By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Welcome to the first April 2017 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Releases.
We have a lot of ground to cover as Top 40 favorites, music legends, friends to the blog, and rising artists have uploaded new music to satisfy our ears.
So, let’s get this party started.
PTX. Vol. IV by Pentatonix
Friends to the blog, Pentatonix, released their latest self-titled EP: PTX, Vol. IV-Classics. Scott, Mitch, Kirsten, Avi, and Kevin showered their perfect five-part harmonies on some of the music industry’s greatest tracks. From the Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” to A-Ha’s “Take On Me,” PTX, Vol. IV is filled with outstanding arrangements that highlight why the world has fallen in love with a cappella music and this incredible vocal group. A
Tracks to Download: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Imagine,” “Take On Me,” & “Jolene.”
Memories…Do Not Open by The Chainsmokers
If there is one EDM group that I do not get why they are famous is The Chainsmokers! Ever since Andrew Taggert and Alex Pall squirmed their way on American Idol’s 500th episode with their self-entitled breakout hit, “Selfie,” I have disliked their music. Their debut album, Memories…Do Not Open, proves my point. They have hacked David Guetta, Avicii, and Zedd’s formula of meaningful EDM music and put out pointless tunes. I have listened to their album, and there is no “When Love Takes Over,” “Titanium,” “Hey Brother,” or “True Colors.” Do not buy this album…it is full of garbage and it is the worst album that has been released this April. F
Triplicate by Bob Dylan
For the past few years, Bob Dylan have released cover albums celebrating iconic music such as Frank Sinatra (2015’s Shadows in the Night) and classic songs (2016’s Fallen Angels). Triplicate is a massive album that showcases the “Blowin’ In the Wind” singer-songwriter’s tribute to the Great American Songbook. The album is divided into three parts: “’Til the Sun Goes Down,” “Devil Dolls,” and “Comin’ Home Late.” The newly christened Nobel Prize of Literature recipient gives musicians of all ages a master class on how to honor music history. He gave these legendary songs written by Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Cy Coleman, Rodgers & Hammerstein. Throughout the entire album, Dylan and his team created superb orchestral arrangements that honor each track’s legacy and keeps the listeners engaged. Bravo, Mr. Dylan, Triplicate is a magnificent album, and it is my Album of the Week. A+
Tracks to Download: “My One & Only Love,” “Stormy Weather,” “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “Braggin’,” & “Here’s That Rainy Day.”
Journey by Jon Moses
I love vocalists who embrace multiple genres and can flawlessly execute them. In Jon Moses’ sophomore album, Journey, the ITV Superstar alum can blend rock, blues, Broadway, and Disney into an astonishing emotional spectrum ride. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber called Jon Moses a “very strong baritone” and the theater icon is correct. The York, England baritone conquers some of the most difficult songs in any music library. I am perplexed to the fact why he is not an international name. Jon has a voice that must be heard, and I pray that Jon can showcase his talent on the planet’s great stages. A-
Tracks to Download: “He Lives in You,” “Bring Me to Life,” “Rise Like a Phoenix,” “Who Wants to Live Forever” & “The Show Must Go On.”
“Fiyah” by will.i.am
The multi-talented rapper and producer just wrapped up another successful season coaching on The Voice UK. “Fiyah” is the former Black Eyed Peas front man’s appreciation of British culture. Will.i.am may have been out of American listeners’ ears for a few years, but this track is one of my favorite dance-rap tracks of 2017. I have to say as a former honorary London resident, will.i.am does a perfect job transporting the international audience to the United Kingdom. I hope that the producer-rapper releases a full studio album in the future. A-
“Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
Calling all Harry Styles fans! He has released his first single as a solo artist. “Sign of the Times” is a strong track and showcases the vision of what artist Harry is trying to be. Harry’s voice is stronger than ever, and his sound is just as impressive. I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises that he has in store for us this year because he could genially conquer 2017. B+
“Heatstroke” by Calvin Harris featuring Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, and Ariana Grande
On paper, “Heatstroke” should have been a massive hit, because you have four incredible talents representing dance, pop, and rap music. But this song disappoints me for two reasons. One, way too much rapping by Young Thug, it seems like he hogs the spotlight from the former Voice coach. Two, not enough Ariana Grande! Every time that Calvin releases a track with a female pop singer (Ellie Goulding, Gwen Stefani, and Rihanna), that singer commands the beats and the listener’s attention. Ms. Grande’s high-octane vocals would have been better used if there were only one rapper (Pharrell). I am sorry, Calvin, but I have heard better music from you before. D
“Love Yourself” by Mary J. Blige featuring Kanye West
It has been a while since we have heard new music from Mary J. Blige. The nine-time Grammy-winning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has a studio album, Strength of a Woman, that is expected to drop on April 28. Strength of a Woman’s leading single is “Love Yourself,” a duet with Kanye West. Co-written by Ms. Blige, Mr. West, Charles Hinshaw, David D. Brown, I. Andrews, and DJ Camper, “Love Yourself” shows both music veterans at the top of their game vocally and the song’s message empowers the listeners to love themselves. “Love Yourself” is one of my favorite tracks from Ms. Blige from the past few years and I cannot wait for Strength of a Woman to be released. A-
“Where is the Love?” by Tom Bleasby
Jake’s Take continues to take pride in introducing new and emerging artists to our readers. Our first artist in this week’s review is Tom Bleasby. That name might sound familiar to you because his voice captured the world’s attention when he auditioned for The X Factor UK and had a surprisingly good duet with Jessie J on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015. Tom recently released his single off his debut album. Tom follows in the tradition of both Jordan Smith and Sam Smith (no relation) with having spectacular upper registers and also carries on the late Amy Winehouse’s legacy of merging soul and doo-wop. I am glad that Tom has released this track and I firmly believe that he could be one of the artists that we will be talking about all throughout 2017. Congratulations, Tom! “Where is the Love?” is my Song of the Week. A+
“Calvin Kleins (Buddhist Colony Remix)” by The Johnsons
The final group that I am introducing to you this week is The Johnsons. Brothers Clayton, Chantry, and Connor are taking YouTube by storm with their smooth pop-rock sound as their videos have been viewed over 7 million times. This week, The Johnsons took a dip in the EDM pool with the help of up-and-coming beatmaker Buddhist Colony. If the brothers play their cards right, they could be one of the next big artists to invade the mainstream music industry. B+
I do not own any of the clips that are sprinkled into this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.