Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of October 26, 2018

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(Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com  

Welcome to Jake’s Take’s New Music Releases! We have a lot of music to unpack, so let’s get this party started!

(Album cover property of RCA Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

Suncity by Khalid

One year ago, Khalid transformed the R&B/Soul world with his epic debut album, American Teen. His debut album featured massive hits such as “Location” and “Dumb, Young and Broke.” Khalid just dropped his sophomore album that contained five new songs and two spoken word tracks.  Just as Khalid did with American Teen, the El Paso, Texas transplant reeled in listeners with hypnotic beats and superb lyrics.  Suncity is a very strong album that could play a role in the 2019 Grammy race. B+

Tracks to Download: “Vertigo,” “Saturday Nights,” “Better,” & “Suncity.”

 

(Album cover property of Sony Music Entertainment)

Let There Be Cello by 2CELLOS

Luka Šulić & Stjepan Hauser are back with their fifth studio album. 2CELLOS’ Let There Be Cello features 14 tracks that tackle a plethora of musical genres from classic rock (Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”), cinema (“He’s A Pirate” and “Eye of the Tiger”), and Top 40 (Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, & Justin Bieber’s “Despacito”), the duo continue to redefine the limits of both classical crossover and cello rock. Let There Be Cello is an emotional roller coaster ride that will have listeners rocking out and playing invisible cellos. A-

Tracks to Download: “Eye of the Tiger,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Perfect,” “Whole Lotta Love,” & “Seven Nation Army.”  

Si by Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli has cemented his place as one of the greatest voices in the classical crossover musical genre. Recently, he released his sixteenth studio album, Si. Apple Music noted that this is Bocelli’s first studio album in 14 years that consists only of new material. Si showcases the opera singer at his finest vocally, but the solo song selection stinks! The collaborations with Dua Lipa (“If Only”), Josh Groban (“We Will Meet Once Again”), and son Matteo Bocelli (“Fall on Me”) saved the album. I wished that the producers chose either more covers like “You Raise Me Up,” “From A Distance,” or “Man in the Mirror” or duets (it would have been great to download collaborations with friend of the blog Barbara Padilla or Fantasia) for Bocelli to record, because the track selection made Si is just an average classical crossover record. C+

Tracks to Download: “If Only,” “Gloria the Gift of Life,” & “Fall on Me.”

 

(Album cover property of RCA Records)

 

Christmas Is Here! By Pentatonix

The 2018 holiday season is just around the corner, and some of our favorite artists have started to release their holiday albums. Friends of the blog, Pentatonix, released their third Christmas album, which is their first album with new bass Matt Sallee.  The quintet delivered a spectacular cover album of classic Christmas tunes that include superb duets with Kelly Clarkson (“Grown-Up Christmas List”) and Maren Morris (“When You Believe”).  Christmas Is Here showcases Pentatonix at their vocal finest and that they are still on top of their game. A

Tracks to Download: “Grown-Up Christmas List,” “When You Believe,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” & “Jingle Bells.”  

The Distance” by Mariah Carey featuring Ty Dolla $ign

It is safe that Mariah Carey is back in the game! The “Fly Like A Bird” singer-songwriter released her third single off of her upcoming fifteenth studio album, Caution. Ms. Carey delivers a flirtatious vocal performance, while guest artist Ty Dolla $ign had an impressive rap cameo that helped elevate the track to a new level of excellence. I hope that this song dominates the international radio charts because this is one of Ms. Carey’s best tracks in years! A  

A Million Dreams” by P!nk

Earlier this month, Variety published that some of today’s top recording artists will cover The Greatest Showman soundtrack in a new album called, The Greatest Showman: Reimagined. P!nk’s “A Million Dreams” was the first single that dropped from the record. The “What About Us” singer-songwriter took Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s ballad to new heights of excellence as she delivered a beautiful cover that set the tone to the upcoming album. A-

Waste It on Me” by Steve Aoki featuring BTS

EDM influencer Steve Aoki surprised his fans by dropping the first single off of his upcoming studio album, Neon Future III. “Waste It on Me” features BTS, one of the hottest acts and K-Pop boy bands. This group is currently dominating the international music market. “Waste It on Me” brilliantly blends both acts’ artistries without stepping each other’s toes. This song could quietly take over radio waves. B+

 

(Album cover property of Alexander Jean)

Waiting for You” by Alexander Jean

I always love it when friends of the blog, Alexander Jean, release new music! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this singer-songwriter duo, Alexander Jean is composed of former Dancing with the Stars pro and current Kinky Boots star Mark Ballas and critically acclaimed songwriter BC Jean. “Waiting for You” is their latest single that is an excellent piece of ear candy. Between the track’s impeccable lyrics and superb guitar licks, “Waiting for You” showcases the husband and wife duo at their finest. A-

Artists To Watch:

Artists to Watch is back with several performers that could shake up the recording industry with their unique sound!

(Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Young & Dangerous by The Struts

English rock band The Struts released their sophomore studio album, Young & Dangerous. The Struts are taking the rock world by storm as they opened for Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, the Rolling Stones, and The Who. The Struts are made up of Luke Spiller (vocalist), Adam Slack (guitarist), Jed Elliott (bassist), and Gethin Davies (drummer). The quartet’s bombastic sound will inspire a brand new generation of rock aficionados to pick up electric guitars and drums.  Young & Dangerous is one of the best rock albums that dropped during this year, and I hope that both music critics and rock lovers alike treasure.  B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “Primadonna Like Me,” “Bulletproof Baby,” “Somebody New,” “Body Talks,” & “Who Am I?”

 

(Album cover property of ATCK Music & courtesy of Crowd Surf)

Night Visions” by AJ McLean

Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean stepped into the spotlight with his latest solo single. “Night Visions” showcases him as a superb singer-songwriter that could also dominate the country world. I think that he has what it takes to have success as a solo artist if he tries to release another solo studio album. B

NAKED” by HUNGER

Los Angeles-based alternative pop-rock trio HUNGER is having a breakout year. Made up of Daniel Rumpel, Johannes Herbst, and Lucas Fendrich, HUNGER accumulated over 2.8 million streams on Spotify and their music was featured on a 2018 Mitsubishi commercial and on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.  HUNGER’s latest single, “NAKED,” is a powerful track that perfectly captures the way people struggle internally with presenting themselves in society.  Their superb sound will make listeners bob their heads with delight. I hope that HUNGER breaks through and receives mainstream attention. B+

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

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar