Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of October 23, 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

Welcome back to the latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We have a lot of music to digest and unpack, so let’s get this party started.

Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You is one of the best rock albums of 2020! (Album cover property of Bruce Springsteen)

Letter to You by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is back! Bruce Springsteen recruited his iconic backing band, the E Street Band, to record their first album together in six years. Letter to You is the 20-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter’s first album of the 2020s, and immediately listeners are transported into Springsteen’s rock revival. Each track showcases the rocker’s legacy as a top storyteller and rabble-rouser. Letter to You would lift listeners’ spirits and inspire the next generation of musicians. Well done, Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band. 

Tracks to Download: “Letter to You,” “Burnin’ Train,” “The Power of Prayer,” “Ghosts,” & “If I Were A Priest.”

Chris Mann dropped his latest album: Noise. (Album cover property of Chris Mann)

Gentlemen by Chris Mann

It has been a while since we have heard from Chris Mann. The Voice alum and The Phantom of the Opera alum released a seven-track album called Noise. My fellow Kansan still sounds incredible, and his vocals would put a smile on listeners’ faces. Several tracks, such as the title track, “Good Days,” and “Noise!” that could dominate the adult contemporary genre radio and streaming stations. Also, keep an ear out for both India.Aire and Missi Hale who make cameos throughout the album. Chris Mann has truly blossomed as a recording artist, and I cannot wait to see his next chapter in his career. A- 

Tracks to Download: “Gentlemen,” “Good Days,” “Honestly,” & “Noise!”

Peter Hollens released a second album of Legendary Covers that will inspire music lovers everywhere. (Album cover property of Legendary Vocals)

Legendary Covers, Vol. 2: Inspire by Peter Hollens 

Longtime Jake’s Take friend Peter Hollens released his latest project. Legendary Covers, Vol. 2: Inspire is a collection of A cappella covers that will uplift listeners. A majority of the album features collaborations from Peter’s top partners. The Hound + Fox joined Peter for a haunting cover of “I’ll Stand By You,” while David Archuleta and Tim Foust make appearances on “It Is Well with My Soul” and “Fire & Rain” respectively. Legendary Covers, Vol. 2: Inspire showcases why Peter Hollens is one of the best cover artists in the music industry. A+ 

Tracks to Download: “It Is Well with My Soul,” “I’ll Stand By You,” “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” ”Let It Be,”  & “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

T.I.’s eleventh studio album features tons of superstar collaborations. (Album cover property of Grand Hussle LLC & Empire)

The L.I.B.R.A. by T.I. 

Rapper T.I. released his eleventh studio album. NME reported that The L.I.B.R.A. stands for The Legend Is Back Running Atlanta. The “Castle Walls” rapper brought on board a plethora of recording artists featured throughout the album’s 20 tracks. Several Hip-hop artists such as Jeremih, John Legend, Lil Baby, Snoop Dogg, and Young Thug shined as featured artists. However, several tracks slowed down the album’s flow, but this is one of T.I.’s better albums. B/B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Ring,” “Pardon,” “Moon Juice,” &  “We Did It Big.”

Rock icon Ann Wilson covered Steve Earle’s 2004 “The Revolution Starts Now!” (Music video property of Big Hassle Records)

“The Revolution Starts Now!” by Ann Wilson

One of rock’s greatest ladies, Ann Wilson, released a new song. The “Alone” singer’s newest tune is a cover of Steve Earle’s 2004 song “The Revolution Starts Now.” Just like what she did with the Led Zeppelin Songbook, Ann Wilson rejuvenated the song with great guitar licks, a commanding set of drums, and her phenomenal voice. A+ 

Ariana Grande’s “Positions” music video showcases her as the Commander-in-Chief. (Music video property of Republic Records)

“Positions” by Ariana Grande 

2020 has been a busy year for the “Thank U, Next” singer-songwriter. She collaborated with three different artists: Childish Gambino (“Time”), Justin Bieber (“Stuck with U”), and Lady Gaga (“Rain on Me”). Now, Ariana Grande is about ready to drop her sixth studio album. Thanks to producers London on da Track, Tommy Brown, and Mr. Franks, “Positions” is produced spectacularly. However, I am having a hard time connecting with the lyrics. Yes, Ariana’s vocals were on point, but the song is average. C- 

Josh Groban covers Robbie Williams’ legendary signature song: “Angels.” (Music video property of Reprise Records)

“Angels” by Josh Groban 

Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-nominated performer Josh Groban will release his ninth studio album, Harmony, next month. TheaterMania reported that the ‘You Raise Me Up” singer’s latest record contains classic songs. One legendary tune that Mr. Groban re-arranged was the Robbie Williams-penned “Angels.” By the first note, I got chills, and at the end of the cover, I thought it was one of Josh Groban’s best vocals. A- 

Actor Jacob Tremblay portrayed young Justin Bieber in the “Sorry” singer-songwriter’s latest music video. (Music video property of Universal Music Group)

“Lonely” by Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco 

Justin Bieber teamed up with Benny Blanco (his collaborator on hit songs: “Somebody to Love,” “Love Yourself,” and “Cold Water”) for a new tune. Together, with Finneas, they penned “Lonely.” This autobiographical tune deals with Bieber’s rise to fame and superstardom challenges. “Lonely” showcases Justin at his most vulnerable as he revealed his isolation to the world. This song makes up for a majority of pitiful tracks that were on Changes. B+ 

Kelly Rowland is showing her “Crazy” side on her latest single. (Music video property of KTR Records)

“Crazy” by Kelly Rowland 

The former two-time winning Voice Australia coach dropped her second single of 2020! “Crazy” showcases Kelly’s return to EDM seven years after the 2013 hit song’s success: “Freak.” Revolt.TV reported that Ricky Reed produced Ms. Rowland’s latest piece. “Crazy” would make dance in their seats. Ms. Rowland’s vocals still showcase the same shine that they have since “When Love Takes Over,” her iconic collaboration with David Guetta. I hope that she incorporates more songs like “Crazy” in the future. A- 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar