Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of July 31, 2020

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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

It is hard to believe that today is the last day of July 2020! Here is the last July 2020 edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. We got a lot of new music to unpack, so let’s get the party started!

Alanis Morissette released a new studio album for the first time in eight years. (Album cover property of Epiphany Records)

Such Pretty Forks in the Road by Alanis Morissette

For the first time in eight years, singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette dropped new music! The “You Oughta Know” singer-songwriter teamed up with keyboardist Michael Farrell (Morrissey, Macy Gray, and Vanessa Carlton) to pen 11 different tracks. Throughout Such Pretty Forks in the Road, the Canadian-American singer-songwriter proves that despite taking a hiatus from releasing new music, she still has her edge. The lyrics are robust and producers Alex Hope and Catherine Marks did an impeccable job with the album. Such Pretty Forks in the Road is one of the best alternative rock albums of 2020! A-

Tracks to Download: “Smiling,” “Reasons I Drink,” “Reckoning,” “Sandbox Love,” & “Ablaze.”

Branden + James’ debut album, Chasing Dreams, showcases the duo at their best. (Album cover courtesy of Branden James Music)

Chasing Dreams by Branden & James 

Two dear friends of Jake’s Take, America’s Got Talent standout Branden James and his husband, cellist James Clark, released their debut album: Chasing Dreams. For their collection, the duo recorded nine covers and three original songs. Branden + James brilliantly interprets these songs with their stunning arrangements. While it has been seven years since Branden stepped onto the AGT stage, the tenor showcases that his voice still packs a sturdy and elegant punch. Also, keep an ear out for Shoshana Bean, who makes a cameo on Branden + James’ cover of Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli’s “Perfect Symphony.” Chasing Dreams is a compelling full-length debut album, and I believe that essential things are ahead for this duo! 

Tracks to Download: “A Million Dreams,” “It Must Have Been Love,” “Somewhere Only We Know,” “Till We See,” & “Perfect Symphony.”

Rapper Logic dropped his “final” studio album: No Pressure. (Album cover property of Def Jam Recordings)

No Pressure by Logic

Rapper Logic (Sir Robert Bryson Hall II) shocked the music world by releasing his sixth and “final” studio album: No Pressure. Logic teamed up with regular collaborator 6ix and Jay-Z collaborator No I.D. as they assembled a team to craft a superb “farewell” album. Logic’s rapping style hypnotizes music lovers and showcases that he is leaving a legacy throughout the 15 tracks. I hope that Logic has the opportunity to return to music when he is ready. 

Tracks to Download: “Hit My Line,” “GP4,” “Soul Food II,” & “5 Hooks.”

Rascal Flatts’ How They Remember You marked the country music group’s final album in the music industry. (Album cover property of Big Machine Records)

How They Remember You by Rascal Flatts 

One of country music’s top trios is saying farewell. Earlier this year, Rascal Flatts announced they would release their final album and go on one last tour. However, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the “Life is a Highway” band had to scrap the tour plans. Thankfully, Rascal Flatts decided to release seven songs as a way “Thank You” to the group’s millions of fans around the world. Standouts include the reflective title track and “Looking Back.” Gary, Jay, and Joe Don, thank you for all of the incredible memories. Good luck with the next chapter of your respective careers. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “How They Remember You,” “Feel It in the Morning,” “Looking Back,” & “Sip Away.”

As much as I love Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, I found that their fourth collaboration together, “Happy Anywhere,” was too cheesy. (Music video property of Warner Records)

“Happy Anywhere” by Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani

The Voice coaches and one of the music industry’s most significant couples released their fourth duet. Co-written by Ross Cooperman, Josh Osborne, and Matt Jenkins, “Happy Anywhere” is a feel-good country duet. The only concern I have with “Happy Anywhere” is that the Blake and Gwen duet is in the sappy and cheesy territories. If the duo went deeper into those territories, it would have turned off many music lovers. 

Jason Derulo bounces back with “Take You Dancing.” (Music video property of Artist Partner Group)

“Take You Dancing” by Jason Derulo 

When I first heard Jason Derulo’s “Take You Dancing,” I instantly thought: “Night and Day.” In an earlier edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews, I scorched the former So You Think You Can Dance judge for his abysmal single: “Coño.” However, I fell in love with the “Cheyenne” singer-songwriter’s “Take You Dancing.” This song has all the ingredients necessary to dominate the summer of 2020. B+/A- 

Sam Smith and Burna Boy released their new collaboration: ‘My Oasis.” (Music video property of Capital Records)

“My Oasis” by Sam Smith featuring Burna Boy 

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith dropped their latest collaboration: “My Oasis.” NME reported that the “Too Good at Goodbyes” singer-songwriter teamed up with Nigerian recording artist Burna Boy. The duo co-wrote their track with Jimmy Napes recorded their vocals on two different continents. Thanks to their production team, “My Oasis” is a solid pop/R&B track that would peg listeners’ attention from the song’s first note. 

Head to the bottom of the page to visit my Artists to Watch section!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar