Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of July 13, 2018)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the first July edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!

We have a lot of music to digest, so let’s get this party started!


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(Album cover property of Universal Music Group)

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again by the Cast of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Ten years ago, the ABBA jukebox musical Mamma Mia leaped from the Broadway stage to the silver screen. The film, which started an all-star cast that consisted of Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Julie Walters, featured iconic songs from the ABBA songbook.  The sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, features a majority of the original cast plus a few notable additions including Lily James and Cher. Initially, I was hesitant that not only would this movie would work, but also if we would hear the same songs as before. While “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” “I Have a Dream,” and the title track are the only songs that returned from the first film, fans are going to be impressed that the film’s production team dug deep into the ABBA library.  There are excellent covers such as James and Hugh Skinner’s “Waterloo,” Cher and Andy Garcia’s foxy “Fernando” duet, and the haunting “My Love, My Life” that features James, Seyfried, and Streep. However, there were also some duds such as “I Wonder (Departure),” “Andante, Andante,” and “Angel Eyes.” Despite those average tracks, this soundtrack would put a smile on the faces of ABBA fans. B

Tracks to Download: “Waterloo,” “My Love, My Life,” “Fernando,” & “Super Trouper.”

Legends of the Summer EP by Meek Mill

Over the past few months, rapper Meek Mill made headlines for heading to prison for violating his parole. Fans and several VIPs in the entertainment industry demanded that Judge Genece Brinkley released him. Despite her ignorance, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court intervened and ordered his release. Legends of the Summer EP marks the Philadelphia rapper’s return to music following the legal drama. Mill unleashed a plethora of frustration throughout the four tracks.  While I respect Mill’s mission to reform prisons, I was not able to connect with this EP.  If you are a Meek Mill fan, then you should download it. However, for softcore aficionados, I recommend that you skip it. D

Tracks to Download: None


Ariana Grande God Is A Woman

(Album cover courtesy of Republic Records & Universal Music Group)

“God Is A Woman” by Ariana Grande

“God Is A Woman” is probably going to be one of the most talked about songs of 2018.  Ariana Grande co-wrote this track with Max Martin, Ilya, Savan Kotecha, and Carolina Liar’s Rickard Göransson.  Between Grande’s gorgeous vocals, the superb call and response chorus of “God Is A Woman,” and the lyrical content, I predict that a lot of people will be talking about this song at social venues across the country. A-

“Low” by Lenny Kravitz

Rocker Lenny Kravitz will release his upcoming eleventh studio album, Raise Vibration, on September 7. To build anticipation, the four-time Grammy winner released his second single: “Low.” The track is a five-minute and 19-second jam that features impeccable guitar work and vocals from the actor-designer.  It is a classic Kravitz jam that both fans of the “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” performer and rock aficionados are going to enjoy truly.  I predict that “Low” have a strong presence during the 2019 awards season. A-


Benny Blanco Khalid Halsey Eastside

(Album cover property of Friends Keep Secrets & Interscope Records)


“Eastside” by Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khalid

Benny Blanco wrote and produced hits for a plethora of artists such as Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Kesha, Maroon 5, OneRepublic, and the Weeknd. Now, he produced an all-star collaboration with two of today’s hottest hitmakers, Halsey and Khalid. The song, “Eastside,” has all the makings of a radio smash! Between Halsey and Khalid’s vocals and an Ed Sheeran co-write assist, I could see “Eastside” making a few appearances on both the music charts and award shows. A

Artists to Watch

In previous installments, Jake’s Take introduced artists, bands, and groups that might influence the music industry. Artists to Watch is back with several new performers that you need to keep an eye on.


Why Don't We Talk

(Album property of Atlantic Records; Courtesy of Crowd Surf PR)

“Talk” by Why Don’t We

Pop quintet Why Don’t We is one of the hottest boybands that is taking the digital generation by storm. American Idol alum Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery, Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, and Zach Herron were all established solo artists, but together they amassed over 1.8 million YouTube subscribers, and their videos received over 212 million views. The quintet released the music video of their single: “Talk.”  The music video teleports the Why Don’t We fanbase to Europe with stops in Paris, Madrid, and Manchester, England. The song is very catchy and could be a strong candidate for the “Song of Summer 2018.” I also believe that they could be the boy band that could fill the enormous gap that One Direction left behind. Can’t wait to hear what is next for this group.   B+

“Keep Lying” by Donna Missal

Remember this name, “Donna Missal.” I truly believe she will be one of the breakout voices of this year. Her recent single, “Keep Lying,” starts out as a typical Lana Del Rey track, but when she goes into the song’s chorus and following verses, Ms. Missal’s vocals shifts into a higher gear and commands listeners’ attention!  The Harvest Records artist is probably one of the most exciting newcomers that I listened to this year.  She is going to be a star! A-

“DOPE SICK” by Alexa Melo

Alexa Melo might be an artist that could have the potential to earn the title: “Best Comeback of 2018.” Three years ago, Ms. Melo caught the attention of music lovers and tastemakers with her self-titled album. However, just as her career was taking off, she had to leave after she developed a vocal cord cyst.  Now, Ms. Melo is in a fantastic position for a comeback as she dropped her latest single: “DOPE SICK.” It is a robust song that tackled a recent break-up in Ms. Melo’s past. Her vocals might remind longtime music listeners of alt-pop’s 1990s glory days, and her haunting lyrics will pierce listeners’ psyche. “DOPE SICK” is a reliable indicator that fans can expect great things from her upcoming EP. A-


(Album cover property of The Rah’s)

“Survival” by The Rah’s

East Lothian, Scotland-based rock band The Rah’s conclude this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. The Rah’s are made up of Jack McLeod, Jordan McIntyre, Neale Gray, Andrew McLeod, and Lee Brown. When I first listened to “Survival,” I was blown away by their massive bombastic sound. Their guitar riffs and outstanding drumming impressed me.  The Rah’s need to be heard on rock radio stations around the world. I hope that this quintet breaks out of Europe and conquers the rock world. A+

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


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