Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of April 2, 2021

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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 April 2021 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We got a lot of new music to unpack, so let’s get this party started.

Benny Blanco’s Friends Keep Secrets 2 would have been incredible if he added more original music. (Album cover property of Friends Keep Secrets & Interscope Records)

Friends Keep Secrets 2 by Benny Blanco 

Benny Blanco is one of the millennial generation’s top songwriters and producers in the music industry. In 2018, after co-writing hits for Britney Spears, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry, Benny released his first studio album: Friends Keep Secrets. Three years later, he dropped an extended version of his record. While it does include new collaborations with Gracie Abrams (“Unlearn”), Justin Bieber (“Lonely”), and the late Juice WRLD (“Real S—“), there are still songs from his first album, including “Eastside” and “Graduation” that are on this record. I do wish that Friends Keep Secrets 2 incorporated new material over repeating songs. C

Tracks to Download: “Real S—,” “You,” & “Care.”

Demi Lovato’s Dancing with the Devil…The Art of Starting Over is her best album yet! (Album cover property of Island Records)

Dancing with the Devil…The Art of Starting Over by Demi Lovato

It has been four years since Demi Lovato released a studio album. A lot has happened since the “Sorry Not Sorry” released Tell Me You Love Me. People Magazine reported that the former X Factor USA judge went through a rough patch that nearly included a “fatal overdose.” Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over starts with the power punches of “Anyone” and the first title track before going into “The Art of Starting Over” and 14 additional tracks. The 15 latter songs showcase the new chapter of her life and an exciting one it will be. Guest artists including Ariana Grande, Noah Cyrus, Sam Fischer, and Saweetie make cameo appearances sprinkled throughout the album. Jake’s Take also wants to give kudos to songwriters and producers, including Geoff Warburton, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Lauren Aquilina, Mitch Allan, and Oak, who helped Demi and her team craft this impeccable album. I truly predict that we will see Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over on several “End of 2021” Best of Lists. A+ 

Tracks to Download: “Anyone,” “Dancing with the Devil,” “Lonely People,” “Met Him Last Night,” “What Other People Say,” & “Mad World.”

Singer-songwriter Eddie Benjamin’s Emotional showcases his potential in the music industry. (Album cover property of Epic Records)

Emotional – EP by Eddie Benjamin

Bondi Beach, Australia native Eddie Benjamin has become an international sensation in the recording industry. Both Sia and Justin Bieber, who Wonderland Magazine reported that the “Anyone” singer declared Eddie: “the next generation of music,” have taken the singer under their respective wings. After dropping several high profile singles, the “Running Away from Home” singer-songwriter dropped his highly anticipated extended play: Emotional.  While it only has four tracks, Emotional cements Justin Bieber’s declaration. Music fans will be impressed with Eddie Benjamin’s vocals including a superb cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and “Diamond Eyes,” a duet with his mentor Sia. I cannot wait to see what he does next. A-

Tracks to Download: “Diamond Eyes,” “Speechless,” “Back to Black, “ & “Emotional.”

Lana Del Rey took her fans to the country club in Chemtrails Over the Country Club. (Album cover property of Interscope Records & Polydor Records)

Chemtrails over the Country Club by Lana De Rey

Lana Del Rey dropped the seventh studio album in her career. It has been nearly two years since the “Summertime Sadness” songstress dropped Norman F—ing Rockwell! This time around, Ms. Del Rey transported listeners to her version of a country club. Chemtrails over the Country Club is the second collaboration between Lana Del Rey and superstar producer Jack Antonoff. The duo co-wrote most of the album with assistance from Rick Nowels, Nikki Lane, and guest artists Weyes Blood and Zella Day. Chemtrails over the Country Club is a vital record that I hope is in the conversation for the 2021-22 music awards season. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” “Tulsa Jesus Freak,” “Dark But Just a Game,” & “Yosemite.”

Sam Smith dropped their spectacular third live album: Love Goes – Live at Abbey Road Studios. (Album cover property of Universal Music Group)

Love Goes: Live at Abbey Road Studios by Sam Smith

Grammy-winning and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith surprised their fanbase by releasing their third live album. The music superstar recorded their top hits with a full band last year at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. While Sam Smith delivered vocally, their arrangement team sparkled with beautiful orchestrations that will enchant listeners. There are several standouts including solo performances of “Promises” and “Diamonds.” Also, I highly recommend his superb cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Keep an ear out for actress Jade Anouka and Labrinth, who sang with Sam Smith on “My Oasis” and “Love Goes” respectively. Love Goes: Live at Abbey Road Studios is probably one of the best pieces of music that Sam Smith ever recorded and it is also one of my favorite live records from this decade so far. A

Tracks to Downloads: “Diamonds,” “Dancing with a Stranger,” “Promises,” “Too Good at Goodbyes,” & “Time After Time.”

Head to the second page to find out which recording artists this edition of Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch

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