Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of August 10, 2018)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the second-to-last Jake’s Take New Music Review of the Summer of 2018!

We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s gets this party started!

 

Nicki Minaj Queen

(Album cover property of Young Money & Cash Money Records)

Queen by Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj surprisingly dropped her fourth studio album, Queen, on her fans! Fans will notice that there are a lot of changes that Nicki Minaj fans would notice about the “Starships” singer-rapper. Gone are the “Pink Friday” and “Pinkprints,” and in their place are a mixture of regal song titles such as “Majesty” and sexual innuendos such as “Come See About Me” and “Rich Sex.”  Some of Queen’s best tracks are duets with a plethora of artists such as The Weeknd, Eminem, Labrinth, Ariana Grande, and Foxy Brown.  Nicki continues to showcases that she is one of the strongest emcees in the rap game and I believe Queen will be a benchmark for rap artists to hit for years to come. B+

Tracks: “Majesty,” “Rich Sex,” “Bed,” & “Thought I Knew You.”

 

Daughtry Cage to Rattle

(Album cover property of 19 Recordings Ltd., RCA Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

 

Cage to Rattle by Daughtry

It has been over 12 years since rock band Daughtry released their debut self-titled record. The Chris Daughtry backed band released her sixth studio album, Cage to Rattle. Daughtry’s vocals continue to age like fine wine, and the band’s outstanding sound would remind listeners so much of the band’s glory albums such as Daughtry and 2009’s Leave This Town. Cage to Rattle is probably the best album of the decade. The only downside is that there was a questionable song inclusion, “As You Are,” which was a dud.  Despite the small problem, this was probably one of the better rock albums of 2018! A-

Tracks to Download: “Just Found Heaven,” “Backbone,” “Deep End,” & “Death of Me.”

Survive the Summer by Iggy Azalea

Where have you been, Iggy Azalea? It seems that we have not heard new material from Australia native in ages! The former X Factor Australia judge recently dropped her first EP in over five years. There are two challenges that Iggy is currently facing. One, she is rapping in a post-Cardi B world. Two, Nicki Minaj dropped her comeback record, Queen. Staying relevant and ahead of the curve is essential. Unfortunately, Survive the Summer is not the EP I would necessarily pick up. Sure, there are notable tracks such as “Tokyo Snow Trip” and the Wiz Khalifa-backed “OMG,” but Survive the Summer does not have a collaboration like “Black Widow” or “Fancy” that would propel Iggy back to the charts. C-

Tracks to Download: “Tokyo Snow Trip” & “OMG.”

 

Jordan Smith Only Love

(Album cover property of Republic Records)

Only Love by Jordan Smith

The Voice’s ninth champion is having a fantastic 2018! Jordan Smith co-wrote Celine Dion’s smash hit, “Ashes,” which was featured in Deadpool 2. Now, he released his sophomore studio album: Only Love. The most significant difference between this album and 2016’s Something Beautiful is that there is a lot more original material on this record. Listeners would be glad to know that Jordan stretched his vocal muscles and dove into the R&B-inspired pop and ballad worlds with the remarkable “Please,” the title track, and “Lonely Eyes.” Also, keep an ear out for “End in Love,” which is a John Legend-penned track.  Only Love is a robust album, and I hope that pop music stations pick up this record, because this is probably one of the best albums of 2018! A+

Tracks to Download: “Please,” “Love Her Better,” “End in Love,” “Only Love,” & “Feel Good.”

“Too Much” by ZAYN & Timbaland

Zayn Malik continues to prove why he is one of the more successful X Factor UK alums as he released another superstar collaboration.  “Too Much” sees the former One Direction member collaborate with Hip-hop producer extraordinaire Timbaland. This is an excellent mash-up of both the R&B (Zayn) and hip-hop (Timbaland) genres.  The song could also transport listeners to the Shock Value and Shock Value II days, where Tim Mosley was at the height of his producing career.  I could see “Too Much” to be a talked about track when we get into the awards season. B+/A-

“Take It All In” by the Rah’s

Last month, I introduced you to East Lothian, Scotland-based rock band The Rah’s. Made up of Jack McLeod, Jordan McIntrye, Neale Gray, Andrew McLeod, and Lee Brown, this quintet is set to be the next UK-based band to dominate the international rock charts. “Take It All In” is a rock song that music fans need to download. It has impeccable guitar riffs, superb drumming, and the listeners will feel like they are transported to a rock rave in Scotland! Bravo, gentlemen! A  

Artists to Watch:

Artists to Watch is back with several new performers and bands that might shake up the music industry.

How Do You Feel” by Evvie McKinney

The inaugural champion of FOX’s The Four: Battle for Stardom released her first single off of Republic Records.  “How Do You Feel” is a great first single that would remind listeners of hearing Kelly Clarkson or Leona Lewis’ first singles. Evvie hypnotizes listeners throughout the 3-minute, 23 seconds track.  This is a strong track that showcases Evvie’s bright future in the recording industry. B+

 

(Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Primadonna Like Me” by The Struts

Interscope Records rock band The Struts just released their latest single: “Primadonna Like Me.” When I instantly heard this song, it immediately reminded me of listening to the Rolling Stones and Queen in their prime. The band’s lead vocalist, Luke Spiller, has the same edgy vocals that made Sir Mick Jagger an international household name. Also, their sound would make you dance in your seat.  I predict a bright future for this band! B+/A-

Never Say Die” by Jackie Venson

Pop-soul guitarist and vocalist Jackie Venson is the last artist that Jake’s Take has on their radar. She recently just wrapped up a New York City residency and European tour.  She is also expected to perform at Austin City Limits in October. Her latest single, “Never Say Die,” is one excellent track that will make listeners smile. Jackie’s impeccable artistry is made up of an outstanding combination of superior arranging, superb vocals, and excellent guitar playing.  Jackie Venson will be an artist you need to know in the rock-soul world. A

I do not own any of the clips that are sprinkled in this article. They belong to the artists and record labels.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar