Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of November 18, 2016)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Are you preparing for the long drive home for Thanksgiving and do not have any music?

Have no fear! Jake’s Take has reviewed some of the hottest new albums and singles that you should consider downloading into your iPhone.

Let’s get started!

Bruno Mars 24K Magic

(Album cover property of Atlantic Recording Corporation & Warner Music Group)

24K Magic by Bruno Mars

Welcome back, Bruno Mars! Bruno Mars has released his third studio album, and it is magic. Shampoo Press and Curl (formerly known as the Smeezingtons) produced the entire album. Like his previous two albums, Mars continues to embrace the retro R&B sounds of late music icons James Brown and Michael Jackson and combines them with his signature twist that this generation of music lovers continue to embrace. “Perm” feels like it belongs to the B-side of James Brown album, while “Versace on the Floor” might feel like listening to “Human Nature’s” younger brother. Also, “Calling All My Lovelies” is the perfect homage to the late Purple One.  24K Magic showcases why Mr. Mars is one of the generation’s best artists through his excellent vocals and impeccable songwriting skills. B+

Tracks to Download: “24K Magic,” “Versace on the Floor,” “Straight Up & Down” & “Calling All My Lovelies.”

DNCE by DNCE

One of the hottest songs of 2015 was DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean!” DNCE is made up of Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, JinJoo Lee, and Cole Whittle and this funk pop quartet have been burning up many charts throughout 2016.  Today, the quartet released their first full-length self-titled studio album. This album will put listeners in a great mood as you will find yourself tapping along and dance in your seat to infectious sweet pieces of ear candy such as “Body Moves,” “Doctor You,” and “Good Day.” I have a strong sensation that this quartet will be around for a long time. A-

Tracks to Download: “Body Moves,” “Cake by the Ocean,” “Doctor You,” “Good Day,” & “Be Mean.”

 

Miranda Lambert The Weight of These Wings

(Album cover property of Vanner Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert

It is precarious to put together and release a double album in this decade. Artists do not know how fans will react and if you have enough material that will satisfy your audience, management, and radio stations. Luckily for Miranda Lambert, she recruited some of Nashville’s brightest songwriters and artists including Liz Rose, Shane McAnally, Luke Dick, Gwen Sebastian, Ashley Monroe, and current beau Anderson East to help her create this monster album.  The Weight of These Wings is Lambert’s opus about recovering from her devastating break-up from former husband and Voice coach Blake Shelton and how she met her new love: rising country star Anderson East. There are some intense and poignant tracks such as “Getaway Driver,” “Vice,” “Good Ol’ Days,” and “Things That Break.”  But, I felt that bits and pieces of the album dragged such as the latter half of side one and the middle of side two. Despite that little complaint, I admire her chutzpah for pulling off this massive project. B-

Tracks to Download: “Good Ol’ Days,” “Vice,” “We Should Be Friends,” & “You Wouldn’t Know Me.”

 

High Valley Dear Life

(Album cover property of Warner Music Nashville)

Dear Life by High Valley

One duo that I have kept an eye over the past few weeks is High Valley. Brothers Brad & Curtis Rempel are a country/bluegrass duo from Alberta, Canada and their music is a breath of fresh air in my humble opinion. Today, the duo dropped their first studio album from Warner Music Nashville, and it is one of the best country crossover albums that I have listened to all year. The songs are inspirational, the production is crisp, and the music will make you bounce in your seat. I hope and pray that High Valley conquers 2017 because their music is pure bliss. Congrats, High Valley! Dear Life is my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Dear Life,” “I Ain’t Changing,” “I Be U Be,” “Make You Mine,” “The Only,” & “Roads We’ve Never Taken.”

“Party Monster” by The Weeknd

We are one week away from Starboy’s release! The Weeknd’s final teaser single from his third studio album is “Party Monster.” This tune is penned by the Weeknd and fellow “Prisoner” collaborator Lana Del Rey and produced by Canadian producer Doc McKinney and Ben Billions. I will be honest with you; it took me a few times to listen to it. “Party Monster” has a dark, edgy R&B meets trance pop that feels like someone is stalking you. This track is probably one of the darkest tracks that the Weeknd has released, and if you are not a fan, you would probably not appreciate this track. B-

 

(Album cover property of Hamilton Uptown LLC & Atlantic Records)

(Album cover property of Hamilton Uptown LLC & Atlantic Records)

Wait for It” by Usher/ “Wrote My Way Out” by Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc

The hits keep on coming courtesy of The Hamilton Mixtape! Usher takes to the dance floor for “Wait for It,” the track that talks about show antagonist Aaron Burr’s determination in facing Alexander Hamilton’s rise in the political stratosphere. Usher taps into Miranda’s lyrics and transforms himself as Burr to deliver one of the best soul covers on the album. The Grammy and Tony-winning composer behind this masterpiece (Lin-Manuel Miranda) recruited Hip-hop masters Dave East and Nas plus soul man Aloe Blacc for the powerful anthem: “Wrote My Way Out.” This is probably one of the best hip-hop songs of the year. Both these songs are outstanding, and I cannot wait to hear more of these impeccable covers! (Both songs are A’s)

One Way Ticket” by A Fragile Tomorrow featuring Joan Baez & the Indigo Girls

Jake’s Take always prides itself in introducing rising artists to its readers! Charleston, South Carolina rock band A Fragile Tomorrow recently received the Best Cover Song Award from the Independent Music Awards. The group recorded the song with folk music legend Joan Baez and fellow rockers: the Indigo Girls.  A Fragile Tomorrow is made up of Sean Kelly (Vocal/Guitars), Dominic Kelly (Vocals/Drums), Brendan Kelly (Guitars/Vocals), and Shaun Rhoades (Bass/Vocals). This quartet’s sound is incredibly intriguing, and the musicianship between the group and their guests is incredible.  These guys have a bright future, and I hope that both Indie rock and alternative radio stations pick up this song. Congratulations, A Fragile Tomorrow, Joan Baez, and The Indigo Girls! “One Way Ticket” is my Song of the Week! A+

Jenna Torres Heart on Wheels

(Album cover courtesy of HyPR Media)

Heart on Wheels” by Jenna Torres

Closing out this week’s edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews is country rock artist Jenna Torres. Big Apple-based country rocker Jenna Torres’ sound would remind listeners of listening to one of Reba’s descendants or Jennifer Nettles’ younger sister. “Heart on Wheels” is a hot country rock track that has sturdy guitar licks and impressive vocals from Ms. Torres. Ms. Torres has the firepower necessary to blow the country music industry away, and I hope that someone gives her a chance. Bravo! A-

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

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar