Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews (Week of January 13, 2017)

Welcome to Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!

We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get this party started.


David Bowie No Plan EP

(Album cover property of Columbia Records & Jones Tintoretto Entertainment LLC)

No Plan by David Bowie

It is hard to believe that David Bowie passed away one year ago this week. To commemorate this occasion, Sony and Columbia Records released a new four-song EP for Mr. Bowie’s fans. No Plan is comprised of tracks from Mr. Bowie’s Off-Broadway musical: Lazarus. While the Billboard Top 40 hit, “Lazarus,” made it onto his final studio album, the three remaining tracks have never been released and feature Bowie at his finest artistically. Fans might akin “Killing a Little Time” from both “’Tis A Pity She’s a Whore” and from Bowie’s dark Thin White Duke days. I believe that Mr. Bowie was not done yet creating fantastic music and No Plan is the perfect reason why we will always miss him. A-

Tracks to Download: “Lazarus,” “Killing a Little Time,” & “When I Met You.”

Beaches (Soundtrack from the Lifetime Original Movie) by Idina Menzel

Over the past few years, nostalgia has taken film and television by storm. The first revival of 2017 is Lifetime Television Network’s adaptation of the 1988 film: Beaches. Idina Menzel and Nia Long will be playing the characters made famous by Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. While I enjoy Idina Menzel’s vocals on both “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “I’ll Stand By You,” I felt that Idina did not show the same amount of passion for the remaining three songs on the EP. C

Tracks to Download: “Wind Beneath My Wings” & “I’ll Stand By You.”


(Album cover courtesy of Effective Immediately PR)

Note to Self  by Miklo

Earlier this week, Los Angeles alternative rock group, Miklo, dropped their new EP, Note to Self, on music blog: Pure Volume. Made up of Kyle Setter and Chris Garcia, this music duo is out to blaze their path in the music industry, and I believe that they will be very successful. When I listened to “Losing My Mind,” I instantly thought of rock’s answer to Calvin Harris & John Newman’s dance-pop hit, “Blame,” and just like the track, I could easily see this song make a run for the Billboard charts and radio play. The fact that Miklo instantly transports the listeners’ imaginations inside their songs makes Miklo-a group that you need to watch out for in 2017! Congrats, guys! You are my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Note to Self,” “Losing My Mind,” “Dope Girl,” & “CA.”

Yours If You Want It” by Rascal Flatts

For the first time in three years, country group Rascal Flatts released their brand new single: “Yours If You Want It.” For almost 20 years, Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney have bridged the gap between country and pop music and produced over 13 number one singles on the U.S. Country charts. “Yours If You Want It” might remind listeners of the band’s early days and the track will instantly put a smile on your face. I hope that this excellent song is a precursor to a potential album that will drop later this year. B

Jump” by Lupe Fiasco featuring MC Gizzle

I first remember listening to Lupe Fiasco when he rapped on Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky,” which was featured on Kanye’s 2005 album: Late Registration. After earning a Grammy in 2008 and 11 more nominations throughout his career, Lupe is back with a brand new single: “Jump.” With smooth beats and cool lyrics, “Jump” may be one of the hypnotic rap tracks I have heard in the past few years. Lupe’s rapping skills show that he is still at the top of his game, while his featured artist, MC Gizzle, might be one of the talked about artists of the year.  I cannot for February 10 when Lupe releases his first album of 2017: Drogas Light. B+


(Album cover courtesy of Universal Music Group)

Kids (Ain’t All Right)” by Grace Mitchell

Jake’s Take always takes pride in introducing rising artists to its readers. 19-year-old Grace Mitchell. Grace’s music has been featured in Buzzfeed, Glamour, and Nylon. She also has been highlighted by both Apple Music and performed at Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Coachella, and SXSW. This year, she will be dropping her debut album on Republic & Casablanca Records.  Her first single, “Kids (Ain’t All Right)” borders on the line between hard rock and alternative. Grace has strong songwriting skills, and her voice would rally her generation to prove both these lyrics and their elders wrong. I am looking forward to seeing what else she produces this year. A-

(Album cover property of Republic Records)

Issues” by Julia Michaels

Another fantastic rising artist that I want to introduce you to is Julia Michaels. For those of you that are reading this, you might be saying: “That name sounds familiar.” Her name sounds familiar because Ms. Michaels co-wrote songs that were recorded by Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez, and Zedd. Ms. Michaels’ debut single, “Issues,” is a sturdy single that she co-wrote with her song husband, friend to the blog, Justin Tranter. This reflective song that will make its listener think long and hard about how bad do they need someone in their life if they cannot even conquer their personal issues. Ms. Michaels has a great voice, and I think that it is about time that she stood in the spotlight. A

Breathe You” by Derek Hough

Last year, I was scrolling through my social media channels, and I found the most peculiar thing: two of my favorite Emmy-winning choreographers, Derek Hough and Travis Wall, were collaborating on a colorful secret project. It turned out that the project was a music video for Derek’s latest single: “Breathe You.” While the tune is mostly instrumental, Derek does sing a few strands of the lyrics: “I’ll breathe you. I’ll hold you down. I’ll let you…get off the ground.” While the track is very poignant, its music video is the actual star. The future World of Dance judge and Shaping Sound Dance Company cast member Chantel Aguirre brilliantly interpreted the men’s choreography and I think will inspire viewers to show their love, because to quote the Beatles: “Love is all we need.” Congrats, Derek, Travis, and Chantel, this music video is my blog’s very first Music Video of the Week! A+

I do not own any of the music videos or clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the artist and their respective record labels.

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