Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews- Week of November 6, 2020

Jake's Take Bitmoji
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 first November 2020 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We got a lot of music to digest, so let’s get this party started!

Ariana Grande’s Positions is solid, but will it stand the test of time as previous albums such as Dangerous Woman and Thank U, Next? (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Positions by Ariana Grande 

I have to give Ariana Grande props. Since Sweetener, the “Thank u, Next” singer-songwriter, has dropped a full-length studio album each year. This year’s offering is Positions. This 14-track album features cameos from Doja Cat, The Weeknd (their first track together since 2014’s “Love Me Harder”), and Ty Dolla $ign. “The Way” singer co-wrote a bulk of the tracks with Tommy Brown, Steven Franks, and Victoria Monet. This quartet does prove to be a sturdy team throughout the album. They also received help from top songwriters such as London on da Track, Ryan Tedder, and Scott Storch. While Positions is a strong album, it will be interesting to see how this album stands the test of time against some of her elite albums such as Dangerous Woman and Thank U, Next. B/B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Motive,” “Off the Table,” “Safety Net,” & “Positions.”

Major Lazer’s “last” album, Music Is the Weapon, is a mixed bag containing hits and average songs. (Album cover property of Mad Decent Records)

Music Is the Weapon by Major Lazer

Electronic band Major Lazer is coming to an end. Producer extraordinaire Diplo, along with Walshy Fire and new member Ape Drums dropped the group’s fourth studio album: Music Is the Weapon. The trio’s fourth album follows the same formula that started in 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do. Major Lazer recruited many collaborators that included Top 40 favorites such as Alessia Cara, French Montana, Khalid, Marcus Mumford, and Nicki Minaj. Major Lazer also recruited plenty of up-and-coming artists such as Anitta, BEAM, and Mr. Eazi. Music Is the Weapon’s listening experiencewould divide listeners because for every “Hell and High Water,” “Oh My Gawd,” and “Trigger,” there are unnecessary tracks that bring the album down. C+/B- 

Tracks to Download: “Hell and High Water,” “Oh My Gawd,” “Trigger,” & “Lay Your Head on Me.”

Meghan Trainor dropped her very first holiday album: A Very Trainor Christmas. (Album cover property of Epic Records)

A Very Trainor Christmas by Meghan Trainor 

Meghan Trainor released the first-holiday album of her career! A Very Trainor Christmas featured a combination of Christmas classics and original music that the former The Four: Battle for Stardom and The Voice UK judge co-wrote. There are some surprises on this album, including “Holidays,” which features Earth, Wind & Fire, and “White Christmas,” a duet with American Dad Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Music lovers and Meghan Trainor fans would love some of the songs’ arrangements, including the covers of George Michael’s “Last Christmas” and Britney Spears’ “My Only Wish.” A- 

Tracks to Download: “My Kind of Christmas,” “Last Christmas,” “Holidays,”  “Winter Wonderland,” & “My Only Wish.”

Sam Smith Love Goes
Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith finally dropped their third studio album: ‘Love Goes.’ (Album cover property of Capitol Records)

Love Goes by Sam Smith

It has been way too long since we heard from the Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter, Sam Smith. We were initially supposed to hear from them this past June, but they decided to wait, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Love Goes features 17 tracks that include songs penned by Smith and a plethora of A-list collaborators, including Ali Tamposi, James Napier, Ryan Tedder, Shellback, and Stargate. Also, there are a superb set of duets with Burna Boy (“My Oasis”), Demi Lovato (“I’m Ready”), and Normani (“Dancing with a Stranger”). Love Goes is genuinely worth the wait! Well done, Sam Smith! 

Tracks to Download: “Diamonds,” “My Oasis,” “Dance (‘Til You Love Someone Else),” “For the Lover That I Lost,” “Kids Again,” & “I’m Ready.”

Josh Groban’s cover of “Celebrate Me Home” is not my favorite rendition of Kenny Loggins’ hit. (Music video property of Reprise Records)

“Celebrate Me Home” by Josh Groban

Josh Groban’s latest album, Harmony, features reimagined arrangements of classic tracks. Last month, I reviewed his take on Robbie Williams’ “Angels.” Recently, he dropped another cover: Kenny Loggins’ “Celebrate Me Home.” The best cover that I ever heard of this song was Ruben Studdard’s phenomenal 2008 rendition. I love Josh Groban and his voice, but it fell below Ruben’s version. 

Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks delivered an impeccable remix of “Midnight Sky (Edge of Midnight).” (Music video property of RCA Records)

Midnight Sky (Edge of Midnight)” by Miley Cyrus featuring Stevie Nicks

Variety reported that Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks collaborated on one epic mash-up. The former Voice coach and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee merged their two hits: “Midnight Sky” and “Edge of Seventeen.” This remix is pure magic, and “Midnight Sky (Edge of Midnight)” is one of the most fantastic surprises of 2020! A+

Head to the second page to read this edition’s Artists to Watch!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar