Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of October 16, 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 the Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. We got a lot of music to unpack, so let’s get this party started!

K-pop superstars Blackpink dropped a superb album that featured collaborations with Cardi B and Selena Gomez. (Album cover property of YG Entertainment & Interscope Records)

THE ALBUM by Blackpink 

K-pop superstars Blackpink kick off this edition with their latest studio album: THE ALBUM. Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé continue to showcase their musical talents throughout the eight tracks. In addition to their regular collaborators Teddy Park and R.Tee, the quartet recruited several music superstars to assist with their project. While Cardi B (“Bet You Wanna”) and Selena Gomez (“Ice Cream”) appear on the album, Ariana Grande, David Guetta, Ryan Tedder, and Victoria Monet all offered either lyrics or compositions for THE ALBUM. Despite the addition of the too-sweet “Ice Cream,” THE ALBUM is a fun record to listen to, and there are several tracks that are worthy of dominating both radio and streaming charts.  

Tracks to Download: “How You Like That,” “Pretty Savage,” “Bet You Wanna,” & “Lovesick Girls.”

Jake’s Take friend Joe Barksdale dropped his latest EP: Sincerely, which features a superb cover of The Beatles’ “Blackbird.” (Album cover property of Moonbeam Music LLC)

Sincerely – EP by Joe Barksdale 

Jake’s Take friend Joe Barksdale dropped his latest EP: Sincerely. The former Los Angeles Rams football player’s extended play features five unique tracks, including “Moonbeam,” a song featured in the June 12, 2020, New Music Reviews. There is something special about Joe’s artistry that mixes jam band and funk in a brilliant combination. Between the phenomenal arrangements and his superb music, Joe Barksdale is a fantastic role model for former professional athletes to showcase their musical side. A- 

Tracks to Download: “Black Majik,” “Moonbeam,” “How Much You Mean To Me,” & “Blackbird.”

Queen + Adam Lambert released their first live record. (Album cover property of Hollywood Records)

Live Around the World by Queen + Adam Lambert 

Queen founders (Dr. Brian May and Roger Taylor) released their first live album with current frontman Adam Lambert.  Rolling Stone reported that Live Around the World mixes the group’s performances from the past six years on the road. The album features a plethora of moments from the band’s top international concerts, including Fire Fight Australia and London’s The O2. People who have seen the group live (I saw them in 2017 at the Barclays Center) would bring back fond memories. For fans and music lovers, Live Around the World is the perfect way to hold your Queen fix in until 2021! 

Tracks to Download: “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Who Wants to Live Forever,” “Radio Ga Ga,” & “We Will Rock You.”

The Struts’ Strange Days features collaborations with Albert Hammond, Jr., Robbie Williams, & Tom Morello. (Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Strange Days by The Struts

The Struts are back! The Derbyshire, England-based quartet dropped their third studio album: Strange Days. Vocalist Luke Spiller continues to prove he is one of the best frontmen of my generation as he commanded listeners’ attention all throughout the album. Meanwhile, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliot, and drummer Gethin Davies, strengthen the glam rock’s group impeccable sound with outstanding guitar licks and drum rhythms. Strange Days also features several superstar collaborators including Robbie Williams, Tom Morello, and Albert Hammond, Jr. Well done, The Struts! B+

Tracks to Download: “Strange Days,” “All Dressed Up (With Nowhere to Go),” “I Hate How I Much I Want You,” & “Another Hit of Showmanship.”

“Cool” by Blake English

Another Jake’s Take friend Blake English dropped new music. His latest single, “Cool,” reminds me of a combination of 90s/2000s teen pop meets Charlie Puth and Justin Bieber. K-Pop and J-Pop producers SOFTSERVEBOY (Gwen Stefani) and Sqvare (Monsta X) inserted some positive energy into Blake’s pop-punk music. “Cool” has the potential to dominate the streaming services and music charts. Hopefully, a music industry insider can make this happen. B+/A- 

Meghan Trainor covered Wham!’s “Last Christmas” as a part of her first holiday album: A Very Trainor Christmas. (Music video property of Epic Records)

“Last Christmas” by Meghan Trainor 

The “All About That Bass” vocalist is dropping her first Christmas album! One of the first singles off of former Voice UK coach’s new record was Wham!’s iconic holiday break-up song: “Last Christmas.” Meghan and her team did a phenomenal job covering this holiday classic, and at points of the track, I got chills! A- 

Shawn Mendes’ “Wonder” marks a new era for the “Mercy” singer-songwriter. (Music video property of Island Records)

“Wonder” by Shawn Mendes

Two years after releasing his self-titled album, Shawn Mendes is about to release his fourth studio album. “Wonder” is the title track of this record. He co-wrote the song with his usual collaborators: Kid Harpoon, Nate Mercureau, and Scott Harris. “Wonder” brilliantly continues the “Mercy” singer-songwriter’s euphoric tunes featured in 2018’s Shawn Mendes. Music lovers would enjoy the arrangement, but I believe they would devour the song like hardcore Shawn Mendes fans. B/B+  

The iconic Stevie Wonder teamed up with Gary Clark, Jr. for an epic collaboration: “Where Is Our Love Song.” (Music video property of Republic Records)

“Where Is Our Love Song” by Stevie Wonder featuring Gary Clark, Jr.

My jaw dropped when I read on Entertainment Weekly that music legend Stevie Wonder dropped new music! The 70-year-old 25-time Granny winner teamed up with guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. to release “Where Is Our Love Song” This song is a classic Stevie Wonder anthem that would make fans smile and listen. It is good to hear from you again, Mr. Wonder! A

Head to the bottom of the page to find out which artists made it to Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar