JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of Feb. 10, 2023

Jake's Take Bitmoji - New Music Reviews 2023
Welcome to the first Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2023! (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 got a lot of new music to unpack, so let’s start this party.

Cheat Codes spent One Night in Nashville with country music’s biggest superstars. (Album cover property of Cheat Codes LLC)

One Night in Nashville by Cheat Codes 

Los Angeles-based EDM DJ trio Cheat Codes released their fourth studio album: One Night in Nashville. The EDM trio recruited some of country music’s biggest names, such as Jimmie Allen, Lady A, Little Big Town, Mitchell Tenpenny, Russell Dickerson, and the one and only Dolly Parton, for their biggest party. While the trio is not the first act to blend country with EDM (see Diplo’s 2020 record Chapter One: Snake Oil), Cheat Codes’ One Night in Nashville contains nearly a half-dozen potential hits. The catchy songs and superb combination of collaborations make this album a must-have for any EDM or country music fan. A- 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Something’s Coming,” “I Remember,” “What’s It Gonna Take,” “Bets on Us,” & “Never Love You Again.”

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer Sam Smith’s Gloria features numerous superstar collaborations and potential hits. (Album cover property of Capitol Records UK & Universal Music Group)

Gloria (Apple Music Edition) by Sam Smith 

Grammy and Oscar-winning recording artist Sam Smith finally dropped Gloria. The “Writing’s on the Wall” performer reunited with regular collaborators such as Ilya Salmanzadeh, Jimmy Napes, and the Stargate production team. Additionally, Calvin Harris, Cirkut, and Steve Mac co-wrote songs, while Ed Sheeran, Jessie Reyez, Koffee, and Kim Petras make appearances throughout the album as featured artists. Gloria features an intriguing combination of guitar-based ballads (“How to Cry”), steamy dance tracks (“Unholy”), and sassy club anthems (“I’m Not Here to Make Friends’). Is it Sam’s best record? Not exactly. But, it shows they are ready to take chances in their recording career. B-/B 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Love Me More,” “Lose You,” “Unholy,” “How to Cry,” & “I’m Not Here to Make Friends.”

Shania Twain’s Queen of Me features the country music icon team up with rising hitmakers. (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Queen of Me by Shania Twain

Shania Twain released her sixth studio album and first record in six years. Queen of Me showcases the “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” songstress entering a new chapter in her celebrated music career. Ms. Twain teamed up with a new generation of hitmakers, such as Adam Messinger, Georgia Barnes, Jack Savoretti, Romans, and BTS collaborator David Stewart to craft 12 new songs. “Brand New” had shades of “You’re Still the One,” while “Best Friend” sounds sort of like “Up.” Queen of Me will make Shania fans smile, and I hope more singles will come soon. B+  

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Brand New,” “Waking Up Dreaming,” “Last Day of Summer,” “Inhale/Exhale AIR,” & “Giddy Up!” 

Last Night” by Morgan Wallen

A few weeks from now, country music superstar Morgan Wallen will drop his highly anticipated third studio album: One Thing at a Time. The record is expected to have 36 SONGS! One of the songs that he dropped was “Last Night.” Ashley Gorley, John Byron, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, and Ryan Vojtesak co-wrote the country ballad. I was impressed with the track and loved hearing Morgan Wallen dive deeper into relationship strife tunes. B+  

“If We Don’t Have Each Other” by Smokey Robinson

American Songwriter recently reported that music icon Smokey Robinson would release a new album on Friday, April 28. The album, Gasms, will feature the nine new singles from the Motown legend. “If We Don’t Have Each Other” is the record’s first single, which oozes classic Smokey Robinson. I love the hypnotic guitar licks and handclaps, plus Smokey’s velvet voice puts some of his younger contemporaries to shame. 

Jake’s Take Premiere!

“We Made Kids” by Regretting Almost Everything 

Jake’s Take is proud to premiere “We Made Kids” from the upcoming musical: Regretting Almost Everything. The show is an intimate two-person musical about a middle-aged woman named Anne (played by Tony-winning actress Beth Leavel) who loves her husband, Clay (Tony-nominated actor Jeff Blumenkrantz), children, and work but realizes that she NEEDS more passion and excitement in her life. 

“We Made Kids” is the show’s second song that flashes back when they have two kids (a boy and a girl). It is a beautiful piano ballad written by the show’s lyricist Lauren Taslitz and composer Danny Ursetti. The song will make listeners rotate between getting chills and laughing out loud. It also brilliantly showcases Ms. Leavel and Mr. Blumenkrantz’s vocal chemistry. “We Make Kids” is a beautiful song, and I look forward to hearing more from this production. A- 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar