Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of November 20, 2020

Artists to Watch:

Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back! Here are some of the recording artists and bands that I believe could have massive success in the recording music industry.

Duncan Laurence’s Small Town Boy showcases his potential to be an international superstar. (Album cover property of Sparks Recording & Universal Music Group)

Small Town Boy by Duncan Laurence 

The Voice of Holland semifinalist and Eurovision Song Contest champion Duncan Laurence made his debut length on Universal Music Group’s Spark Records. Small Town Boy is a 12-track pop album that showcases his potential on conquering North America. Thanks to intriguing tracks such as “Beautiful,” “Between Good and Goodbye,” and “Figure It Out,” fans will gravitate towards Duncan’s songwriting and Paul Simon-esque vibe. Small Town Boy is a remarkable debut record, and I look forward to hearing from Duncan in years to come. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Beautiful,” “Between Good and Goodbye,” “Figure It Out,” & “Arcade.” 

Josh Kelley’s My Baby & the Band is one of the best albums of 2020! (Album cover property of Josh Kelley)

My Baby & the Band by Josh Kelley 

It is hard to believe that it has taken me nine years as a music journalist to learn about Josh Kelley, and I am embarrassed that I had to write it out. Since 2003, Josh Kelley has entertained audiences worldwide as a singer-songwriter and even toured with Miranda Lambert, Lady A, and his brother, Charles. Recently, Josh released his tenth studio album: My Baby & the Band. This album is a fantastic combination of Blue-eyed soul, Blues, and gospel. Josh is an impeccable storyteller, and listeners would be transported to his concert. My Baby & the Band is one of my favorite singer-songwriter albums of 2020. I hope that other music media outlets, radio stations, and streaming services feature his superb music. A- 

Tracks to Download: “We Don’t Need the Money,” “My Baby & the Band,” “Hold Me My Lord,” “You Can Count on Me,” & “I Want You Tonight.” 

Megan Thee Stallion’s Good News is one of the best breakout albums from 2020. (Album cover property of 1501 Certified Ent. LLC & 300 Entertainment)

Good News by Megan Thee Stallion

Rising rapper Megan Thee Stallion released her debut album: Good News. Megan Thee Stallion delivered a fiery debut that featured a plethora of collaborators such as Beyonce (“Savage Remix”), Big Sean and 2 Chainz (“Go Crazy”), and SZA (“Freaky Girls”). Also, Cool & Dre, Jay-Z, J.R. Rotem, Juicy J, and Scott Storch either co-penned or produced the tracks for Megan Thee Stallion’s debut. Overall, the “Circles” rapper does showcase why she is one of the most talked-about rappers of 2020. Plus, Good News is the breakout album that will accelerate her into superstardom like Pink Friday, and 

Tracks to Download: “Circles,” “Sugar Baby,”  “Freaky Girls,” “Intercourse,” “Don’t Rock Me to Sleep,” & “Savage Remix.”

Wilted by Paris Jackson 

In October, Paris Jackson dropped her first single: “Let Down,” for her Republic Records debut: Wilted. Unlike her legendary father, who found international stardom with hits that incorporated Pop and R&B, Paris decided to stick with the singer-songwriter and alternative music genres. This move was probably the best decision for her because it saved her from getting extremely unfair criticism. Wilted showcases superb songwriting and solid vocals. I believe that Paris does have the potential to make a name for herself in the music industry. B+/A-  

Tracks to Download: “repair,” “dead sea,” “let down,” & “eyelids.”

Angelina Jordan’s “Million Miles” showcases her bright future in the music industry. (Music video property of Republic Records)

“Million Miles” by Angelina Jordan

Earlier this year, Angelina Jordan stunned the world during the sophomore season of America’s Got Talent: The Champions.  Recently, Variety reported that Republic Records signed the Norway’s Got Talent winner. Her debut single, “Million Miles,” is a spectacular song. She co-wrote the song with iconic hit-makers Stargate, and it showcases her potential as a music superstar. A+ 

Liza Owen’s “Starry Eyed” is a superb song that has shades of “Sk8er Boi.” (Music video property of Epic Records)

“Starry Eyed” by Liza Owen 

After writing hits for BTS and Selena Gomez, Liza Owen is stepping into the spotlight and bringing a pop-rock and grunge attitude with her. The song is about how people realizing that their dreams are not as glamourous as they think it is and neither is the road to get there. “Starry Eyed” features excellent guitar licks, and the track has shades of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” and P!nk’s “Feel Good Time.” The song is solid, and it has the potential to dominate several streaming services’ music charts. B+ 

Running Lights’ “This Xmas” is a Christmas song that could be a standard for holiday playlists for years to come. (Music video property of Trend PR)

“This Xmas” by Running Lights featuring Charisma 

NYC-based band Running Lights rounds out this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews is Running Lights. Made up of brothers Mike Squillante (guitars/vocals) and Nick Squillante (keyboardist), and longtime friend Steve Ranellone (drums), this trio delivered a superb modern Christmas song. “This Xmas,” which features vocalist Charisma, might have been a track off of *NSYNC and 98 Degrees’ holiday albums. It also has the potential to be a standard for making holiday playlists in the future. A- 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar