Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of April 17, 2020

Artists to Watch

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

Cravity’s debut, Hideout: Remember Who We Are-Season 1, showcases the group’s potential to elevate K-pop’s presence in the USA. (Photo property of Starship Entertainment)

Hideout: Remember Who We Are- Season 1 by Cravity 

Following the success of BTS and Monsta X, another K-pop act, Cravity, is stepping onto the world stage. Cravity is the combination of “Creativity” and “Gravity” and consists of nine members: Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung, and Seongmin. From the first song, “Top of the Chain,” Cravity impressed me their explosive power-pop tracks. The album reminded me of the first time I listened to both Backstreet Boys’ Millennium and *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached. Just like those impeccable boy bands, I believe that Cravity will be the next group to elevate K-pop’s presence on the global stage. 

Tracks to Download: “Top of the Chain,” “Break All the Rules,” “JUMPER,” “Blackout,” & “Star.”

America’s Got Talent: Season 14 finalists NDLOVU Youth Choir released their debut album: Africa. (Album cover property of Syco Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

Africa by NDLOVU Youth Choir 

One of my favorite America’s Got Talent youth acts, NDLOVU Youth Choir, released their debut album off of Syco Music and Sony Music Africa. For their first album, the group revisited several of the greatest hits from AGT. Also, the group showcased their out of this world interpretations of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” and The Greatest Showman’s “The Greatest Show.” Listeners can feel NDLOVU’s excitement and energy throughout the album, and I believe that this is the next generation’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A+ 

Tracks to Download: “Africa,” “Higher Love,” “Jolene,” “The Greatest Show,” & “African Dream.”

Countertenor Terry Barber reimagined some of Queen and Freddie Mercury’s greatest hits. (Album cover property of Terry Barber)

Reimagined: Mercury by Terry Barber 

Countertenor Terry Barber decided to give his interpretation of the Queen songbook. He successfully transformed the classic rock anthems of “Somebody to Love,” “Radio Gaga,” and “The Show Must Go On” into classical crossover gems. I hope that the Mercury Estate, Dr. Brian May, and Roger Taylor listen to this album because Terry did a phenomenal job breathing new life into these songs. A- 

Tracks to Download: “Somebody to Love,” “We Are The Champions,” “Radio Ga Ga,” & “Who Wants to Live Forever.” 

Drive!Drive!’s “I’ll Be Just Fine” showcases the group’s potential to be Top 40 regulars. (Music video property of Gramophone PR)

“I’ll Be Just Fine” by Drive!Drive! 

Nashville trio Drive!Drive! is the next group on my list. They are made up of Alex Johnson, Philip DeLuca, and Gavin Hurlburt, Drive!Drive! is an alternative pop group that any record label should keep their eyes on. “I’ll Be Just Fine” is their latest single, and it’s a spectacular song. Between the pop hooks and irresistible chorus, “I’ll Be Just Fine” showcases Drive!Drive! ‘s potential to reach the Top 40 charts and streaming playlists. I predict big things are heading their way. B+ 

Gaidaa’s “Falling Higher” is a spectacular song from start to finish. (Music video property of On the Webs Records)

“Falling Higher” by Gaidaa 

Netherlands-based Sudanese singer-songwriter Gaidaa has the potential to be one of 2020’s top international artists. When I first heard her sing on “Falling Higher,” I thought she could have been either Alicia Keys or Rihanna’s younger sisters. Her voice and phrasing are very smooth to listeners’ ears. I loved every minute of this song. Bravo, Gaidaa! A-

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar