Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of June 26, 2020

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Welcome to the latest edition of “Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews.” (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We have a lot of music to unpack, so let’s get this party started!

Black Eyed Peas’ Translation merged multiple music genres together for an average studio album. (Cover property of Epic Records)

Translation by The Black Eyed Peas

Will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo are back! The Black Eyed Peas released their second studio album following Fergie’s departure from the group. Just like 2018’s Masters of the Sun, Vol.1, the trio recruited a plethora of recording artists to fill her place for Translation. There were several successes, such as apl.de.ap’s protégé J Rey Soul, Becky G, and Shakira. However, I felt that Translation had more guest artists than necessary. Because of the unnecessary guest artists, Translation lost my interest several times during the listening process. Hopefully, the Black Eyed Peas do better next time.  C

Tracks to Download: “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life),” “MAMACITA,” & “GIRL LIKE ME.”

Bob Dylan’s Rough & Rowdy Ways is one of his best music outings in years! (Cover property of Columbia Records)

Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan

Since he first released “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Bob Dylan redefined the United States’ music industry. The almost octogenarian released his first set of new music since 2012’s Tempest. The “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” singer-songwriter continues to showcase that he remains one of the country’s best lyricists through the gothic “My Own Version of You” and the rambling “Goodbye Jimmy Reed.” While Rough and Rowdy Ways has a majority of music whose times reach beyond the four-minute mark, the rock music icon showcases why his career has lasted over seven decades. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “I Contain Multitudes,” “My Own Version of You,” “Goodbye Jimmy Reed,” & “Mother of Muses.”

John Legend’s Bigger Love sets the standard for anyone wanting to enter the music industry. (Album cover property of Columbia Records)

Bigger Love by John Legend

EGOT icon John Legend just dropped his seventh studio album: Bigger Love. The “If You’re Out There” singer-songwriter and The Voice coach decided to approach his latest record with more up-tempo music in the first half. Eventually, Bigger Love occasionally sprinkled slower-paced tunes near the bottom half of the album. Countless high profile singer-songwriters helped John Legend craft the music. From Charlie Puth (“I Do”) and Ryan Tedder (“Bigger Love”) to Julia Michaels (“Favorite Place”) and Ester Dean (“Always”), John Legend and his executive producer Raphael Saadiq did an impeccable job recruiting quality talent for this outstanding record. Keep your ears out for unique collaborations with Gary Clark, Jr., Jhene Aiko, Koffee, and Rapsody. I hope that Bigger Love is considered for several music awards this season because it is one of John Legend’s best musical pieces.  A-/A  

Tracks to Download: “Actions,” “I Do,” “Wild,” “Bigger Love,” “U Move, I Move,” & “Conversations in the Dark.”

Branden + James released their fabulous cover of Cher’s “Believe.” (Music video property of Branden + James)

“Believe” by Branden + James 

Two of my dear friends, Branden James and James Clark, released their interpretation of Cher’s “Believe.” With just a keyboard and a cello, the duo brilliantly rearranged the tune into a sweet song that will tug on listeners’ heartstrings. I hope Cher herself watched this outstanding rendition. A- 

Brian Falduto addresses faith and the LGBTQ community in his “God Loves Me Too” video. (Music video property of Brian Falduto)

“God Loves Me Too” by Brian Falduto 

Jake’s Take friend Brian Falduto debuted his “God Loves Me Too” music video. I remember him talking with him about this song when he visited The Jake’s Take with Jacob Elyachar Podcast this past April. “God Loves Me Too” addresses religion and the LGBTQ community, which we rarely see in the music industry. “God Loves Me Too” is a powerful track that will give listeners chills. Bravo, Brian! A

Rascal Flatts prepares to say goodbye with “How They Remember You.” (Music video property of Big Machine Label Group)

“How They Remember You” by Rascal Flatts

Earlier this year, it was reported that Rascal Flatts would be going on their farewell tour. However, the tour has been scrapped due to the coronavirus. Recently, the iconic country music group released the title single for its recently announced EP, How They Remember You, which will drop on July 31. Co-written by Marc Beeson, Josh Osbourne, and Allen Shamblin, “How They Remember You,” is a fantastic reflection track, and I believe every listener should be asking themselves about the legacies they are going to leave behind. “How They Remember You” is a beautiful song from start to finish. A- 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar