JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of May 12, 2023

Jake's Take Bitmoji - New Music Reviews 2023

Welcome to the latest installment of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)


By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the latest 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!


Ed Sheeran's - cements him as one of his generation's top songwriters and recording artists. (Album cover property of Atlantic Records UK)

Ed Sheeran’s – cements him as one of his generation’s top songwriters and recording artists. (Album cover property of Atlantic Records UK)

(-) Subtract by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran released his fifth mathematical-themed studio album: – (Subtract). The record sees the “Shape of You” recording artist team up with Aaron Dessner, who co-wrote and co-produced some of his longtime friend Taylor Swift’s biggest hits this decade. He also reunited with previous collaborators Max Martin, Shellback, Vance Joy, and Fred Again. – showcases Ed Sheeran’s acoustic and reflective sides. Several tunes such as “Salt Water,” “End of Youth,” and “Life Goes On” are massive gut punches as the recording process took place during some of the most harrowing moments of his career. Thankfully, the album was released hours after a jury found that the “Shivers” singer-songwriter did not plagiarize Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” (-) Subtract continues to cement Ed Sheeran as one of my generation’s top recording artists and lyricists. Well done, Ed! 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Boat,” “Salt Water,” “Eyes Closed,” “Life Goes On,” “End of Youth” & “Curtains.”


Olivia Newton-John's first posthumous album features a collection of duets with Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton, John Travolta, & Mariah Carey. (Album cover property of Primary Wave Music)

Olivia Newton-John’s first posthumous album features a collection of duets with Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton, John Travolta, & Mariah Carey. (Album cover property of Primary Wave Music)

Just the Two of Us: The Duets Collection (Vol. 1) by Olivia Newton-John & Various Artists 

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since beloved singer and actress Olivia Newton-John died. Her first posthumous album is the first volume of duet collaborations with longtime friends such as Barry Gibb, Cliff Richard, Dolly Parton, John Travolta, and Tina Arena, along with admirers such as Delta Goodrem and Mariah Carey. Volume One of Just the Two of Us features stand-out duets such as “Jolene” (with Dolly), “Take a Chance” (with Grease co-star Travolta), and “Hopelessly Devoted with You” (with Mariah Carey). However, I was surprised that some of her iconic duets, such as “Dare to Dream,” the anthem of the 2000 Summer Olympics that she performed with longtime collaborator John Farnham, and “Islands in the Stream” (with Barry Gibb), were missing. Otherwise, this is a substantial collection for both veteran fans and newcomers. 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Jolene,” “Take a Chance,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” & “Face to Face.”


“Boogie Shoes” by Frankie Zulferino 

Jake’s Take friend Frankie Zulferino has done it again! The singer and performer tackled KC & The Sunshine Band’s iconic 1975 disco-funk anthem: “Boogie Shoes.” He breathed new life into the song, and the music video is stunning artwork! Well done, Frankie! A- 


“Eat the Acid” by Kesha 

Kesha is getting ready to release her fifth studio album: Gag Order. The album is expected to cover darker themes such as depression, emotional exploitation, and control. The “High Road” singer-songwriter teamed up with her mother songwriter Pebe Sebert and frequent collaborator Stuart Crichton to co-write one of the first two singles: “Eat the Acid.” The Rick Rubin and Jason Lader-produced single is one of the darkest songs that Kesha ever released, and listeners’ jaws will collectively drop. A-/A


Artists to Watch:

Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back! Here are some of the recording artists that could shake up the music industry.

“Melodia” by Cruz Rock

Virgin Islands-based recording artist Cruz Rock gained an international presence when he performed in the 2022 American Song Contest, earning the nickname: “King of the Caribbean” from superstar co-hosts Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg. Cruz Rock’s offering, “Melodia,” brilliantly combines reggae, dancehall, and Latin music with the result that will get music fans to the dance floor. A- 


“Motherf—–’ Misfit American Anthem” by Paytra 

NYC-based alternative pop and hip-hop recording artist Paytra rewrote the American anthem. “Motherf——’ Misfit American Anthem” is an epic three-minute and 36-second track that will ignite misfits nationwide. Paytra is a superb recording artist with a bright future in the music industry. 


“Your One” by Rebecca Lappa

Edmonton, Alberta-based singer-songwriter Rebecca Lappa released a synth-pop song: “Your One.” Rebecca noted on her YouTube channel that the “love song was written about holding up a mirror so that your partner can see what you truly mean to them.” “Your One” is a superb track that will make music lovers bob their heads in delight. B+  


“In the Air Tonight” by Theo Tams

Theo Tams rounds out this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. The Canadian Idol winner released a haunting piano-backed rendition of Phil Collins’ iconic 1981 hit: “In the Air Tonight.” As a longtime Phil Collins fan, Theo delivered a haunting and gorgeous cover that would make the Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter very proud. B+ 


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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar