Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of February 24, 2017

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome 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 Little Big Town and Capitol Records Nashville)

The Breaker by Little Big Town

After taking a detour in the pop music world with Pharrell Williams last year, Little Big Town is firmly back in their country roots. The Breaker is the group’s eighth studio album and the record might the group’s personal best. With the help of some of country music’s best song scribes as Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird, Shane Stevens, and Taylor Swift, Little Big Town’s latest batch of tunes are solid grand slams. Also, their exquisite four-part harmonies and master storytelling continue to enchant their listeners all 12 tracks.  Great work, Little Big Town. A

Tracks to Download: “Happy People,” “Night On Our Side,” “Drivin’ Around,” “Better Man,” & “Rollin’.”

The Shack: Music From & Inspired By the Original Motion Picture by Various Artists

The Shack is one of the most eagerly anticipated faith films to make its silver screen debut. To commemorate the movie, a group of Christian, country and pop music heavyweights came together and recorded new material to accompany the film. While there are some powerful tracks such as Dan + Shay’s “When I Pray for You” and superb duets such as Tim McGraw & Faith Hill’s “Keep Your Eyes On Me” and Kelly Clarkson & Aloe Blacc’s “Love Goes On,” the rest of the material is just average.  While I highly recommend buying those three tracks, if you are not a Christian music lover or fan of the film, I would skip this album! C-

Tracks to Download: “When I Pray for You,” “Keep Your Eyes On Me,” & “Love Goes On.”

 

(Album cover property of Rostrum Records)

Braves by BRAVES

Jake’s Take prides itself in introducing our readers to rising artists! One music group that you should keep an eye on is Los Angeles-based trio BRAVES. Their goal is “to create pop music without an image,” “circumvent the political, pandering bullshit associated with most record labels” and finally “shock the system.” These talented artists have blown me away with their self-titled album. There is something mysterious about their sound that I enjoy. Whether it is their superb arrangements that somehow blend Prince-like vocals with Daft Punk beats or their intriguing lyrics, there is something special about this band. I honestly believe that this trio will be one of the most talked about bands of the year and I would like to award BRAVES with my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Me the Thief,” “Joan of Arc,” “Survive,” “Best Kept Secret,” “A Toast,” & “Gone.”

(Album cover property of Interscope Records)

 

Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara

Zedd is one of my generation’s best EDM producers! I always look forward to hearing new music from him. His latest single, “Stay,” is a collaboration with rising artist Alessia Cara. While the single features the German DJ’s signature soothing sound, the lyrics are a little darker and tug at the listeners’ heart strings to stay and be hypnotized by Alessia’s beautiful siren-like vocals.  This collaboration is pure bliss, and I firmly believe that this song is going to rock both the Billboard charts and the clubs across the country. A-

 

(Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Love” by Lana Del Rey

It has been almost two years since Lana Del Rey released her last studio album: Honeymoon. Recently, the baroque pop songstress dropped a brand-new tune: “Love.” Ms. Rey and her longtime collaborators Emile and Rick Nowels, Jr. were joined by hit songwriter and producer extraordinaire: Benny Blanco. “Love” shows Ms. Rey’s exponential growth vocally, while capturing the same sound that made “Summertime Sadness” and “High by the Beach” must haves on your music library.  “Love” is a powerful track that highlights relationships and “lightning in the bottle” chemistry.  I am waiting on pins-and-needles to see what Ms. Del Rey does next. Congratulations, Lana! “Love” is my Song of the Week. A+

By Your Side” by The 1975

The 1975 released an exclusive cover of soul singer Sade’s “By Your Side” for the legendary children’s charity: War Child UK. While it had the potential to be a spectacular cover, the track’s auto tune levels are astronomically off the charts and it almost ruins Matthew Healy’s vocal performance. I rather wished that the band did not use the controversial music equipment piece and focused on giving a heart-breaking recording. I am still a fan of the 1975, but this was not one of their best tracks. D+

Golden” by Jet Black Alley Cat

The last three entries of this article are dedicated to three bands that Jake’s Take recommends that you should keep an eye on. Up first, Nashville-quintet Jet Black Alley Cat. Made of vocalist Joe Wilkinson, guitarists Zach Douglas and Christian Harrison, bassist Cristofer Johnson, and drummer Bryant Lowry, this unsigned band blends numerous musical genres together such as rock, pop, and dance to create superb songs. One song that is not only tailor-made for radio charts, but also could help appease hit makers is “Golden.”  Between Douglas and Harrison’s rocking guitar arrangements to Wilkinson’s awesome vocals, “Golden” is the perfect track that you could dance around your apartment and workout to. I cannot wait to hear what this band has in store for us next. A-

Bones to Ashes” by Singer Soldier

One of the Midwest’s greatest multi-instrumentalists, Nick Marko, recently e-mailed the blog with his latest single from his new project: Singer Soldier. The former Holy Fire band member’s single, “Bones to Ashes,” is probably one of the best rock tracks that I heard in a long time. Between the sturdy arrangement, the haunting lyrics, and superb vocals, I am very surprised why this song is not being featured on any rock radio at all.  Hopefully 2017 will be a breakout year for Nick Marko and Singer Soldier, because I believe that his sound should be showcased at music festivals around the country. B+

 

(Album cover property of Zetetics)

Even Tonight” by Zetetics

Our final band hails all the way from Kiev, Ukraine. Comprised of vocalist Lika Bugaeva, guitarists Stas Lypetskyi and Victor Zhukov, bassist Igor Odaryuk, and drummer Sasha Soloha, Zetetics is an alternative rock band, who is gaining a strong Facebook following for their hypnotic tracks. Ms. Bugaeva’s stunning vocals shine through and the band’s artistry pierce the listener’s mind. I hope that the band continues to make noise throughout Europe, which will eventually lead to the United States, because I believe that there is an audience for this quintet in this country. B+

I do not own the clips that are sprinkled throughout the album. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar