m Coming” in person at a taping of Live with Kelly last week and rocked the house. After watching that particular performance, I looked forward to listening to this album, and it did not disappoint. Throughout the 12 tracks, Ms. Etheridge proved why she remains one of the best storytellers in the music industry as she re-introduced timeless classics to a new generation of music lovers. A

Tracks to Download: “Hold On! I’m Coming,” “Respect Yourself (People Stand Up),” “Any Other Way,” “Born Under A Bad Sign,” & “Who’s Making Love?”

 

The Mowgli's Where'd Your Weekend Go

(Album cover property of Photo Finish Records)

Where’d Your Weekend Go? By the Mowgli’s

Several bands have played a crucial part in Jake’s Take’s history. The Mowgli’s have the distinct honor of being one of them. Ever since they released their 2012 album, Waiting for the Dawn, I have seen this Los Angeles-based sextet grow from one of Indie rock’s hottest acts to a firm favorite in the alternative music industry. Where’d Your Weekend Go is the band’s third studio album and throughout its 11 tracks, listeners will be able to hear the same perky atmosphere that surrounded Waiting for the Dawn, but the emotional themes that were part of 2014’s Kids in Love. Friends to the blog, Colin Dieden and Katie Earl, excellently guided both the group and listeners through this album while Colin, Josh Hogan, Matthew Di Panni, Dave Appelbaum, and Andy Warren continue to showcase why the Mowgli’s are some of the most talented instrumentalists in the music industry. Congrats, The Mowgli’s! Where’d Your Weekend Go is my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Bad Thing,” “Spacin Out,” “Spiderweb,” “Automatic” & “Freaking Me Out.”

 

Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar Don't Wanna Know

(Album property of Interscope Records)

Don’t Wanna Know” by Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar

Over the past few years, Maroon 5 have been experimenting combining their music with Hip-hop. While there have been a few moderate hits such as the Nicki Minaj remix of “Sugar” and the 2012 Wiz Khalifa collaboration “Payphone,” “Don’t Wanna Know” has the best potential of being a Top 20 radio hit. Co-written and produced by the band’s iconic frontman, Adam Levine, plus Lamar, Benny Blanco, Ammar Malik, and the Arcade, the track takes the group into a tropical pop direction. It is an intriguing direction for the iconic pop-rock band, but I think that the band could deliver quality material like this for its upcoming sixth studio album. B+/A-

Blended Family (What You Do For Love)” by Alicia Keys featuring A$AP Rocky

While we are on the subject of Voice coaches, Alicia Keys released her first single off of her upcoming sixth studio album. “Blended Family (What Do You For Love)” deals with the subject of blended families. Thanks to Alicia’s superb voice, fantastic instrumentation, excellent lyrics and a spot on rap by A$AP Rocky, “Blended Family” will become a psalm for families that is needed in today’s polarized times.  A-

Just Your Fool” by The Rolling Stones

For over 54 years, The Rolling Stones have transformed rock music and have gained millions of fans around the globe thanks to the iconic Jagger/Richards songbook. For their 25th studio album, the Stones are paying tribute to Blues music with a cover album called Blue & Loathsome. Their first single, a cover of Buddy Johnson and his Orchestra’s “Just Your Fool,” is in all honesty: average. I did not feel any of Sir Mick Jagger’s signature swag in his vocals or any of Keith’s hypnotic guitar playing. It feels like they have ignored the vast spirit of Rhythm and Blues. D+  

 

Michael V. Doane I Remember

(Album cover courtesy of Michael V. Doane)

“I Remember” by Michael V. Doane

A friend of the blog, Michael V. Doane, has released a single that perfectly blends gospel and dance pop together in a harmonious way that will have your inner Madea shout out with: “Hallelujer!” This slick track will instantly put a smile on your face and inspire you to throw all of the nasty comments from your past in the landfill. Michael’s voice still gives me chills and the power of the gospel choir take the song to another level of excellence! A

Box It Up” by Davis Mallory

We are nearly 12 weeks away from Christmas and holiday music lovers are already getting in the holiday spirit! A friend of the blog and MTV star Davis Mallory released his first Christmas single: “Box It Up.” It’s a sturdy slow jam that will transport its listeners to the perfect holiday setting: snowflakes falling outside as you and your loved ones celebrate the 2016 holiday season. Davis’ beautiful vocals might remind the 80s and 90s babies of smooth singer-songwriters such as George Michael and Brian McKnight, while the digital generation might consider “Box It Up,” a Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes B-side.  “Box It Up” is a grown-up Christmas anthem that you should check out! B+

You Belong” by Branden + James

It’s time to check in with two other friends of the blog: Branden + James. Their latest single, “You Belong,” is an incredible positive anthem that showcases the power of acceptance. We rarely hear dance-pop songs that sprinkle messages of hope and “You Belong” should be played on Top 40 radio stations across the country. Branden’s voice is stronger than ever, and I loved seeing a different side of James on this track. Congratulations, Branden + James! “You Belong” is my Song of the Week! A+ 

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

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar