Jake’s Take: New Music Reviews (Week of June 3, 2016)-The Albums Edition

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to another exciting edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!

In this edition, we salute albums.  From a promising start from a rising music duo to the worst Led Zeppelin tribute ever recorded, Jake’s Take has your music recommendations covered!


(Album cover property of EPC Enterprises LLP)

(Album cover property of EPC Enterprises LLP)

I Still Do by Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton just released his 23rd solo studio album! For this career landmark, Mr. Clapton reunited with the man who helped him record two of his iconic records: Slowhand (1977) and Backless (1978): celebrated record producer Glyn Johns.  I Still Do’s 12 tracks features covers of songs written by Clapton’s friends and inspirations such as Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson and the late JJ Cale. At 71-years-old, Mr. Clapton’s musicianship outshines almost every instrumentalist and artist considered to be in the Top 40 genre. He continues to prove to both aspiring musicians and fans that the Blues and rock can be cool without using dubstep, Eurohouse or screamo elements. If this is his final album, then he went out with a bang. A-

Tracks to Download: “Alabama Woman Blues,” “Can’t Let You Do It,” “I’ll Be Seeing You”  & “Stones in My Passway

7/27 by Fifth Harmony

Fifth Harmony is probably the last act standing from the now defunct X Factor USA that has a record contract (On a side note, does anyone know what happened to Melanie Amaro, Tate Stevens, Emblem3 and Alex & Sierra?).  For their sophomore album, the ladies turned to a diverse group of hitmakers to write and produce their tracks. Among the musicians that contributed tracks include Alexander Kronlund, Stargate, The Monsters & the Strangerz, Julia Michaels and Benny Blanco.  In addition, several rappers such as Ty Dolla $ign, Fetty Wap and Missy Elliott make cameos on the album. Despite having this mega-wattage of composers, there is not a personal connection from the girls on this album. I have noticed over the past few years that several members of music groups stepped up to the plate and wrote several tracks that helped their groups sail straight to the top of the radio charts.  If the girls want to be celebrating their 10th anniversary together in 2022 and grow as artists, LA Reid needs to have the ladies work with Epic’s best songwriters for their third album.  B-/C+

Tracks to Download: “Write On Me,” “Not That Kinda Girl” & “Scared of Happy”


Alexander Jean Head High EP

(Album cover property of Alexander Jean Music)

Head High by Alexander Jean

Earlier this week, I introduced you to Alexander Jean. This red-hot combination of singer-songwriter BC Jean and Dancing with the Stars professional partner Mark Ballas has taken iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart by storm as both of their singles: “Thief” and “Roses and Violets” peaked at numbers five and one respectively on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter Top Songs Chart. Between Mark’s energetic guitars and BC’s elegant voice, Alexander Jean will not only attract music lovers to their exquisite party, but should attract radio play across the country. Congratulations, Mark & BC! Head High is my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Thief,” “Head High,” “So Bad,” “Roses & Violets” & “Whiskey & Morphine”

Does Led Zeppelin II by Train

Whoever gave Pat Monahan and company the right away to record Led Zeppelin covers should be fired! This was the worst idea in the band’s fabled history. I cringed when I listened to the band’s abysmal attempts of capturing the spirits of Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Paige and John Paul Jones. What made the quartet so iconic was their innate ability to tap into a generation’s emotional spectrum and translate those feelings into some of the greatest rock songs of all-time.  Save your money and Train, please go back to the drawing board and create some original music! F

Tracks to Download: None!


Dan + Shay Obsessed

(Album cover property of Warner Music Nashville)


Obsessed by Dan + Shay

One of the hottest duos in country music is back with their sophomore studio album. Obsessed is a very sturdy album thanks to Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney’s impeccable songwriting with the help of co-writers such as busbee, Liz Rose, Chris DeStefano, Shane McAnally and Jesse Frasure. In addition, Smyers flexed his production muscles as he helped Scott Hendricks co-produce a bulk of the Obsessed tracks.  Dan + Shay continue to show so much progress as they continue to grow as songwriters and recording artists. I have a strong feeling that they will be the millennial generation’s Brooks + Dunn. A-

Tracks to Download: “Road Trippin’,” “From The Ground Up,” “Round the Clock” & “Obsessed


Cassadee Pope Summer EP

(EP cover property of Big Machine Records)


Summer EP by Cassadee Pope

It’s been a while since we heard from Cassadee Pope! Summer EP features four songs that might set the mood for Cassadee’s solo sophomore follow-up from her 2013 album: Frame by Frame. Cassadee has come a long way since she won The Voice four years ago as a member of Team Blake and I believe that her upcoming studio album will knock our socks off.  B+

Tracks to Download: “Piano,” “Alien” & “Summer

Stranger to Stranger by Paul Simon

Paul Simon is one of America’s greatest singer-songwriters. Between his powerful collaborations with Art Garfunkel (“Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “The Sound of Silence”) and his celebrated solo career (“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “You Can Call Me Al”), Mr. Simon has written some of the greatest songs of our lives. In his thirteenth studio album, Mr. Simon decided to go outside the box and work with various genres such as experimental Jazz, EDM and gospel. In all honesty, Stranger to Stranger is a mixed bag that has excellent tracks such as “The Werewolf,” “Street Angel” and “In the Garden of Edie” that is classic Simon, while others tracks were poorly executed and should not have made the cut.  If you are a true Paul Simon fan, you will enjoy this album. However, if you are music lover…save your money! C

Tracks to Download: “Wristband” & “Street Angel”

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

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar