Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews (End of October 2017)

Darius Rucker When Was the Last Time

(Album cover property of Capitol Records Nashville)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews.

Halloween is just around the corner, and you might be spending this weekend making last minute adjustments to your costumes or making delicious delicacies for your parties.  But did you forget something?  Jake’s Take is going to help you provide your gathering with an incredible soundtrack that will scare the living dead away from the party.

When Was the Last Time by Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker has taken the country music world by storm! The former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman released his sixth studio album: When Was the Last Time. This album is probably one of the year’s best country records. There are many morsels of ear candy that were sprinkled across the album including “Straight to Hell,” a collaboration that Mr. Rucker did with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Thomas Rhett.  In addition to the fantastic production value, Mr. Rucker’s superb storytelling is phenomenal.  I firmly believe that Mr. Rucker has opened a door for African American artists who want to pursue country music and will be this generation’s Charley Pride. A+

Tracks to Download: “For the First Time,” “Life’s Too Short,” “If I Told You,” “Don’t,” “Hands on Me,” & “Straight to Hell.”


(Album cover property of the Atlantic Recording Corporation)

Meaning of Life by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson is entering a new chapter in her music career. The inaugural American Idol winner launched her debut album with new recording label: Atlantic Records.  Ms. Clarkson has gathered a plethora of hit songwriters including veterans Jesse Shatkin, James Morrison, Greg Kurstin, and Maureen “Mozella” McDonald to help her craft songs to match her new pop-R&B sound.  Just like 2015’s Piece by Piece, Meaning of Life showcases Kelly Clarkson’s evolution as an artist and still 15 years in this industry, “Miss Independent” still commands our attention by capturing our hearts! A

Tracks to Download: “Love So Soft,” “Move You,” “Meaning of Life,” “Heat,” & “Would You Call That Love?”



Boyz II Men Under the Streetlight

(Album cover property of Tango Records & MSM Music Group)

Under the Streetlamp by Boyz II Men

Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman took a break from their successful Geico commercials and Vegas residency to pay homage to some of the most significant soul tracks of all-time in their latest studio album: Under the Streetlamp. Just like their 2007 studio album, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA, the Philadelphia trio dug through some of the best ballads that range from the Imperials’ “Tears on My Pillow” to the Carole King & Gerry Goffin-penned “Up on the Roof.” In addition to the trio’s signature vocal harmonies, the trio recruited some of the best R&B voices such as Amber Riley, Brian McKnight, and Take 6, who collaborated with the trio on some epic tracks. If you are a music aficionado or a doo-wop group in training, it is imperative that you take a listen to Under the Streetlamp. A-

Tracks to Download: “A Thousand Miles Away,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Tears On My Pillow,” “Up on the Roof,” & “A Sunday Kind of Love.”  

Warmer in the Winter by Lindsey Stirling

YouTube sensation and Dancing with the Stars phenom Lindsey Stirling released her very first holiday album. The America’s Got Talent alum, and violin virtuoso breathed new life into holiday classics with her stunning arrangements. Also, Ms. Stirling welcomed a diverse group of collaborators to her winter wonderland including Sabrina Carpenter, Becky G, Trombone Shorty, and All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. Holiday shoppers would have the chance to get down if stores had Warmer in the Winter playing on their playlist. B+

Tracks to Download: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Carol of the Bells,” & “Angels We Have Heard on High.”


Niall Horan Flicker

(Album cover property of Neon Haze Music Ltd. & Capitol Records)

Flicker by Niall Horan

Niall Horan is the third One Direction alum to release a solo studio album. Like Zayn and Harry Styles before him, Niall embraced a singular musical genre: singer-songwriter. Flicker showcases Mr. Horan’s strengths as a songwriter as he co-wrote the entire album with a plethora of tunesmiths such as Greg Kurstin, John Ryan, Tobias Jesso Jr., Ruth-Anne Cunningham, and Jamie Scott.  Also, keep an ear out for Maren Morris, who duets with Niall on “Seeing Blind.” By being set free from his bubblegum pop jail cell, Mr. Horan has evolved not only as a vocalist but also a fine musician.  I honestly believe the best is yet to come for Mr. Horan. B/B+

Tracks to Download: “On the Loose,” “Seeing Blind,” “Slow Hands,” & “Since We’re Alone.”


(Artwork courtesy of 4×4 Artist Management)

Spaceman” by Stash Konig X Mikey Wax

Two talented singer-songwriters Stash Konig and friend of the blog, Mikey Wax, teamed up for an epic collaboration that is out of this world. “Spaceman” is a song that will take ricochet listeners to outer space. Both Stash and Mikey’s vocals make an impressive combination and an amazing bite of ear candy. Keep an ear open as this song will be featured in an upcoming ad for Nike’s Swim. B+

Rising Artists Section

Jake’s Take continues to be one of the premiere blogs for new and emerging artists! Here are some of the artists that you should add to your library.

Bloodstream” by Tokio Myers

Tokio Myers became a worldwide sensation when he made his debut on the past season of Britain’s Got Talent. His music was so otherworldly and his performances blew audiences away. After winning the past series, BMG signed him to a publishing deal.  His first single, “Bloodstream,” is a mash-up of Debussy’s “Clair de lune” and Ed Sheeran’s “Bloodstream.” Listeners will be blown away by Mr. Myers’ impeccable arrangement and I guarantee that this track will give you a strong case of goosebumps. I cannot wait for his studio album, Our Generation, to drop on November 17. A+


(Cover artwork property of DW Records)

No Competition” by Dynamite Dylan featuring Jake Paul

Dynamite Dylan is one of the Digital Generation’s fastest growing stars. With over 101,000 Twitter followers, and 239,000 Instagram followers, Dynamite Dylan is looking for a shot to conquer the music world. “No Competition” is definitely flavored to the Top 40 radio stations and its lyrics would definitely entice social media users to download it.  Also, keep an eye out for a surprisingly good rap from social media superstar Jake Paul.  If Dynamite Dylan plays his cards right, the right listener may offer him the record deal that will change his life. B+

Burning” by Kim Cameron & Side FX

Kim Cameron and Side FX are the artists that conclude this edition of Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews! Since she made her debut in 2008, the Miami Beach, Florida-based singer-songwriter has found success on the Billboard charts and her music has appeared on multiple cable networks such as Bravo, Discovery, FOX Sports, and MTV. “Burning” is a hypnotic track that will have listeners think that this was either a Madonna and Kylie Minogue B-track. Ms. Cameron beautifully seduces listeners with her lovely vocals and this track would be perfect for radio. A-

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the recording artists and their respective record labels.


  1. […] Weather abandons the folk-pop format that the former One Direction star used in his 2017 debut solo album: Flicker. While Niall and his team recruited a plethora of familiar faces from Flicker such as Julian […]

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