Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of April 21, 2017

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Releases.

This week, we are looking at the most recent albums from some of the greatest musicians of all-time and several artists who could join them one day on Mt. Music Legend.

Let’s get this party started!

 

Kendrick Lamar DAMN.

(Album cover property of Aftermath Records & Interscope Records)

DAMN by Kendrick Lamar

Slowly but surely, seven-time Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar has become the millennial generation’s influential voices in hip-hop and rap. DAMN is Mr. Lamar’s fourth studio album, and the album is full of fire and outstanding beats. Rarely, I am moved by Hip-hop and rap music, but Mr. Lamar’s bombastic lyrics gave me chills. Mr. Lamar’s tunes deal with a lot of hot-button subjects such as the price of fame, family issues, and the African American experience. While it is hard for me to understand why so many of today’s artists use sampling throughout the recording process, the samples that are used in DAMN help tell the stories that Mr. Lamar weaves throughout the album. A diverse group of hip-hop’s finest such as Mike Will Made It, The Alchemist, Greg Kurstin, Anna Wise, and BadBadNotGood assisted the rapper in creating these superb tracks. However, superstar surprise collaborators Rihanna and U2 will knock listeners off their seats. I firmly believe that DAMN will be the album that everyone will be talking about all throughout the remainder of 2017. A

Tracks to Download: “DNA,” “ELEMENT,” “FEEL,” “LOYALTY,” “HUMBLE,” & “XXX.”

The Search for Everything by John Mayer

It has been four years since John Mayer released a studio album full of new material. The Search for Everything showcases the “Your Body is a Wonderland” singer-songwriter as a master guitar virtuoso. There are also some strong moments on the album such as retro throwback jam “Helpless,” the impeccable “Love on the Weekend,” and the surprisingly good: “Emoji of a Wave.” The Search for Everything is probably his strongest material this decade, and I believe that his album could bring Mr. Mayer back in the alternative rock and Top 40 spotlight. B

Tracks to Download: “Still Feels Like Your Man,” “Emoji of a Wave,” “Helpless,” & “Love on the Weekend.”

 

(Album cover of Wylie Songs & Warner Bros. Records)

Be Myself by Sheryl Crow

I feel at ease every time Sheryl Crow releases new music. Ms. Crow’s ninth studio album, Be Myself, focuses more on storytelling than searching for a way to get back onto the Top 40. I believe Be Myself focuses on listeners who are going through a rough patch in life, need a real self-esteem boost, or beginning a new journey.  Thank you, Sheryl Crow, for showing that women can still rock and for inspiring fans to take our lives back. A-

Tracks to Download: “Halfway There,” “Be Myself,” “Love Will Save the Day,” &  “Heartbeat Away.”

 

(Photo property of Polydor UK & Interscope Records)

Lust for Life” by Lana Del Rey & The Weeknd

Every time, Lana Del Rey and the Weeknd collaborate on a duet, I get chills! These two outstanding artists delivered another spectacular collaboration with “Lust for Life.” The lyrics, which the duo co-wrote with Rick Rowels and Max Martin, are superb and the call-and-response chorus is pure bliss. I would like to award these two: Jake’s Take’s Song of the Week award. A+

In My World” by Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie

While we are waiting to see if Fleetwood Mac will be releasing a studio album, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie released their first single off their upcoming self-titled album.  Do not get me wrong, I love both Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, but I felt that “In My World” was the single that Lindsey shined vocally. It has been three years since Ms. McVie returned to the Fleetwood Mac family and it would have been nice to hear Christine’s voice again. I am sorry, but this song is average. C

 

(Photo property of Dave Gillispie)

A Step Away” by Black Oxygen

It has been a minute since we have heard from friends of the blog: Black Oxygen. Brothers David and Nick Lyle are the nuclei of this band, and they have been on my radar for a few years. Their latest single, “A Step Away,” starts off with a pop opening before Black Oxygen’s signature sound takes over. David has grown leaps and bounds as a vocalist, while Nick’s superb drumming has not missed a beat. Hopefully, “A Step Away” is a strong indicator of things to come for Black Oxygen. B+

Set on Fire” by MAGIC GIANT

Since Jake’s Take’s inception, I have made it my mission to introduce our readers to incredible rising talent in the industry. This week, I am introducing you to the three-set alternative rock duo: MAGIC GIANT. Composed of singer Austin Bisnow, Zambricki Li, and Zang, this trio is about to break into the Indie music world’s stratosphere with their ear-pleasing “Set on Fire.” This track perfectly captures the band’s essence, and the listener will feel the trio’s energy emit from anywhere. I predict that fantastic things are ahead for this band. A-

 

(Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Question” by Alex Aiono

Another up-and-coming artist that has captured my attention is Alex Aiono. Alex is the curator of one of the fastest growing YouTube channels and is one of the most in-demand artists today as he is currently on tour in Europe and will co-host the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards in the future. Alex’s success is due to infectious songs and superb melodies that could rival Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Charlie Puth.  Alex’s latest single, “Question,” showcases his ability to connect with the listener from the first beat of the song.  This is an excellent single, and I believe this could become a summer anthem. A- 

Because of Love” by Vorden featuring Davis Mallory

I hope that you have your passports because I am taking you to Paris! The City of Love is home to two of electro-house music’s rising stars: Henri Cornil & Matteo Marion. Together, they are known as Vorden. The trio’s single, “Because of Love,” is a spectacular four-minute and 15-second track that features friend to the blog, Davis Mallory, at his prime. I honestly believe that this is the 2010s version of “When Love Takes Over,eight-seconds” and this piece of music should be blasted onto the international airwaves. A

 

(Album cover property of The Kennel & Firefly Ent.)

Hopeless Dreams” by Stockholm Noir

The final group that I am introducing you today is Stockholm Noir. Formed during Sweden’s eight-month winter and referred as “the black shadow of electronic music,” Stockholm Noir creates a darker side of electronic music with dynamic sounds and effects. Their first single, “Hopeless Dreams,” is a hypnotic three minute and eight seconds track that transports its listener to their world.  I have a strong feeling that this group is going to set the EDM world on fire. B+

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this edition of “New Music Releases.” They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar