New Music Releases: Week of January 25, 2016

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Welcome to another exciting edition of New Music Releases!

Let’s get this party started!

Sia This is Acting

Sia’s “This is Acting” is “Jake’s Take’s” Album of the Week! (Album cover property of RCA Records)

This Is Acting by Sia

Ever since she collaborated David Guetta on his 2011 smash, “Titanium,” singer-songwriter Sia Furler has become the millennial generation’s Carole King.  She has co-written songs that have been performed by Beyoncé, Britney, Celine, Christina, Eminem, Kelly Clarkson and Kylie Minogue. While some of her tracks have become chart-topping hits, several tracks were sadly rejected. However, Sia proves that one singer’s trash is another singer’s treasure in her seventh studio album: This Is Acting. With the help of several fan-favorite songwriters such as Adele, Chris Braide, Greg Kurstin and Kanye West, Sia was successfully able to tap into the emotional spectrum and take listeners on one fantastic listening experience. Congratulations, Sia! This Is Acting is my Album of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Alive,” “Bird Set Free,” “Unstoppable,” “Cheap Thrills” & “One Million Bullets”



Charlie Puth Nine Track Mind

Charlie Puth’s “Nine Track Mind” is probably January’s best debut album. (Album cover property of Warner Music Group)

Nine Track Mind by Charlie Puth

If there was a word to describe singer-songwriter Charlie Puth, I would say that he is an overnight sensation. His collaboration with Wiz Khalifa, “See You Again,” peaked at number one in 26 countries and earned him two Teen Choice Awards and a Critics Choice Award. Nine Track Mind perfectly showcases why Mr. Puth has a long future in the music industry. His superb ability to blend doo-wop, EDM, pop rock and R&B throughout the album will impress both music lovers and fickle listeners. Also, keep an ear out for Meghan Trainor, Selena Gomez and Shy Carter, who make vocal cameos throughout the album. Nine Track Mind is probably one of the best debut albums that I heard in a very long time and I hope that Mr. Puth gets tons of airplay throughout 2016. A

Tracks to Download: “One Call Away,” “Marvin Gaye,” “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” “My Gospel” & “Left Right Left”

Anti by Rihanna

Surprise! Rihanna dropped her eighth studio album when no one least expected it. Anti is probably the most mature album that the “FourFiveSeconds” singer dropped in her career. Despite all of the hype and the impressive list of collaborators, co-writers and producers (Drake, Florence Welch, Hit-Boy, Jeff Bhasker, Natalia Kills, Timbaland and The Weeknd), I felt that this album was scattered all over the place. I like Rihanna as an artist, but I miss the days of “Disturbia,” “Diamonds,” “We Found Love” and “Who’s That Chick.” Hopefully, Rihanna gets back in that direction soon, because Anti nearly bored me to tears. D

Tracks to Download: “Kiss It Better,” “Work” & “Same Ol’ Mistakes”

One by Julius

New York-based pop hip-hop artist Julius is experiencing a fantastic 2016! His breakthrough single, “Save Me,” received over 100,000 plays on Soundcloud. Now, he is ready to take the music world by storm with his debut EP: One. In a crowded pop-hip hop world ruled by Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Jason Derulo, Julius proves that his beats, superb production and hypnotic lyrics can refresh the ears of millennial listeners. B+

Tracks to Download: “Unforgettable,” “Hold Up,” “Would It Be Wrong” & “Save Me


Steven Tyler Red White & You

Steven Tyler continues to find his stride in the country world with “Red, White & You.” (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Red, White & You” by Steven Tyler

Legendary rocker Steven Tyler continues to tease fans with what his solo country album is going to sound like. While “Love Is Your Name” showcased Tyler’s tender side, “Red, White & You” brilliantly merged country and rock together in a splendid single that will satisfy both longtime Aerosmith fans and country rockers. I cannot wait to see what else Mr. Tyler has up his sleeve this year. B

Heartaches by the Numbers” by Cyndi Lauper

Mr. Tyler is not the only one who is heading to Nashville this year, Emmy, Tony and Grammy-winning music icon Cyndi Lauper is also going country for her 11th studio album. While Mr. Tyler’s album might be full of original compositions, Detour is Ms. Lauper’s homage to the legendary country singer-songwriters that defined the genre. Ms. Lauper brilliantly teased us with this superb cover that will put a smile on everyone’s faces. I cannot wait to hear what else Ms. Lauper has in store for her fans when Detour is released on May 6. B+  

Out of the Darkness” by Erin Willett

It is hard to believe that The Voice introduced Erin Willett to the nation four years ago. She has definitely grown vocally and showcased a lot more confidence in her latest single: “Out of the Darkness.”  Ms. Willett excellently channeled the experiences of losing her father just days before The Voice went live and how she overcame the obstacles that The Biggest Loser presented during her time on the NBC weight loss competition in her new single. I hope that Ms. Willett continues to persevere through any obstacles that are in her way and continue to be a role model for up-and-coming singer-songwriters. A-


Jessie J will join Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens and the cast of "Grease Live" this Sunday when she performs the title track. (Photo property of FOX)

Jessie J will join Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens and the cast of “Grease Live” this Sunday when she performs the title track. (Photo property of FOX)

Grease” by Jessie J & the Cast of “Grease Live”

I rarely review covers! But, when a song is a part of an upcoming live television event that not only is based on one of my all-time favorite musicals, but also stars some of the best performers of my generation…I had to dive in.  When Grease Live starts its broadcast on Sunday night, Jessie J has the honors to perform the Barry Gibb-penned title track that kick-started the 1978 film adaptation. Grease: Live’s music supervisor, Tom Kitt, not only brilliantly paid homage to both Mr. Gibb and the song’s original recording artist, Frankie Valli, but also made it more modern with its brilliant synch hooks and catchy horn arrangements. Combine that with Jessie’s hypnotic vocals and the cast’s fantastic harmonizations, then you get a fantastic opening theme that will blow every viewer away! Congratulations, Jessie J and the Grease Live cast! “Grease” is my Song of the Week! A+

I do not own any of the clips that were featured throughout the article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar