By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!
Besides reviewing brand new albums and singles from your favorite artists, I will introduce you several rising artists that are hoping to shake up the charts.
Let’s get this party started!
HERE by Alicia Keys
2016 has been a big year for Alicia Keys! She recently joined the cast of coaches on The Voice (and has a killer line-up of undiscovered artists that have bright futures ahead of them) and had contributed to numerous soundtracks such as Disney’s Queen of Katwe and the upcoming Hamilton Mixtape. On top of that, she released her sixth studio album: HERE. The album highlights Ms. Keys’ extraordinary artistry and highlights honest takes on social issues. In addition to the music, spoken word artists showcase their talent in various interludes that are sprinkled throughout the album. The record is not only one of her personal best albums but HERE is one of the most influential R&B/Soul albums of the year. Congratulations, Ms. Keys! HERE is my Album of the Week! A+
Tracks to Download: “Pawn It All,” “She Don’t Really Care_1 Luv,” “Blended Family (What You Do For Love),” “Holy War,” & “Work On It.”
This House is Not for Sale by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is back! After 2013’s abysmal outing, Burning Bridges, New Jersey’s native sons have regrouped and released its 13th studio album. This House is Not for Sale marks the first album without founding lead guitarist Richie Sambora and the first with new lead guitarist Phil X and bassist Hugh McDonald. Jon Bon Jovi picked up a bulk of the songwriting for the album, with a little help from co-writers such as Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley and veteran collaborators Billy Falcon and John Shanks. I would strongly recommend not calling this Bon Jovi two-point or three-point-whatever, the rock band is on point musically as it blended both of its rock styles (regular and hard) together with satisfactory results. B
Tracks to Download: “This House is Not for Sale,” “Knockout,” “God Bless This Mess,” & “Born Again Tomorrow.”
A Wonderful World by Susan Boyle
Seven years ago, Susan Boyle became a household name when her Britain’s Got Talent audition went viral and became a worldwide sensation. While I am a little surprised that Syco Music boss and Got Talent creator Simon Cowell has decided to make Susan, this generation’s Anne Murray, I always look forward to hearing what Ms. Boyle brings to a table. For A Wonderful World, Ms. Boyle and her creative team combined the best elements from her previous albums and produced a superb cover album that reflects numerous musical genres such as Disney, jazz, pop and rock. The arrangements are outstanding, and her duets with Michael Bolton and Nat King Cole are splendid. This record would be a fantastic gift for someone who loves listening to inspirational music. A-
Tracks to Download: “Angels,” “Somewhere Out There,” “Like A Prayer,” & “When You Wish Upon A Star.”
Hamilton has taken Broadway by storm! To celebrate its success, Grammy and Tony award-winning composer/rapper Lin-Manuel Miranda has recruited a diverse group of music all-stars to bring the legendary The Hamilton Mixtape to life. The first two singles are “My Shot” and “It’s Quiet Uptown.” The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon house band and iconic hip-hop group, The Roots, are joined by rap stars Busta Rhymes and Joell Ortiz and indie pop singer-songwriter Nate Ruess to cover the explosive “My Shot.” The quartet captures the signature Hamilton rally cry’s lighting in the bottle and will get any fan excited about the album. Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson’s haunting cover of “It’s Quiet Uptown,” the track where Alexander and Eliza Hamilton grieve over the death of their son, will give listeners chills. I cannot wait for The Hamilton Mixtape to drop on December 2. (Both songs are A’s)
“False Alarm” by The Weeknd
In a few short weeks, The Weeknd will release his highly anticipated third studio album: Starboy. The second single, “False Alarm,” features the Canadian singer-songwriter entering new territory: dance-punk. The Weeknd co-wrote this track with Benjamin Diehl, rapper Belly, Emmanuel Nickerson, Doc McKinney, and Dr. Luke protégé Cirkut, who along with McKinney produced the tune, takes his listeners to a great rave. The sound will hypnotize listeners into bobbing their heads, fist bumping, and joining in the chorus’ call-and-response: “Hey, Hey, Hey!” This song would put you in a good mood for the weekend. A-
“Love Can Do” by Lanita Smith
Remember this name: Lanita Smith! The Memphis native is about to take the R&B/Soul world by storm. Her latest single, “Love Can Do,” is a great and powerful track that emotes positivity and will have you dancing in your seat. I encourage any radio directors and personalities who are reading this blog post to click on the link and listen to the track. I believe that your audience will love this song. Congratulations, Lanita! “Love Can Do” is my Song of the Week! A+
“Know You Better” by Aaron Camper
Right now, the R&B/Hip-hop world needs to be shaken up! At times, I worry that stalwarts such as Jason Derulo, Ne-Yo, and Chris Brown are letting the tabloids interfere with their individual careers. One rising artist that might fill the gap is Aaron Camper! His single, “Know You Better,” is a sturdy track from start to finish and his sound is very promising. B+
“Dear Life” by High Valley
So far, country music has been introducing its fans to hot duos such as Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, and Thompson Square. Hoping to join these acts in country glory are brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel. Originally from La Crete, Alberta, Canada, the brothers are destined to be one of Warner Music Nashville’s last breakout acts of 2016. Their title track of High Valley’s debut album of their new record label is a breath of fresh air. The Rempel Brothers’ arrangements are superb and their harmonies are outstanding. If there is one country group that you need to start paying attention to, it is High Valley. A-
I do not own any of the music that is featured in the article. They belong to the artists and their respective labels.