Jake’s Take’s Top Songs of 2019: Part One (January to June)

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Here is the part one of “Jake’s Take’s Top 20 Songs of 2019.” (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is hard to believe that we have reached 2019’s halfway point! There has been some incredible music that was released. Jake’s Take has chosen 20 songs that dominated my iTunes playlist for the past six months.   

The common denomination of this list is that all 20 tracks are original. While I loved hearing amazing covers such as Brian Justin Crum’s “Never Enough,” Beyonce’s “Before I Let Go,” and Peter Hollens’ “He Lives in You,” I wanted to recognize creativity and originality. Without further ado, in alphabetical order by artist, here are Jake’s Take’s Top 20 songs from the first half of 2019!

Heart Upon My Sleeve” by Avicii + Imagine Dragons

One of the best tracks from Avicii’s posthumous album, TIM, is “Heart Upon My Sleeve.” Imagine Dragons brilliantly blended their sound with Avicii’s beats into one gorgeous track that would satisfy both of their fanbases.  

Warrior” by Avril Lavigne

ET Canada reported that Avril Lavigne’s “Warrior” is a very personal track for the “Complicated” singer-songwriter.  The song from her latest album, Head Above Water, addresses her ongoing battle with Lyme disease. I believe that this song is the perfect anthem for anyone overcoming any crisis that comes their way.

One More Red Light” by Cassadee Pope

The Voice champion released a beautiful piece of ear candy to signify the latest chapter of her career. “One More Red Light” will leave fans taping their toes everywhere from coffee shops to country-themed bars.

The Chainsmokers & 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Who Do You Love?” is a fan-favorite song. (Music video property of Columbia Records)

“Who Do You Love?” by The Chainsmokers + 5 Seconds of Summer

Before they appeared as opponents on Celebrity Family Feud, two of Top 40’s biggest acts came together for one epic collaboration.  The Chainsmokers recruited the “Youngblood” band to record a track for their EP, World War Joy.  According to Billboard, “Who Do You Love?” peaked at number four on their US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.

Hello Happiness” by Chaka Khan

Music legend Chaka Khan invited listeners into a joyful world dominated by music. “Hello Happiness” features superb vocals from the 10-time Grammy-winning performer and amazing production from Switch and Sarah Ruba.

AGT alum Christina Wells delivered a powerful debut track: “Ready or Not.” (Music video property of Christina Wells)

“Ready or Not” by Christina Wells

Friend to Jake’s Take and America’s Got Talent semifinalist Christina Wells released her first original song! “Ready or Not” showcases how Christina will not let her haters take her down. Plus, the track features spectacular vocals from the AGT: Season 13 alum.

Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber teamed up for an epic collaboration! (Music video property of Atlantic UK, Def Jam Records, & Warner UK)

“I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber

Fans went nuts on social media when Ed Sheeran released a new single with Justin Bieber. The duo co-wrote this superb track with Max Martin, Shellback, Poo Bear, and Fred Gibson. “I Don’t Care” showcases both singer-songwriters at the top of their game. In fact, the song peaked at number one on 22 countries’ music charts.

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Elton John & Taron Egerton

I am very fond of original music from Elton John and Bernie Taupin. For Rocketman, the iconic songwriting team recruited Taron Egerton to perform the track with Elton. I got chills from the first time that I listened to it and I believe that this song would be a strong contender for the 2020 Golden Globes and Oscars “Best Original Song” races.

Heaven Can Wait” by LSD

Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo became an impeccable musical supergroup that brought smiles to pop music fans’ faces. While it was not one of the singles off of Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo Presents LSD,  “Heaven Can Wait” was one of my favorite tracks on their debut album!

Madonna’s “Dark Ballet” music video has been viewed over 2.5 million times on YouTube. (Video property of Interscope Records)

“Dark Ballet” by Madonna

Madonna dropped one of the darkest set of songs that I have heard in my time in her fanbase. Her latest record, Madame X, features a collection of eccentric and mysterious tracks, but “Dark Ballet” enchants me the most. I think it is the combination of lyrics that Madonna co-wrote with longtime collaborator Mirwais Ahmadzaï or the song’s haunting musical arrangement.

Kingdom of One” by Maren Morris

I admit I am not exactly the biggest Game of Thrones fan, but I truly enjoyed the music that was inspired by the HBO drama. Maren Morris showcased country music’s dark side in an epic homage to Westeros and Essos with the haunting “Kingdom of One.” This track would have received tremendous air play on the radio.

Brothers and Sisters” by Mavis Staples

Gospel and soul music legend Mavis Staples released her fourteenth studio album, We Get By, earlier this year.  Thanks to Ben Harper, who wrote and produced all of the songs on the album, Mavis delivered one of her best records in years. The track, “Brothers and Sisters,” is a key song on the album. This unifying song would make its listeners think about today’s political climate and how they could do their part to rebuild relationships that were damaged by the events of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Mike Posner’s “Move On” was the first song that I fell in love with this year. (Music video property of Island Records)

“Move On” by Mike Posner

Mike Posner’s “Move On” was the first song that I fell in love with this year! “Move On” has impeccably honest lyrics, plus I adore the track’s guitar arrangements. Billboard reported that Mike Posner sat off on a “Walk Across America” tour where he is traveling by foot from New Jersey to California. Jake’s Take wishes Mike Posner all the best as he continues on his journey and hopes to speak with him in the future.

Naomi Scott’s “Speechless” could be an early contender for Golden Globe and Oscar glory. (Music video property of Walt Disney Records)

“Speechless” by Naomi Scott

The songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul gave Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) an anthem for the 2019 live action remake of Disney’s Aladdin. “Speechless” is a beautifully-penned tune that could give “Let It Go” a run for its money and I strongly believe that the track could be a significant frontrunner for the 2020 film awards season.  

Freedom” by Reba McEntire

I love patriotic music! Songwriters James Brunswick, Tommy Cecil, Jaida Dreyer, and John Pierce gave Reba McEntire one of her best songs from this decade. Hopefully, “Freedom” is played at numerous Independence Day events across the country on July 4!

Walk Alone” by Rudimental featuring Tom Walker

“Walk Alone” is a brilliant piece that combines two of the UK’s hottest recording artists. English drum and bass band Rudimental recruited Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Walker for the fantastic “Walk Alone.” In addition to the excellent instrumental arrangements, the lyrics will give listeners chills.

Sucker Punch” by Sigrid

 Sigrid’s “Sucker Punch” is another song that I could not get out of my head! The single was the title track off of her debut album with Island Records. While it did not break the US Billboard charts, “Sucker Punch” peaked at number three on Mexico’s Ingles Airplay Charts.

Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” by Thomas Rhett featuring Little Big Town

Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road is filled with collaborations. However, my favorite duet on the album is with Little Big Town. The quintet brilliantly blended country rock and pop together for an epic piece of ear candy!

Don’t Give Up on Me Just Yet” by Tom Wardle

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet singer-songwriter, Tom Wardle, while at a New York City Starbucks. After a pleasant conversation, I found out that Rolling Stone highlighted him.  “Don’t Give Up on Me Just Yet” is a strong sample on why you should keep an eye on Tom.

Whenyoung’s “Future” remains one of my favorite alternative rock songs of 2019! (Music video property of Virgin EMI & Universal Music Group)

“Future” by Whenyoung

Whenyoung concludes the part one edition of Jake’s Take’s Best of 2019 playlist! I first encountered Whenyoung at the Big Indie Records and DIY Magazine’s New Colossus Party this past March. I fell in head over heels with Aoife, Andrew, and Niall’s impeccable sound. “Future” is an impeccable track and I wish that American radio stations and streaming services showed the track some love.

I do not own any of 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