Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of January 25, 2019

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By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the second 2019 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. We got a lot of music to get to as a lot of our favorite artists dropped new material.  Let’s get this party started.

(Album cover property of RCA Records & K-Bahn Records)

DNA by the Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys are back! Kevin, Brian, Howie, AJ, and Nick dropped the group’s eighth studio album. DNA contains a plethora of songs that reach every music genre. From the A cappella “Breathe” to the country-flavored “No Place,” this is the group’s best album since Millennium, which is conveniently celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.  Singer-songwriters and producers such as Shawn Mendes, Ryan Tedder, Andy Grammer, Lindy Robbins, Brett James, Wrabel, and Stuart Crichton have done an impeccable job bringing the guys’ vocals to the next level of excellence. I truly believe that DNA is going to do big things for pop music and will introduce a new generation to the “I Want It That Way” pop group. A-

Tracks to Download: “Breathe,” “No Place,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “Chances,” & “Passionate.”

Weezer (Teal Album) by Weezer

Alternative rock group Weezer surprised their fans and the music industry by releasing a cover album. The Teal Album is filled with the quartet’s interpretations of classic 80s and 90s tunes. The group’s drummer, Patrick Wilson, did a superb job producing this album that took listeners on a wild trip to yesteryear. Weezer also did a brilliant job rearranging these tunes and introducing them a new audience. I believe that the Teal Album is a contender to be one of 2019’s best covers album. Bravo, Weezer! B+

Tracks to Download: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These),” “Take on Me,” “No Scrubs,” & “Billie Jean.”

(Album cover property of Island Records)

A Real Good Kid by Mike Posner

Singer-songwriter Mike Posner is one of the most gifted artists discovered this decade. He had impeccable hits such as “Cooler Than Me,” “Please Don’t Go,” “I Took A Pill in Ibiza,” and “Be As You Are.” On Jan. 18, he released his third studio album: A Real Good Kid.  Just like his 2016t record At Night, Alone, A Real Good Kid showcased the hitmaker’s personal side. There are impeccable tracks on this record including “Song About You,” the heartbreaking “January 11th, 2017,” and “Move On,” which is an early contender for “Song of 2019.”  With the assistance of co-writers and producers including Adam Friedman, James Valentine, Ricky Reed, and Nate Mercureau, A Real Good Kid cements itself as one of the early contenders for best Alternative album of 2019 and re-establishes Mike Posner as one of his generation’s top tunesmiths. A-

Tracks to Download: “January 11, 2017,” “Song About You,” “Move On,” “Staring at the Fire,” & “Stuck in the Middle.”

(Album cover property of Republic Records)

Inner Monologue, Pt. 1-EP by Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels is probably the top singer-songwriter that was introduced to the music industry this decade. She co-wrote a plethora of hits for Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber, Keith Urban, Selena Gomez, and Shawn Mendes.  Since 2017, she has stepped into the spotlight as a solo singer.  Her latest EP, Inner Monologue Pt. 1, is probably one of her most personal recordings yet.  Listeners will feel their heartstrings being tugged as Julia revealed some of her personal secrets in one of this month’s strongest extended plays. Also, keep an ear out for Niall Horan and Selena Gomez, who make vocal cameos throughout the EP.  I cannot wait to hear it for part two. A

Tracks to Download: “Anxiety,” “Happy,” “Deep,” “Into You,” & “What a Time.”

(Album cover property of Tokoloshe Records)

1929, Pt. 1 by KONGOS

The Kongos siblings (Dylan, Daniel, Jesse, and Johnny) are back with their fourth studio album: 1929, Pt. 1. This album continues to build upon the sound that KONGOS built upon from their previous records including 2012’s Lunatic and 2016’s Egomaniac. 1929, Pt. 1 does feature potential hits such as “I Am Not Me,” “Something New,” and “Keep Your Head.” However, there are some tracks that do slow down the group’s momentum and listeners’ interest.  Despite that small issue, 1929, Pt. 1 is a good album and shows KONGOS’ growth as a band. B

Tracks to Download: “I Am Not Me,” “Something New,” & “4543.”

One More Red Light” by Cassadee Pope

Grammy-nominated performer Cassadee Pope started a new chapter in her music career. She parted ways with BMLG Records and started recorded material with Awake Music. “One More Red Light” is her latest single off of her upcoming sophomore album: stages. The Voice champion has definitely grown leaps and bounds since she released the Summer EP. I could see Cassadee have a comeback with this tune and this would be a strong hit on both the country and Top 40 charts. B+/A-

BOOM” by X Ambassadors

I love it when X Ambassadors drop new music! The Alternative rock band is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and they started it off with a bang. “BOOM” is an excellent track that will make listeners toe-tap and dance in their seats. I hope that this song gets picked up on both the alternative and Top 40 stations because I honestly think that “BOOM” is a chart topper. A


Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews’ Artists to Watch is back! Here are several artists that are ready to shake up the music industry.

(Album cover property of Capitol Records, Debay Sounds LLC & Universal Music Group)

Heard It in A Past Life by Maggie Rogers

Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers finally dropped her Capitol Records debut record. The singer teamed up with frequent Adele and P!nk collaborator Greg Kurstin, who co-executive produced this record. Heard It In a Past Life is a sturdy debut that showed Maggie Rogers’ potential as a superb vocalist and a strong lyricist. I think that we could be looking at a future Grammy-nominated artist. A-

Tracks to Download: “Give a Little,” “The Knife,” “Light On,” “Past Life,” & “Fallingwater.”

Whiskey & Cola” by VCATION featuring Klei

There is a new EDM duo in town! VCATION is made up of Swedish producer-songwriters John Martin and Michel Zitron. Previously, the duo worked with a plethora of music hitmakers such as David Guetta,  Swedish House Mafia, and the late Avicii. VCATION released their latest single, “Whiskey & Cola,” that features up-and-coming artist Klei. “Whiskey & Cola” has the potential to be a global smash record. The combination of the track’s addicting arrangement, superb lyrics, and chorus make “Whiskey & Cola” a song that people want to hear over and over again. B+  

In the Evening” by Marlene Oak

Marlene Oak is going to be one name that all music lovers need to remember. The Sweden-born singer-songwriter is scheduled to release an upcoming debut, Silver Moon, on Feb. 15. “In the Evening is a beautifully composed track that showcases Marlene’s superb vocals and amazing electric guitar arrangement. I cannot wait to see what she does next! A

Acid Rain” by SJAE featuring Hilaire

Music producer SJAE concludes this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. The British-born producer SJAE previously worked with music icons such as Raphael Saadiq, the Roots, and Rod Stewart. Her music has been featured on Empire and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “Acid Rain” is the first single off of a series of extended plays. “Acid Rain” features vocals from songwriter Hilaire, who is SJAE’s longtime West Hollywood neighbor. Hilaire’s vocal performance goes well SJAE’s arrangement and “Acid Rain” will make its listeners get up and dance. Something tells me that this upcoming series of extended plays will be something special. A

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


  1. […] this year, Julia Michaels released her an EP called Inner Monologue, Pt. 1. The EP featured duets with Selena Gomez and Niall Horan, but only six tracks. However, part […]

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