Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: The 2018 Black Friday Edition

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(Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com  

Attention, shoppers! You survived Thanksgiving! Up next, Black Friday! If you are heading out looking for gifts for the music lovers in your life, here are some of the albums that I would recommend that you check out as potential gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah. We got a lot of music to cover, so let’s get this party started!

 

(Album cover property of Atlantic Records)

The Greatest Showman-Reimagined by Various Artists

It is hard to believe that The Greatest Showman is celebrating its one-year anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, Atlantic Records gathered a group of recording artists together and offered them the chance to tackle the Benj Pasek and Justin Paul-penned songs. The Greatest Showman-Reimagined could be equivalent to Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates; the listener does not know what they would get. Some of the tracks were impeccable such as P!nk’s “A Million Dreams,” Pentatonix’s “The Greatest Show,” and Zac Brown Band’s moving cover of “From Now On.” Other tracks such as Kelly Clarkson’s “Never Enough,” Keala Settle, Kesha, and Missy Elliott on “This Is Me (the Reimagined Remix),” and Years & Years and Jess Glynne’s “Come Alive” are surprisingly good, but they might need time to marinate with the listeners’ ears.  The only small downside to this tribute album is lack of superstar artists. It would have been amazing to hear Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, or Fantasia cover “Never Enough” or Queen + Adam Lambert raise “The Greatest Show” to a level that Freddie Mercury’s spirit would smile upon. B- 

Tracks to Download: “A Million Dreams,” “This is Me (Reimagined Remix),” “From Now On,” & “The Greatest Show (Pentatonix).”

 

Mariah Carey Caution

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

Caution by Mariah Carey

It has been four years since Mariah Carey released a new studio album. Since that release, the “Always Be My Baby” singer-songwriter spent a majority of that period in the tabloids and on a massive roller coaster. However, it seems like the five-time Grammy-winning singer is ready to put her music career back on track with Caution.  Thanks to the help of hitmakers such as DJ Mustard, Ninteen85, Poo Bear, Skrillex, and Timbaland, Ms. Carey is back at top form vocally as she will enchant both listeners and her lambs throughout the album. Also, keep an ear out for Ty Dolla $ign, Slick Rick, Blood Orange, and Gunna as they make cameos throughout the album.  Caution is not only the perfect stocking stuffer for the lamb in your life, but it marks a new chapter in Ms. Carey’s legendary career. A-

Tracks to Download: “GTFO,” “With You,” “A No No,” & “The Distance.”

LM5 by Little Mix

Days before Little Mix (Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, and Perrie Edwards) dropped their fifth studio album, LM5, it was announced that they parted ways with X Factor creator and Syco Music head Simon Cowell. LM5 marks an end of an era for the music quartet as they had an all-star group of collaborators help them pen or produce a superb album.  Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Steve Mac, MNEK, and Timbaland all earned co-writing credits for LM5, which saw the X Factor UK winning group give some of their best vocals in their career. Whatever happens to Little Mix in the recording industry, LM5 could be considered their opus. B

Tracks to Download: “Woman Like Me,” “Think About Us,” “Words Can Say,” & “The Cure.”

 

(Album cover property of Atlantic Records UK)

Phoenix by Rita Ora

It has been six years since actress-singer Rita Ora released her debut album, Ora. Her sophomore album, Phoenix, showcases her growth as a vocalist and songwriter.  With the help of her co-executive producer Andrew Watt, Ms. Ora recruited a plethora of top notch producers and songwriters including Cashmere Cat, Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter,  Steve Mac, and StarGate.  Despite having a few questionable tracks, Ms. Ora and Mr. Watt made up for it by putting in collaborations with Julia Michaels (“Keep Talking”), Liam Payne (“For You”), Rudimental (“Summer Love”), and the late Avicii (“Lonely Together”). Phoenix is a sturdy second chapter in Ms. Ora’s recording career. B+

Tracks to Download: “Anywhere,” “Your Song,” “First Time High,” & “Keep Talking.”

“I Am House” by Screamin’ Rachael and Joe Smooth

According to Billboard Magazine, Screamin’ Rachael (real name-Rachael Cain) is known as the Queen of House Music. The Trax Records President and Owner released a new house music anthem proclaiming that she is “house music.”  The reason behind this track is that a few months ago, ABC News’ Nightline caused a fire storm in the house music community as it proclaimed David Guetta as “The Grandfather of Electronic Dance Music.” Screamin’ Rachael, along with fellow celebrated DJ Joe Smooth, showed that “I Am House” not only explains the house music phenomenon but also introduced the musical genre to a new generation of fans. A-

 

(Album cover courtesy of Bradley PR + Marketing)

Waste Your Time” by Betty Moon

Since the release of her 1991 self-titled album, Betty Moon has been a fixture in the alternative music scene. Recently, she released “Waste Your Time” as the latest single of her upcoming album that is expected to be dropped during the early part of 2019. Thanks to Moon’s gorgeous vocals and catchy lyrics, “Waste Your Time”  is a beautifully hypnotic track that will seduce listeners and could chart the Alternative radio charts around the country. A

Artists to Watch

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

(Album cover courtesy of Morris Music & Warner Music Scandinavia)

Sweet Silence by Ronny Morris

Friend to the blog, Ronny Morris, just released Sweet Silence, his debut album. The singer-songwriter, whose music appeared on various TV shows such as Brothers & Sisters, The Ghost Whisper, and One Tree Hill, recruited a plethora of music all-stars to help him build his sound. Celebrated mastering engineer Ted Jensen (Billy Joel, The Eagles, and Green Day) assisted Ronny the album, while two of Ronny’s music heroes, Adam Kviman (Eagle Eye Cherry and Jewel) and Grammy-winning mixer Steve Thompson (Guns N’ Roses and Metallica) assisted him crafting the 12 tracks.  The album is a sturdy debut and perfectly showcases Ronny’s gravitas as both a musician and a songwriter. A-

Tracks to Download: “I’ll Survive,” “Still,” “Purge,” “Hey,” & “Built to Last.”

Broke Ass Millionaire” by Static & Ben El

Liraz “Static” Russo and Ben El (Tavori) have taken Israel by storm, and they have set their sights on the United States.  “Broke Ass Millionaire” is one of the freshest and hypnotic songs that I have heard this year. It is no wonder that Justin Bieber asked them to open for his European tour. Together with their producer, Yarden “Jordi” Peleg, “Broke Ass Millionaire” brilliantly blends numerous musical genres (African beats, Latin rhythms, and Reggaeton swagger) that create an amazing piece of ear candy.  A

Dream of Me” by Arlene Zelina

Australian singer-songwriter Arlene Zelina wraps up the 2018 Black Friday edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews.  Ms. Zelina has grown quite the social media following as she amassed nearly 75,000 Facebook fans and her music videos have been viewed over 20 million times on YouTube.  She just released a gorgeous ballad worthy of the Top 40 radio charts.  Her voice and artistry will hopefully get her far in today’s music industry.  Keep an eye on “Dream of Me,” because it has the potential to be a major song that could potentially dominate 2019! A-  

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

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar