Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews (Week of September 8 2017)

(Album cover property of Sony Music Entertainment UK)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the first September 2017 edition of Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews!  

Some of our favorite superstar acts have released new material, while several famous icons’ estates have released some interesting posthumous material. Also, Jake’s Take continues to rising artists that could make big waves in the music industry.

Let’s get this party started!

Freedom Child by The Script

After taking a three-year hiatus from recording music, The Script (Danny O’Donoghue, Glen Power, and Mark Sheehan) dropped their fifth studio album. Since the Script burst onto the scene in 2008, the Irish rock trio has slowly let go of their folk-rock roots and embraced the power pop rock world. Freedom Child showcases that the Script not only showcases the group’s superb evolution into this genre, but it features O’Donoghue and Sheehan at their finest when it comes to songwriting.  Helping craft some of these excellent tracks were collaborators such as The Messengers (Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger), Kamille, Toby Gad, and Steve Kipner. Freedom Child is probably one of the strongest pop rock records of 2017, and it marks an interesting new era in The Script’s history. B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “No Man is an Island,” “Rain,” “Arms Open,” “Rock the World,” & “Deliverance.”

 

(Album cover property of Sony Music Entertainment UK)

Fantasy” by George Michael featuring Nile Rodgers

“Fantasy” is the very first posthumous single that the George Michael estate has released since the pop star’s surprise death last Christmas.  “Fantasy” features the late “Father Figure” singer-songwriter’s vocals at top form and an impressive funky groove from the legendary Chic front man. Just like “Get Lucky” and “Pressure Off,” Nile Rodgers’ out of this world sound blends well with the “Freedom ‘90” singer.  If you need a good pick me up, I guarantee George Michael and Nile Rodgers’ “Fantasy” will put a smile on your face! A+

Blood on the Dance Floor x Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-Up)” by Michael Jackson

Halloween is in a few weeks, and the Michael Jackson Estate is re-releasing some of the King of Pop’s greatest haunting dance tracks in a new anthology album: Scream. The White Panda mashed up two of Michael’s underrated tracks together: the title track of his 1991 Dangerous album and the 1997 “Blood on the Dance Floor.” White Panda did a superb job mixing “Dangerous” and “Blood on the Dance Floor.”  MJ fans would be impressed that White Panda added elements of “This Place Hotel (Heartbreak Hotel),” “Leave Me Alone,” and “Is it Scary” together in an impressive three-minute and 39-second track. This remix is a sturdy tribute to the King of Pop, but I hope that new unreleased music from Mr. Jackson is on the horizon.  B

 

(Album cover property of the Atlantic Recording Corporation)

Love So Soft” by Kelly Clarkson

This week, Kelly Clarkson celebrated two career defining milestones. The first was celebrating the 15th anniversary of winning a small talent competition show called American Idol. The second was announcing her upcoming eighth studio album: Meaning for Life. “Love So Soft,” the first single off of Ms. Clarkson’s first album with a new record label: Atlantic Records is sassy as hell. Longtime Clarkson fans and music lovers will be satisfied with this bombastic tune. I am so happy for Kelly Clarkson, and I believe that we could see this single dominate the radio airwaves and clubs until we begin 2018. A

 

(Album cover property of Capitol Records)

Too Good at Goodbyes” by Sam Smith

Sam Smith released his first single since his Oscar and Golden Globe-winning James Bond song: “Writing on the Wall.” Like his past releases, Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes” immediately tugs at the listeners’ heart strings. Another element that fans would love the call-and-response between Sam and his background vocalists during the song’s chorus. “Too Good at Goodbyes,” which Sam co-wrote with longtime collaborators Jimmy Napes and production team Stargate, is probably one of the strongest songs from his songbook and sets the stage for the next chapter of his career. A

You’re the Best Thing About Me” by U2

I have a love and hate relationship with U2. For every “I Still Haven’t Found That I Am Looking For,” “One,” and “Mysterious Ways,” the celebrated Irish rock band have released awful duds.  Music lovers can agree that the band had some misses over the past nine years including the entire 2009 No Lines for the Horizon and the controversial Songs of Innocence, where every Apple customer got a free download of the studio album whether they liked it or not. “You’re the Best Thing About Me” puts the band back on track thanks to Bono’s great lyrics, Adam Clayton’s superb bass, and Larry Mullen, Jr.’s satisfactory drumming. B

 

(Album cover property of RCA Records)

Dusk Til Dawn” by ZAYN featuring Sia

Over the years, the music world has seen some odd pairings that have produced successful recordings.  Those pairings include Sir Elton John and RuPaul, Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder, and Ariana Grande and John Legend. Initially, on paper, ZAYN and Sia would not have been a good match-up.  However, after listening to the nearly four-minute single, I believe that both artists’ fan bases would be impressed with this collaboration. Their harmonies are on point and hooked the listeners’ interest throughout the entire roller coaster ride. B+ 

She Bites Mosquitos” by Adam & Elvis

As always, Jake’s Take introduces its readers to up-and-coming artists that are ready to break into the music industry. Up first, UK-based band Adam & Elvis. Fronted by brothers Patrick and Tom Malone, Adam & Elvis’ sound could be described as a hybrid between surf rock and synth pop. When listeners first listen to “She Bites Mosquitos,” they immediately might take notice by the Bowie-esque vocals and the Brian Wilson like harmonies. Adam & Elvis may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but listeners should take notice of their innovative sound. B

Brutocracy” by The Dayz

The NYC-jam band The Dayz is another band that you should keep your eye on. Fronted by Dax Callner, this octet is looking to bring jam bands to the forefront of the industry. Their latest single, “Brutocracy,” is the Dayz’ insight on how influential leaders cultivate to society’s fears, which leads to a constant state of panic. “Brutocracy” is one of the most honest tracks about society that I heard throughout the year. If the Dayz plays their cards right, this octet could be their generation’s leading voice in using music to enact social change. B+

 

(Photo courtesy of Tell Your Friends PR)

No Roots” by Alice Merton

UK-based Alice Merton is the last new artist that will be highlighted in this edition of Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews. Ms. Merton is currently breaking into the US music market with her impressive track: “No Roots.” With outstanding lyrics, a superb production, and strong vocals, it is no wonder that this song has captured over 60 million Spotify streams. I honestly believe Alice Merton is truly going to be one of 2017’s breakout artists and I am looking forward to hearing more from this artist. A-

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

 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar