Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of November 9, 2018

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(Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is hard to believe that we are nine days into November and Thanksgiving is in a few weeks! Just in case you needed to start making your Thanksgiving night playlist, Jake’s Take has some new music that might make it to your Turkey Day celebration playlist.

 

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

Walls by Barbra Streisand

After spending the past two albums recording duets, EGOT icon and Kennedy Center Honoree Barbra Streisand released her thirty-sixth studio album. Walls is probably the most politically honest album that she has released in her storied career, as she sings her grievances to President Trump and his cronies.  Ms. Streisand holds nothing back as she rips the Trump Administration for its toxic rhetoric in tracks such as “What’s On My Mind,” “Don’t Lie to Me,” and “The Rain Will Fall.” She also encourages her fans to bring civility back into society by covering iconic songs such as the Hal David and Burt Bacharach track “What the World Needs Now” and a beautiful medley of “Imagine” and “What a Wonderful World.” Walls is not only one of Ms. Streisand’s best albums, but it also could be a great conversation starter for the potentially tense Thanksgiving Dinner. A-/A

Tracks to Download: “Don’t Lie to Me,” “Imagine”/”What a Wonderful World,” “What the World Needs Now,” “The Rain Will Fall,” & “What’s On My Mind.”

 

Straight No Chaser One Shot

(Album cover property of Atlantic Records & Warner Music Group)

 

One Shot by Straight No Chaser

In all honesty, without Straight No Chaser’s influence, A cappella music would not have been widely accepted by the modern music industry.  The group returned with its seventh studio album, One Shot. While One Shot contains brilliant covers of classic songs such as “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “Go Your Own Way,” and surprising choices such as “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “Whatever It Takes,” “No Roots,” and “Working for the Weekend,” the biggest surprises are the interludes that are sprinkled throughout the album.  Each interlude breaks down the crucial elements of the Straight No Chaser origin story. I think that One Shot will satisfy both Straight No Chaser’s loyal fan base, but also A cappella aficionados. B+

Tracks to Download: “Go Your Own Way,” “Livin la Vida Loca,” “Working for the Weekend,” & “Whatever It Takes.” 

 

Imagine Dragonsw Origins

(Album cover property of KIDinaKORNER Records & Interscope Records)

Origins by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons are on a hot streak! The Las Vegas-Los Angeles rock band has become a strong force in the music industry thanks to hits such as “Radioactive,” “Demons,” “I Bet Your Life,” “Thunder,” and “Whatever It Takes.” Origins is the band’s fourth studio album in six years. When Origins appeared on iTunes’ Pre-Orders, I was originally hesitant because I thought that both the industry and fan base would be exhausted from the band’s constant dumping of new material.  However, the band (lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman) proved me wrong.  The group recruited top hit makers such as Mattman & Robin, Justin Tranter, and Alex da Kid to create a top album from beginning to end.  Origins is not only a fantastic album, but it also raises the bar for other Alternative Rock bands who seek to follow this similar release pattern. A-

Tracks to Download: “Natural,” “Boomerang,” “Machine,” “Bad Liar,” & “Zero.”

 

(Cover property of One Voice Productions, LLC)

The Greatest Showman A Cappella by Peter Hollens

Friend to the blog, Peter Hollens, commemorated the one year anniversary of The Greatest Showman by giving the Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya-starring film, his signature A cappella treatment. This time around, he recruited members of the Hollensfamily to assist in the recording efforts.  By adding and showcasing this fantastic fan base’s talents onto the album, Peter raised the bar to other artists by encouraging them to add their voices to the next project.  Also, keep an ear out for Chester See, violinist Taylor Davis, and Peter’s wife, Evynne, and their son, Ashland, who make cameos throughout the album. The Greatest Showman A Cappella is not only a fantastic testament to Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s powerful and inspirational music, but it also one of 2018’s best cover albums! A

Tracks to Download: “The Greatest Show,” “A Million Dreams,” “Never Enough,” “Tightrope,” & “From Now On.”  

Never Enough” by Kelly Clarkson

The Greatest Showman: Reimagined released their fourth single, Kelly Clarkson’s interpretation of “Never Enough.”  While the current Voice coach and future talk show host delivered a strong vocal performance, it did not move me. I do not know if it is due to the song’s overexposure or that the “Piece by Piece” singer did not emote enough emotion into her vocals.  I wished that the producers asked another powerhouse singer like Barbara Padilla, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Scherzinger, or Sia to record this song. D+  

Mountains” by LSD

Earlier this year, the music group LSD formed! LSD is made up of three significant musicians that have captured worldwide audiences— British singer Labrinth, Australian singer-songwriter Sia, and American producer Diplo. The group released several singles earlier this year including the hit song “Thunderclouds.” Their fourth single and title track of their debut EP, “Mountains,” is a very psychedelic song that could polarize fans. I think it will take a lot of fans listening to the track multiple times over to accept it.  I like the group and each member’s music individually, but this song did not move me to buy it from iTunes. C-

Chances” by the Backstreet Boys

Ever since the Backstreet Boys announced that they were headlining Las Vegas, the boyband started to experience a career rejuvenation. Following the success of Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life, the group announced that they are releasing their ninth studio album, DNA, and a new arena tour.  DNA’s second single, “Chances,” is a fantastic piece of ear candy that will get fans dancing.  I cannot wait to hear the entire studio album, and I believe that “Backstreet’s Back!” 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!

 

Kris Wu Antares

(Album cover property of Interscope Records & Universal Music China)

Antares by Kris Wu

Kris Wu is one of the hottest international rappers that is setting the world on fire. The former member of the Korean-Chinese boy band EXO dropped his first solo studio album on November 2. Antares features strong beats from Kris and superb production from producers such as Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, B. Lee, and Bryan “Composer” Nelson.  Also, Travis Scott, Jhene Aiko, and Rich the Kid drop in on three tracks that are sprinkled throughout the album. Antares is a robust album that could play a significant role in the 2019-20 Grammy Nominations. Also, just like Zayn did when he left One Direction, I predict Kris is going to be one of the K-Pop success stories for his musical genre. A-

Tracks to Download: “Antares,” “November Rain,” “We Alive,” “Selfish,” & “Explore.”

 

(Album cover property of Sony Music Entertainment)

 

Experiment by Kane Brown

Singer-songwriter Kane Brown is shaking up the country music world! Experiment is his sophomore album following his 2016 self-titled debut album. After Kane Brown peaked at number five on the overall US Billboard 200 chart and topped the Billboard US Country chart, the “Used to Love You Sober” singer-songwriter is breaking boundaries and perfectly blending musical genres with Experiment. I think that Kane not only has a bright future in the country music industry, but he also is a solid chance of being one of his generation’s top artist to reshape Nashville. A

Tracks to Download: “Come Back to Me,” “Good As You,” “Lose It,” “Short Skirt Weather,” & “Homesick.”

In Her Head” by Wooing

New York City-based trio Wooing is building a social media presence online with their sound combination of the “underground 90s rock meets the psychedelic Syd Barrett sounds of the 60s.” Wooing consists of guitarist and vocalist Rachel Trachtenburg, drummer Rosie Slater, and guitarist JR Thomason.  “In Her Head” is a track that focuses on a wandering mind that is about to expose its darkest secrets.  Despite the dark track, listeners should give Wooing a chance as they are doing something experimental. If the band succeeds with their experiment, then they could succeed in starting a new chapter in the music industry. B  

Friends (I Don’t Wanna Be)” by Lorenzo Doryon

Singer-songwriter Lorenzo Doryon concludes this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. The Italian-born and LA-raised model is starting to make his presence known to the music industry.  Recently, Lorenzo released his debut single, “Friends (I Don’t Wanna Be).” The song, which was produced by Gemini Muziq (Justin Bieber) and mastered by Christian Wright (Ed Sheeran), showcases Lorenzo’s excellent vocal range and bring everyone to the dance hall. If Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, and Shawn Mendes are not careful, they could lose their Prince of Pop status to Lorenzo in the future. B+

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

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  1. Thank you for your kind words!!

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