Jake’s Take: Best Albums of 2014-Part Two

Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour

Sam Smith’s breakout debut: “In the Lonely Hour” was a spectacular listen that revived Blue-eyed soul music. (Album cover property of Capitol Records)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

If you have not had the chance to read part one of my countdown, click here: http://www.jakes-take.com/2014/10/jakes-take-best-albums-of-2014-part-one/

The British are coming! The British are coming!

Part two of my Best Albums of 2014 feature some of the best artists that England has ever produced! In addition, a legend revives the Great American Songbook with one of today’s most influential and controversial artists. Plus, a beloved member of The Voice family made iTunes history and his mark as one of this year’s breakout artists with his first post show release

Part Two of the Best Albums of 2014 countdown starts right now!

10. “In The Lonely Hour” by Sam Smith

Sam Smith turned heads this year with his powerful debut album! The 22-year-old London singer-songwriter’s powerful voice fused R&B, Blue-eyed soul and pop music together with impeccable lyrics and delivered astonishing hits that included “Money On My Mind,” “Lay Me Down” and his signature hit: “Stay With Me.” However, Sam was not the only singer-songwriter from the British Isles that made his mark with music fans this year….

Tracks to Download: “Money On My Mind,” “Lay Me Down,” “I’m Not the Only One,” “La La La,” “Leave Your Lover” & “Stay With Me (with Mary J. Blige)

 9. “X” by Ed Sheeran

Framingham’s native son, Ed Sheeran’s sophomore album was filled of clever tracks that showcased the evolution of Grammy nominee and BRIT Award-winning artist. When I first heard “Sing,” I immediately thought it was someone like JT or Robin Thicke…but I (like many music lovers) heard “the A Team” singer on a Pharrell-produced track, I was blown away! In addition, his songwriting collaborations with Benny Blanco, Rick Rubin, Gary Lightbody and Johnny McDaid were exhilarating!

Tracks to Download: “Sing,” “Don’t,” “Photograph,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Afire Love” & “Bloodstream”

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Cheek to Cheek

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga breathed new life into the Great American Songbook in their first collaborative album: “Cheek to Cheek.” (Album cover property of Interscope Records & Columbia Records)

 8. “Cheek to Cheek” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

This year, Lady Gaga became the sixth recording artist to record a full studio album with the iconic Tony Bennett. This pairing was so successful that Cheek to Cheek received rave reviews from Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian and Rolling Stone, plus reached the top of both the Billboard 200 and Billboard (Top Jazz Albums) charts. Cheek to Cheek showcased the duo’s brilliant take on the Great American Songbook. Tony and Gaga have beautiful vocal chemistry that made listeners smile with delight.

Tracks to Download: “Cheek to Cheek,” “Anything Goes,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Nature Boy,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” & “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”

 7. “The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale” by Eric Clapton

Last year, the music community mourned JJ Cale’s passing. On July 29, a tribute album headlined by Eric Clapton was released! The iconic rocker collaborated with a group of heavy hitters (Mark Knopfier, John Mayer, Tom Petty and Willie Nelson) and they tackled some of Cale’s signature tracks. Each of these covers showcased how diligently Cale’s friends took care of his babies. If anyone wants to have a career in the music industry, I strongly recommend downloading this album.

Tracks to Download: “Call Me the Breeze,” “Someday,” “Lies,” “Songbird,” “Starbound” & “Crying Eyes”


Will Champlin Borrowing Trouble

Will Champlin’s first post “Voice” album made iTunes history this year! (Album cover property of Infant Soul Music)

6.  “Borrowing Trouble” by Will Champlin

Alternative rocker Will Champlin captured the hearts of Voice fans with his appearance on the show’s fifth season! While he took third on the show, Will left everyone with an amazing impression with a superb post show debut! Borrowing Trouble showcased strong lyrics, phenomenal tracks and of course, amazing vocals from Will! In fact, Will held the record for being an artist that made to the Top 20 of the iTunes Pop Charts without the help of a record company!

Tracks to Download: “Eye of the Pyramid,” “Last Man Standing,” “One Shot,” “Borrowing Trouble,” “Freezing Time” & “Surgical Rewind”

I do not own the clips that are featured in this article; they belong to the artists and their respective record labels!


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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar