Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of October 2, 2020

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Welcome to the first fourth quarter 2020 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.

Bon Jovi’s 2020 album greatly disappointed me. (Album cover property of Island Records)

Bon Jovi 2020 by Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi dropped its first album of the 2020s. The band, which is known for iconic anthems such as “Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Raise Your Hands,” and “It’s My Life,” addressed many mainstream news stories in its fifteenth studio album: 2020.  While both “Limitless” and “Do What You Can” pay homage to the group’s glory days, I had a problem connecting with the iconic rock group this time around. D+/C- 

Tracks to Download: “Limitless” & “Do What You Can. ”

Despite having “Let There Be Peace,” one of the best songs she released in her career, Carrie Underwood’s My Gift was a little too melancholy for my taste. (Album cover property of Capitol Records Nashville)

My Gift by Carrie Underwood 

The American Idol winner dropped her first Christmas album. My Gift features classic holiday songs and three original tunes. In all honesty, My Gift is one of my least favorite records that Carrie Underwood produced. My Gift’s primary issue is pacing. When I listen to holiday albums, I want excitement. Sadly, the only two exciting gems on this album are the Carrie Underwood, Brett James, and David Garcia co-penned “Let There Be Peace” and much-anticipated John Legend duet: “Hallelujah.” Sorry, Ms. Underwood, but this was too melancholy for my taste! D+ 

Tracks to Download: “Let There Be Peace” & “Hallelujah.” 

Dolly Parton released her third Christmas album of her career. A Holly Dolly Christmas features duets with Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, and Willie Nelson. (Album cover property of Butterfly Records)

A Holly Dolly Christmas by Dolly Parton 

The Queen of Country Music, Dolly Parton, released the third Christmas album of her career. The recording industry icon showcased the perfect Christmas album with holiday classics and six original penned tunes. The “9 to 5” singer also recruited a plethora of special guests for duets. From Michael Buble and Willie Nelson to Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus, A Holly Dolly Christmas contains buckets of joy that will unite generations together this holiday season. A-

Tracks to Download: “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Christmas on the Square,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Pretty Paper,” & “Mary Did You Know?”

Machine Gun Kelly shifted from rap to punk rock in Tickets to My Download. (Album cover property of Bad Boy & Interscope Records)

Tickets to My Download by Machine Gun Kelly 

For his fifth studio album, Machine Gun Kelly decided to trade his rap sound for pop-punk. To accomplish this goal, the actor-rapper recruited Blink-182’s Travis Barker to executive produce Tickets to My Download. I was surprisingly impressed by the change of direction and how effective the Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker team was in creating the album. Tickets to My Download’s sound would remind millennials of the Warped Tours’ peak years. Also, keep an ear out for Blackbear, Halsey, Iann Dior, and Trippie Redd, who all made cameos throughout the album. B

Tracks to Download: “Forget Me Too,” “All I Know,” “Lonely,” & “My Ex’s Best Friend.” 

“Stars” by Brian Falduto

Jake’s Take friend Brian Falduto dropped a new song: “Stars.” The “God Loves Me Too” singer-songwriter co-wrote the track with Ari Silberman and Michael Benjamin Bunin. Once again, music lovers will gravitate towards Brian’s husky baritone along with the song’s impeccable jazzy arrangement. A- 

Bruce Springsteen’s “Ghosts” is the second single off of his upcoming album: Letter to You. (Music video property of Bruce Springsteen)

“Ghosts” by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss dropped another single off of his upcoming twentieth studio album: Letter to You. As I reported last time, this album is the first to feature the mighty E Street Band since 2014’s High Hopes. The second single, “Ghosts,” honors fans’ lost ones in a powerful anthem. “Ghosts” is one of my favorite songs that The Boss penned this century, and I believe that Mr. Springsteen and producer Ron Aniello created a future Grammy-winning crowd favorite. A 

Sia’s “Courage to Change” showcases that the singer-songwriter is still at the top of her game. (Music video property of Sia)

“Courage to Change” by Sia

When it comes to ballads and anthems, singer-songwriter Sia Furler is best in the recording industry. The woman behind hits such as “Titanium,” “Diamonds,” and “Unstoppable” is about to release her most significant project to date: her directorial debut. Sometime this year, Universal Pictures will release Music, a musical drama film that Sia directed, co-produced, and co-wrote its screenplay. Music will also feature ten tracks written by the “Alive” singer-songwriter. “Courage to Change” is a powerful anthem that will give music lovers chills and insight into the Music universe.  

U2 teamed up with Sir Elton John to cover “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” for a tribute album honoring songwriter Marc Bolan and his band: T.Rex. (Music video property of Universal Music Group)

“Bang A Gong (Get It On)” by U2 + Elton John 

U2 teamed up with music icon Sir Elton John to pay homage to Marc Bolan and T.Rex. They covered British glam rock band T.Rex’s signature song: “Bang A Gong (Get It On).” While I loved both artists, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” needed some additional excitement. The “Your Song” singer should have traded lyrics with Bono more often in the song. While I admire artists paying homage to their peers, they need to elevate the song to the next level, and both music legends disappointed me. C-/C 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar