Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of June 14, 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 latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We have a lot of music to unpack, so let’s get this party started.

With help from Chris Martin, Imagine Dragons, and Joe Janiak, ‘Tim’ celebrated Aviicii’s game-changing career. (Album cover property of Avicii & Universal Music Group)

TIM by Avicii

It is hard to believe that it has been one year since EDM maestro Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) took his own life. Avicii’s friends, family, and colleagues released a posthumous studio album in his honor. TIM features a collection of collaborations that range from Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Aloe Blacc, and Imagine Dragons to up-and-comers such as Arizona and Joe Janiak. TIM showcases Avicii’s talents as a producer and hitmaker. I hope that if there is additional demos or unreleased tracks, the Berglings and Avicii’s team plan to release them.  Avicii was probably one of the millennial generation’s best hitmakers and it is hard to believe that he is actually gone. A

Tracks to Download: “Heaven,” “Bad Reputation,” “Hold the Line,” “Heart Upon My Sleeve,” & “Excuse Me Mr. Sir.”

Western Stars is Bruce Springsteen’s first solo music album since 2005’s Devils and Dust. (Album cover property of Columbia Records)

Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen

Later this summer, Bruce Springsteen will celebrate his 70th birthday. The legendary Grammy-winning singer-songwriter released his latest solo album, Western Stars. “The Rising” performer still has the magic to capture and entrance his listeners through his powerful lyrics and superb arrangements.  Western Stars captures the spirit of Americana and encourages listeners to travel by vehicle or train to see the continental United States.  While there are several dull moments on the album, Western Stars introduces a new chapter to Bruce Springsteen’s historic recording career. B+

Tracks to Download: “Hello Sunshine,” “Tucson Train,” “Western Stars,” & “There Goes My Miracle.”

Happiness Begins by The Jonas Brothers

For the first time in 10 years, Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas released a full-length studio album together. The trio recruited a plethora of songwriters and producers to assist in the creation of Happiness Begins. Ryan Tedder, Justin Tranter, Shellback, Sarah Aarons, and Maureen McDonald are some of the creative talents that brought the brothers sound from pre-teen bubblegum pop to Top 40 contenders. I think Happiness Begins will not only awaken their fanbase from their slumbers, but also convince some of their haters to download the tracks. Happiness Begins is definitely a new chapter for the musical family and bring the trio back to the pop music’s forefront. B/B+

Tracks to Download: “Sucker,” “Cool,” “I Believe,” & “Don’t Throw It Away.”

Madonna released her darkest set of music in Madame X. (Album cover property of Interscope)

Madame X by Madonna

The Queen of Pop continues to reinvent herself with each new record she drops. This time, Madonna transformed herself into Madame X.  Vulture reported that Madonna’s dance instructor, Martha Graham, gave the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer the nickname early on in her career. Madame X is a twisted roller coaster ride that blends various musical genres such as pop, EDM, Latin, and hip-hop into a peculiar listening experience. Madonna turned to hitmakers Diplo, Mirwais, Mike Dean, and Brittany Hazzard to transport her fans to this mysterious world.  Listeners should also keep their ears out for Anitta, Maluma, Quavo, and Swae Lee, who make cameos throughout the album. Well done, Madonna! B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “Medellin,” “Dark Ballet,” “I Don’t Search I Find,” “Crave,” & “I Rise.”

Loco Contigo” by DJ Snake, J Balvin & Tyga

Three unique musical artists collaborated for the first time in their respective careers. EDM rising star DJ Snake, Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin, and rapper Tyga teamed up with “Loco Contigo.” Between the hypnotic beats, Tyga’s raps, and J Balvin’s solo, “Loco Contigo” does have the potential to be a Billboard success.  Also, the song’s colorful music video will have social media talking. B-

With the help of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Wang Chung re-recorded their iconic hit: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” (Music video property of August Day)

“Everybody Have Fun Tonight (Orchestral Version)” by Wang Chung

On September 23, 1986, British new wave group Wang Chung (Nick Feldman and Jack Hues) changed the 1980s for the good with their party anthem: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” 33 years later, the duo teamed up with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to re-record their iconic song for their sixth studio album: Orchesography. I loved the arrangement and literally got chills as I listened to the track. This is definitely a great feelgood track that should get some significant airplay on the radio and streaming services. A+

Artists to Watch

Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back with several performers that are going to shake up the music world.

Shibuya (Ghost II)” by Christian Rich featuring Jaden Smith, Vic Mensa, & Belly

Grammy® nominated production team Christian Rich (twin brothers Kehinde and Taiwo Hassan) just released a new track that features a trio of rappers. Jaden Smith, Vic Mensa, and Belly lent their talents as they dropped slick beats to “Shibuya (Ghost II).” If they continue to improve on their craft, I believe that the Hassan Brothers could possibly be the rap genre’s answer to Stargate. B

Christina Wells delivered a powerful debut music video. (Video property of Christina Wells)

“Ready or Not” by Christina Wells

Last year, Christina Wells became one of America’s Got Talent’s breakout stars with her powerful voice. Recently, she released an original track called “Ready or Not.” This outstanding track features an impeccable vocal performance from Christina as she answers back her critics. “Ready or Not” is an excellent empowerment anthem that would inspire listeners to take on their haters. Bravo, Christina! A+

Fantastic things are head for rising pop music star Linards Zarins (Album cover courtesy of Loggins Radio Promotion & Marketing)

Good Thing” by Linards Zarins

Up-and-comer Linards Zarins is looking to break into the American music industry. The Lativa-based recording artist released a potential summer jam called “Good Thing.” I loved every minute in this track including Zarins’ crisp vocals and its superb instrumental arrangements.  I have a hunch that if this single falls into either Elvis Duran or Zach Sang’s hands, then this track would explode all over the world.  I am looking forward to hearing more music from Linards in the future. B+

MYOA’s velvety vocals shined in her music video: “YOU.” (Video property of MYOA)

“YOU” by MYOA

Singer-songwriter MYOA concludes this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. The Houston, Texas transplant amassed a strong following and is ready to take her music to the next level of excellence. Recently, she dropped a great track, “YOU,” that is decisively one of the best R&B/Soul tracks I have heard so far this year.  MYOA’s velvety vocals should be heard on radio and streaming devices around the country because she is 100 times more talented than some of R&B’s top names. A

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

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar