Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of June 16, 2018 (Albums Edition)

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“Jake’s Take’s” latest new music review features Christina Aguilera, 5 Seconds of Summer, Peter Hollens, and Ne-Yo! (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews is back!

Over the past few weeks, a lot of our favorite artists have dropped new albums.  We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

 

Christina Aguilera Liberation

(Album cover of Sony Music Entertainment)

Liberation by Christina Aguilera

The wait is over! Christina Aguilera dropped her first studio album in six years! The founding (and still the best) The Voice coach’s Liberation featured 15 tracks that Aguilera co-wrote with a group of songwriters and producers that include Ricky Reed, Teddy Geiger, Anderson Paak, Jon Bellion, Mike Dean, and Kanye West. She took a lot of artistic risks including the decision not incorporating the usual suspects of Claude Kelly, Linda Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Sia into her album. However, tracks such as “Fall in Line,” “Maria,” and “Accelerate,” are some of her best tracks in years.  Keep an ear out for guest collaborators Demi Lovato, Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz, and GoldLink, who are sprinkled throughout the album.  Welcome back, Xtina! We have missed you.  A+

Tracks to Download: “Fall in Line,” “Twice,” “Accelerate,” “Maria,” “Unless It’s With You,” & “Like I Do.”

Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes

Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes continues to cement his presence in pop music. The self-titled studio album helped him separate himself between some of his megastar colleagues including Ed Sheeran, Charlie Puth, Harry Styles, and Justin Bieber. Mendes continued to build his catalog with anthems such as “In My Blood,” “Youth,” a collaboration with Khalid, and funk-influenced “Lost in Japan.” Thanks to the assistance of his superb co-writers Sheeran, Teddy Geiger, Julia Michaels, and Scott Harris, Mendes matured as a songwriter and gave him access to a mature audience. B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “In My Blood,” “Nervous,” “Lost in Japan,” “Like to Be You,” & “Youth.”

Youngblood by 5 Seconds of Summer

No pop rock has exploded faster in the past few years than 5 Seconds of Summer! Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, and Michael Clifford have created legions of fans with their excellent songs such as “She Looks So Perfect,” “Amnesia,” and “Hey Everybody!” Recently, the quartet released their third studio album, Youngblood. For this album, the guys teamed up with in-demand hitmakers Teddy Geiger, Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, Matthew Koma, and Rami Yacoub for a roller coaster ride that would satisfy their fanbase. This was a solid album and a great listen. B

Tracks to Download: “Want You Back,” “Youngblood,” “If Walls Could Talk,” & “Lie To Me.”

 

Ne-Yo Good Man

(Album cover property of Compound & Motown Records)

GOOD MAN by Ne-Yo

The World of Dance judge has released his seventh studio album.  Ne-Yo has a plethora of hits such as “One in a Million,” “Beautiful Monster,” and his successful collaborations with Celine Dion (“Incredible”) and Pitbull (“Give Me Everything”).  The challenge for him is to find tunes that not only connect with his fanbase, but also could reach any Billboard or radio charts. Does he have songs that could be successful singles? Yes! The first half of the album contains impeccable collaborations including “Nights Like These” (Romeo Santos), “Push Back” (Bebe Rexha & Stefflon Don), and “On Ur Mind” (PARTYNEXTDOOR). However, there were not enough chances for Ne-Yo to shine as the outstanding artist.  Hopefully, GOOD MAN grows on me, but this was an above average record. B-/C+

Tracks to Download: “Nights Like These,” “Summertime,” “Push Back,” & “Back Chapters.”

Ye by Kanye West

Over the past few years, the music world has seen Kanye West suffer from the bright and harsh fame spotlight. Ye could be seen as a cry for professional help from the “Gold Digger” and “All of the Lights” rapper. This reviewer cringed after I looked at the song titles “I Thought About Killing You,” “Yikes,” and “Violent Crimes.”  This seven-track album was all over the place, and I wished that West would have taken more time crafting this record because this was a mess. F

 

Peter Hollens Legendary Folk Songs

(Album cover property of One Voice Productions)

Legendary Folk Songs by Peter Hollens

Friend of the blog and a cappella artist extraordinaire Peter Hollens released a brand-new cover album that tackled some of the greatest folk songs of all-time. Peter continues to showcase why he one of the best arrangers of his generation as he delivers masterclass renditions of excellent tracks such as “House of the Rising Sun,” “Danny Boy,” and “The Parting Glass.” Also, Peter recruited an excellent group of collaborators David Archuleta, Tim Foust, The Hound + The Fox, and Home Free.  This is an amazing album that will introduce a new generation to these timeless classics. A

Tracks to Download: “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Loch Lomond,” “Greensleeves,” “The Parting Glass,” & “Amazing Grace.”

I do not own any clips that belong in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar