Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of May 31, 2019

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Here is the latest edition of ‘Jake’s Take’s’ New Music Reviews. (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the last May 2019 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We got a lot of music to unpack, so let’s get this party started.

‘Rocketman’ features new twists to Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s timeless music. (Album property of EMI & Universal Music Group)

Rocketman (Music from the Motion Picture) by Elton John, Taron Egerton & the Cast of Rocketman

Rocketman is finally here! The Sir Elton John biographical film has finally landed in the United States. Actor Taron Egerton might have had the biggest challenge to overcome since he portrayed the legendary music icon. However, Taron delivered beautiful vocals that will give listeners’ chills.  The film’s music production team did a phenomenal job re-arranging some of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s legendary songs. The cherry on this amazing piece of cake is Taron’s duet with Sir Elton: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” which could play a significant role in the 2020 Oscars race. I cannot wait to see this film! A

Tracks to Download: “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Border Song,” “Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man” & “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

Music legend Mavis Staples’ ‘We Get By’ is one of 2019’s powerful albums. (Album cover property of Anti Records)

We Get By by Mavis Staples

Soul music icon Mavis Staples is continuing to set the standard for veteran recording artists who still want to entertain for their fans.  The gospel singer released her fifth solo studio album this decade: We Get By. Celebrated singer-songwriter Ben Harper helped bring Ms. Staples’ messages to fruition as he wrote and produced this entire album. We Get By showcases why Ms. Staples remains one of the greatest music interpreters and why music industry insiders should think about partnering up their artists with Ben Harper. A+

Tracks to Download: “Change,” “Anytime,” “We Get By,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Stronger,” & “ One More Change.”

Miley Cyrus’ new EP, SHE IS COMING, showcases all the music genres she conquered. (Album cover property of RCA Records)

SHE IS COMING by Miley Cyrus

All across social media, Miley Cyrus has shouted “SHE IS COMING.” The slogan was the title of her new EP. SHE IS COMING features a blend of musical genres that made a significant impact on the former Voice coach’s career including EDM (“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart), Hip-Hop (Bangerz), and acoustic pop (Younger Now).  Thanks to a team of A-list collaborators including Andrew Wyatt, Ilsey Juber, Mark Ronson, Mike Will Made It, RuPaul, and Swae Lee, SHE IS COMING successfully sets Miley Cyrus’ next chapter in her recording career. B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “The Most,” “Mother’s Daughter,” “Cattitude,” & “Party Up The Street.”

TEN by Susan Boyle

Ten years ago, Britain’s Got Talent introduced us to Susan Boyle! Her inspirational cover of “I Dreamed a Dream” received over millions of views on YouTube. Despite not winning her season of Britain’s Got Talent, Susan became the show’s breakout star. TEN celebrates her tenth anniversary in the recording industry. Unfortunately, TEN should have been either a duets concept album or newly recorded materials. Sadly, the collection only has four new songs including a cover of “A Million Dreams,” a duet with West End legend Michael Ball. Fans should blame Ms. Boyle’s team and record company for this misfire. D+

Tracks to Download: “A Million Dreams” & “Stand By Me.”

Thomas Rhett drives country music fans to ‘Center Point Road.’ (Album cover property of Big Machine Label Group)

Center Point Road by Thomas Rhett

Over the past few years, Thomas Rhett has become one of country music’s biggest superstars. With singles such “Die a Happy Man,” “Vacation,” “Playing with Fire,” and “Craving You,” the singer-songwriter has developed a strong fanbase and social media following. Thomas Rhett’s fourth studio album, Center Point Road, follows the successful formula of his last two albums: 2015’s Tangled Up and 2017’s Life Changes. The two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and his team recruited Little Big Town (“Don’t Threaten Me with A Good Time”), Kelsea Ballerini (the title track), and Jon Pardi (“Beer Can’t Fix”).  I think that Thomas Rhett continues to be on a hot streak and I believe that Center Point Road has enough award-winning material to be nominated for several Grammys. B+  

Tracks to Download: “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” “Look What God Gave Her,” “Center Point Road,” & “That Old Truck.”

Like A Virgin” by Big & Rich

On May 16, Big & Rich released something that no one expected or wanted. They dropped their interpretation of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” I never laughed so hard while listening to this cover. Many listeners and Big & Rich fans would be scratching their heads on this cover. What happened to the artists behind “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” “Eternity,” and “Look at You”? Big & Rich’s cover utter train wreck from start to finish. F

(Music video property of Branden + James)

“Perfect Symphony” by Branden + James & Shoshana Bean

Friends to Jake’s Take, Branden + James, released a brand new single: a cover of Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli’s “Perfect Symphony.” The duo recruited Broadway superstar Shoshana Bean, who beautifully took the popular song to a whole new level of excellence. Branden and Shoshana’s vocal harmonies were out of this world, while James did not miss a beat with this arrangement process. A+

Cross Me” by Ed Sheeran & Chance the Rapper featuring PnB Rock

Several weeks ago, the Internet went crazy when Ed Sheeran released a new collaboration with Justin Bieber. The “Let Me Love You” singer is not the only recording artist that secretly worked with Ed Sheeran. Billboard reported that Ed Sheeran is working on a new album called No. 6 Collaborations. The second single, “Cross Me,” features Chicago’s favorite son: Chance the Rapper.  The track is a superb dub-step pop and hip-hop hybrid that definitely showcases the strengths of both artists. “Cross Me” does have the ability to played on multiple radio stations and could be heavily featured on DJs’ playlists this summer. A-

“Body Shots” by Tristan Cole featuring Eddie Heartthrob

Friend to Jake’s Take, Tristan Cole, just released another strong piece of ear candy. The singer-songwriter recruited a seductive quintet and one scene-stealing drag queen (Nicole Onoscopi) for the music video of his latest single: “Body Shots.” Thanks to its hypnotic lyrics, the track is a great song that DJs could play in the club this summer. Keep an eye on rapper Eddie Heartthrob, who like Tristan, is a rising star in his own right.  “Body Shots” definitely spices Tristan’s song catalog and potentially give him another hit. A-  

Walk off the Earth paid tribute to former member Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor with an original track. (Music video property of Golden Carrot Records)

Mike’s Song” by Walk off the Earth

Two days before 2019 began, Billboard reported on the passing of Walk off the Earth’s beloved keyboardist and vocalist Mike “Beard Man” Taylor.  Months after organizing a tribute concert, the band released a moving tribute to the late band member. “Mike’s Song” is a beautifully arranged song that marks an end of an era for the Canada-based indie pop band. We miss you, Mike! B+/A-  

Artists to Watch

Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back! Here are several artists and groups that I believe could shake up the music industry!

Keep an eye on Tom Wardle, music lovers! (Album cover property of Tom Wardle)

Jacqueline by Tom Wardle

I met singer-songwriter Tom Wardle on Memorial Day at the Starbucks near my New York City. He was heading to a gig in the Hamptons and we casually talked while he waited for the latest Hampton Jitney. When I stumbled onto Tom’s Spotify page, I eagerly played his new EP. Jacqueline is a breath of fresh air in the singer-songwriter world. Tom’s impeccable songwriting and musicianship put a smile on my face. It is no wonder that All Access Music and Rolling Stone are fans of his work. I cannot wait to hear Tom’s next set of songs. A-

Tracks to Download: “Don’t Give Up On Me, “I Could Have Been a Millionaire,” “Jacqueline,” & “Pink Lilies.”

Whenyoung’s Reasons To Dream is one of the strongest rock albums of 2019! (Album cover property of Virgin EMI Records & Universal Music Group)

Reasons to Dream by Whenyoung

In March, I had the opportunity to meet London-based rock band Whenyoung when they attended the Big Indie Records and DIY Magazine’s New Colossus Party.  Whenyoung is made up of Aoife Power (vocals/bass), Niall Burns (guitar), and Andrew Flood (drums). Recently, this trio released their first full-length studio album: Reasons to Dream. The album showcases the amazing amount of potential has to be one of the top alternative rock bands in the recording industry. Between their superb songs and intriguing arrangements, Whenyoung has created a splendid breakout album that establishes them as an up-and-coming band that you must watch! B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “Pretty Pure,” “Never Let Go,” “Future,” & “The Others.”

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar