Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews (The Mid-July 2017 Edition)

Jay-Z 4:44

(Album cover property of Roc Nation)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com  

It’s time for a new edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews.

We are 14 days into July 2017, and there has been a lot of music that has dropped over the past two weeks.

As always, Jake’s Take looks at some of the latest music from our favorite artists and upcoming talent that is looking to break into the music industry.  Let’s get this party started!

4:44 by Jay-Z

Jay-Z has released his first studio album in four years, and it is one of his personal records yet. The title track, “4:44,” tackles the big elephant in the room as he directly targets his wife’s accusations that Queen Bey sang about his alleged infidelity in her 2016 blockbuster album: Lemonade. Over the past few years, Mr. Carter has chosen Auto-Tune effects and sampling over storytelling. While those elements are still front-and-center in his album, Jay-Z showcased why he remains one of rap music’s best storytellers. In 4:44, Jay-Z revealed his crumbling relationship with former best friend, Kanye West, in “Kill Jay-Z;” assisted his mother, Gloria, in coming out of the closet in “Smile,” O.J. Simpson’s troubles in “The Story of O.J.” and the epic rebuilding of his family in “Family Feud.”  A bulk of 4:44’s producing work was on the shoulders of Mr. Carter’s collaborator: No I.D.  While Beyonce, Kim Burrell, Frank Ocean, The-Dream, and even Blue Ivy Carter lend their vocals to this project, No I.D. delivered a fantastically produced album that raises the bar for every rap producer in the industry. I believe that Jay-Z could be handsomely rewarded for this excellent album during the award season.  A  

Tracks to Download: The Story of O.J.,” “Smile,” “4:44,” “Family Feud,” & “Bam.”



(Album cover courtesy of Davis Mallory)


Loud by Davis Mallory

Friend to the blog, Davis Mallory, recently released his debut EP: Loud. This EP showcases why Davis Mallory is one of his generation’s best artists that deserves to break into the mainstream music industry. The Real World: Denver alum proves that he is a sharp songwriter while surpassing the standards that tastemakers look at in up-and-coming artists in both the EDM and singer-songwriter genres. Loud is a strong debut from Davis Mallory, which will leave music lovers wanting more from him. B+

Tracks to Download: “Under the Spell,” “Be Without You,” “Not That Far Away,” & “Because of Love.


(Album cover property of Sons of Serendip)

Life + Love by Sons of Serendip

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since Micah Christian, Cordaro Rodriguez, Kendall Ramseur, and Mason Morton auditioned as the Sons of Serendip on America’s Got Talent. Sons of Serendip’s dominant display of musicianship and haunting melodies became one of the best reasons why Season Nine was one of the best seasons in franchise history. Sons of Serendip’s latest album, Life + Love, showcases their outstanding talents as they cover a diverse tracks ranging from vintage Motown (“Signed, Sealed, and Delivered”/ “Stop! In the Name of Love”) to Top 40 hits (“Hello” & “Let Her Go”). Micah’s prominent voice continues to deliver superb vocals, while Cordaro, Kendall, and Mason equally showcase new ways to incorporate the piano, cello, and harp into familiar tunes. If you need music to uplift your soul, I would highly recommend that you download Sons of Serendip’s Life + Love. A+

Tracks to Download: “Carry on Wayward Son,” “Let Her Go,” “I Lived,” “Hello,” “Signed, Sealed & Delivered,” & “A Change is Gonna Come.”

Praying” by Kesha

Kesha put her whole heart and soul into “Praying.” This song is not only her most powerful tracks that she has released, but it also one of the most emotional songs that I have listened to in 2017. I loved the way that she targeted a particular person, Dr. Luke, and it showcased she is more than capable of writing songs other than club bangers such as “Tik Tok,” “Til the World Ends,” and “Timber.” Also, listeners would be impressed with her outstanding falsetto that Kesha showcases near the song’s decrescendo. I cannot wait to see what Kesha releases next. A

Did It for the Party” by Big & Rich

Big Kenny and John Rich have been one of the 2000s’ most successful country music dynamic duos. However, throughout this decade, Big & Rich faced some fierce competition including country pop bangers Florida Georgia Line and Dan + Shay. “Did It for the Party” talks about why the duo got into music and the reason they wanted to go conquer country music. “Did It for the Party” is an okay single, but I thought that the guitars at times overpowered their vocals and some of the lyrics were not catchy enough. C+

Sweat” by the All-American Rejects

One of my all-time favorite alternative rock bands of all-time is The All-American Rejects. At numerous times of my life, several of their outstanding classics such as “Swing, Swing,” “Move Along,” and “Gives You Hell” was featured in multiple playlists in my iPod Touch. Their latest single, “Sweat,” is a breath of fresh air. Lead singer Tyson Ritter is in top form, while Nick Wheeler’s lead guitar licks and Chris Gaylor’s drum tracks will wake listeners up from their summer slumbers. I hope that they follow up with an album soon. B


(Album cover property of Universal Music Group & Hollywood Records)

Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato

It’s official; we do not want to get on Demi Lovato’s bad side. “Sorry Not Sorry” is her latest single. She collaborated with her “Heart Attack” co-writer Sean Douglas, Trevor Brown, and Pop & Oak’s Warren Felder. “Sorry Not Sorry” is one of the feistiest songs of the summer and Demi attacked her critics, former friends, and possibly ex-lovers. While Demi’s vocal performance makes her one of the best vocalists of her peers, I thought there were too many EDM and Eurohouse elements to this track. B-

Zander Bleck Alive

(Album cover courtesy of LaFamos)

Alive” by Zander Bleck

Jake’s Take continues its tradition to introduce acts to you—our faithful readers! This edition’s new artist is Zander Bleck. The New Jersey-turned-Los Angeles rock artist’s latest single, “Alive,” is a breath of fresh air in the pop rock world. “Alive” showcases Zander’s Daughtry-like vocals and combined with subdued electric guitar riffs make this soul-searching rock record a must have in any music lover’s library. I predict big things for Mr. Bleck! B+


(Album cover property of the Harmonix Factory)

Magic” by Ricky Jarman featuring Jaye Bullo

Rounding out this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews is Ricky Jarman. The rising singer-songwriter and friend to the blog released his latest single: “Magic.” Ricky teamed up with his longtime collaborator, Sam Harmonix, to create a hypnotic dance pop-R&B club track that should be playing in clubs across the country. In addition to Ricky’s superb vocals, “Magic” features an explosive rap from rapper Jaye Bullo. This is one of Ricky’s best and I still wonder when Universal Music Group or Sony Music is going to sign this gem of an artist. A-

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.


  1. Really enjoyed your post! Check out my post on Jay-Z’s “4:44” too. https://musicandmediablog.wordpress.com/

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