JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of Jan. 13, 2023

Jake's Take Bitmoji - New Music Reviews 2023
Welcome to the first Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2023! (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the first Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2023! We got a lot of new music to unpack, so let’s get this party started.

Monsta X’s Reason will ignite K-pop music fans! (Album cover property of Starship Entertainment & Kakao Entertainment)

Reason – EP  by Monsta X 

Monsta X released their twelfth mini album: REASON. The latest extended play features Shownu, Minhyuk, Kuhyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M back in action as they blend K-pop, hip-hop, and EDM with incredible results. Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M. worked on the lyrics, music, and song arrangements with assistance from Ryan S Jhun, Josh Cumbee, Wooki, Lauren Aquilina, and the Space Primates. Reason – EP contains several chart-topper contenders in “Beautiful Liar” and “LONE RANGER.” I believe this is a solid EP, and Monsta X has a lot in store for us in 2023. 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Beautiful Liar,” “LONE RANGER,” & “It’s Alright.”

SZA’s SOS cements her place in the music industry. (Album cover property of Top Dawg Entertainment & RCA Records)


In the middle of December, SZA surprised fans by dropping her sophomore album: SOS. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter focused on co-creating 23 tracks that showcase her assertion as a recording artist. Babyface, Benny Blanco, Darkchild, Jeff Bhasker, John Hill, Lizzo, the Neptunes, and Ty Dolla $ign are high-profile co-writers on this project. Meanwhile, Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers, Travis Scott, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard are credited as featured artists on SOS. There is also a combination of eight interpolations and samples on this album, which could hinder or enhance listeners’ ability to enjoy the album. SOS does a solid job expanding on the universe that SZA built in her 2017 debut Ctrl. I look forward to seeing her explore her artistry in the future. B+ 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Kill Bill,” “Love Language,” “Used,” “F2F,” & “Too Late.”

“Holding Out for a Hero” by Adam Lambert

The latest single from Adam Lambert’s upcoming fifth studio album, High Drama, is the Queen frontman’s take on Bonnie Tyler’s classic 80s anthem: “Holding Out for a Hero.” Adam transformed the Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford-rock tune into a slick EDM anthem that features bombastic vocals from the “Roses” singer-songwriter. A

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Daughtry featuring Lzzy Hale

Daughtry released a high-octane cover of Journey’s 1983 classic “Separate Ways (World Apart).” Chris Daughtry’s vocals deliver a power punch, and featured artist and Halestorm co-founder Lzzy Hale is an excellent addition to the song. This powerhouse cover will be a part of Daughtry’s upcoming album and is a perfect start to a new era. A- 

“Toxic Las Vegas (Jamieson Shaw Remix)” by Elvis Presley & Britney Spears

Two of Las Vegas’s most recognizable headliners, Elvis Presley and Britney Spears, came together for an epic remix. Music producer Jamieson Shaw mixed the King of Rock’s “Viva Las Vegas” with one of Britney’s signature tunes: “Toxic.” I loved the arrangement from start to finish, and “Toxic Las Vegas (Jamieson Shaw Remix)” is one of my favorite remixes released this decade. A+ 

“GIDDY UP!” by Shania Twain 

Republic Records dropped the second single from Shania Twain’s highly anticipated album: Queen of Me. The “Still the One That I Want” singer-songwriter co-wrote the track with Romans, Jessica Agombar, and rising hitmaker David Stewart, who also produced the song. “GIDDY UP!” is a strong piece of ear candy that blends country, dance, and horns superbly. B+/A- 

Artists to Watch:

Welcome to the first Jake’s Take Artists to Watch of 2023! We have several up-and-coming recording artists ready to shake up the music world! 

“We Know You Know” by Bang Camaro 

For the first time since 2009, Boston-based originated band Bang Camaro is releasing new music. Their first single, “We Know You Know,” is a fiery rock anthem featuring explosive guitar riffs and superb drumming. I am looking forward to learning more about Bang Camaro in the future. B+

“Lights Out” by Bludnymph

Recording artist Bludnymph has developed a solid social media following (204K Instagram followers and 542K TikTok followers) thanks to her catchy music. Her latest single, “Lights Out,” showcases her dark side that gives a “don’t f—with me” vibe. Bludnymph worked with Cirkut and FAANGS on the irresistible piece of ear candy. Music enthusiasts need to keep an eye on her because she could be one of 2023’s breakout stars. A- 

“Make ‘em Jealous” by Raegan Sealy featuring the Gang of Angels 

British-born and Brooklyn-based Raegan Sealy teamed up with the all-female choir the Gang of Angels for a new single: “Make ‘em Jealous.” This song has shades of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” and hints of Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over.” Like Ms. Winehouse and Ms. Welsh, Raegan’s vocals demand listeners’ attention and breathe new life into the Blue-eyed soul music genre. B+ 

“Maya” by Tobias Dray

 Tobias Dray rounds out the first edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2023! The singer-songwriter Tobias Dray amassed over 3 Million TikTok followers and captured the attention of music publications such as Consequences of Sound, Earmilk, and Fader with his tunes. His latest single, “Maya,” is a hypnotic song about a stranger he does not want to meet. There is a spot in the music market for Tobias, and I look forward to hearing more music from him. 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar