Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of January 11, 2019

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Welcome to the first New Music Reviews of 2019! (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the first Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2019! We have a lot of music to get through, so let’s get this party started!

“No Place” is the third single off of the Backstreet Boys’ “DNA” album. (Album cover property of K-Bahn LLC & RCA Records)

No Place” by the Backstreet Boys

It has been 20 years since the Backstreet Boys dropped Millennium, that album changed pop music forever! In a few short weeks, Kevin, Brian, Howie, AJ, and Nick will release DNA, which could help define their musical legacy. “No Place,” their third single from DNA, showcases the quintet venture into the country crossover genre. Songwriters Brett James, Joshua Miller, and Troy Verges, and producer Steven Solomon helped the Backstreet Boys deliver one of the best tracks in years.  Just like “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and “Chances,” “No Place” is a strong indicator of DNA’s success with fans and critics. A-

“Hello Happiness” is expected to be released on Feb. 15, 2019. (Album cover property of Diary Records & Island Records)

Hello Happiness” by Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan has one of the best voices in the music industry! On Feb. 15, Chaka will release her long-awaited studio album.  “Hello Happiness” showcases Ms. Khan at her finest as this new single will put a smile on listeners’ faces.  I cannot wait to hear the rest of the album! A

Undecided” by Chris Brown

Rap music outlet Rap-Up reported that Chris Brown signed a new recording contract with RCA Records. He is expected to release his first studio album in two years, Indigo. “Undecided” is the first single off of that new album. It might remind fans and music lovers of the Fortune and X eras of his career.  “Undecided” does have potential in being a breakout hit on the R&B charts, but it might need to take fans to listen to the track to fall in love with the song. B

People Are Different” by Florida Georgia Line

On Feb. 15, 2019, Florida Georgia Line will release their fourth studio album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country. One of the album’s best tracks is the superb “People Are Different.” Written by Hillary Lindsey, Mark Holman, and Michael Hardy, “People Are Different’s” message addresses something that we need in today’s society: civility. For too long, we have been at each other’s throats and I believe that if we follow the advice that is in this song, we could go back before President Trump’s election. B+

Sam Smtih and Normani teamed up for a killer music collaboration. (Album cover property of Capitol Records)

Dancing with a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani

Two superb vocalists decided to unleash an epic collaboration into the music world.  Grammy and Oscar-winning Sam Smith teamed up with former Fifth Harmony member Normani for a fantastic duet called “Dancing with a Stranger.” The “Too Good at Goodbyes” singer-songwriter teamed up with Jimmy Napes and celebrated production team, Stargate, to co-pen this delicious piece of ear candy. I think that “Dancing with a Stranger” could be 2019’s runaway hit on both the radio and music charts. A–

Walk off the Earth paid homage to New York City in “Fifth Avenue.” (Video property of Walk off the Earth)

“Fifth Avenue” by Walk Off the Earth

I first became a fan of Walk Off the Earth when I heard their unique covers of Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” plus “Home We’ll Go,” the group’s superb collaboration with Steve Aoki. Recently, the group released a new single “Fifth Avenue.” This song has great lyrics that transports the listener to the Big Apple. Also, I genuinely believe that past and present New Yorkers will appreciate this love song to their city. A


Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back for the first time in 2019! Here are several recording artists and bands that could shake up the music industry.

Funny Business” by Alice Merton

Alice Merton released a new music video of her third single: “Funny Business.” This music video marked the first time that Alice stepped behind the director’s chair.  The video centered one happy-go-lucky male dancer as he performed around town.  When watching the video, I believe that its viewers could sympathize with the lead performer as they are known to dance when no one is watching.  “Funny Business” is a strong track and I am surprised that it has not been playing across the radio or in the iTunes overall Top Songs chart. Hopefully, “Funny Business” gets air time because it is one catchy tune. A-

Silent Ride” by Boogle

West Coast-based rapper Boogie (real name Anthony Dixson) is making a ton of noise in the music industry. The Compton-based rapper caught the attention of Eminem, who signed him to a joint record deal with Shady Records and Interscope Records. He recently released “Silent Ride,” a single off of his upcoming debut album: Everything’s For Sale. “Silent Ride” is a sturdy rap track that showcases Boogie’s impeccably raw talent. Hopefully, rap’s finest such as Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Timbaland would be able to harness in future collaborations. Jake’s Take will definitely keep an eye on Boogie because he has a promising career in the industry. B+

“Addicted to You” by Ilana Armida

Los Angeles-based dancer and singer-songwriter Ilana Armida recently released her latest single: “Addicted to You.”  This track is an addicting piece of ear candy that nicely sets up a potential career for Ilana in the dance-pop world. B+

“Gold” by Sister Sparrow

Brooklyn-based soul-rock band Sister Sparrow has the honor of closing out the first 2019 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews.  Last year, Sister Sparrow (real name Arleigh Knicheloe) celebrated ten years in the music industry collaborating with her bandmates, the Dirty Birds.  She started 2019 on a high note after releasing the music video for “Gold.” The track is a powerful soul-rock classic for this decade. Sister Sparrow has a spectacular voice and this songbird needs to be heard around the world. A

Jake’s Take is dedicating this edition of “New Music Reviews” to  Walk Off the Earth’s Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor.  He passed away from natural causes on Dec. 30, 2018. On Sunday, Jan. 13, the band will join forces with Barenaked Ladies, Scott Helman, and other artists for a free memorial concert at Burlington, Ontario’s Civic Square. Billboard Magazine reported that the Taylor Family is collaborating with the Canadian charity MusiCounts to raise funds. All donations will be used to distribute instruments to children in need. Thank you for the music and memories, Mike.

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this review. They belong to the artist and their respective record label.

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