New Music Releases: Week of October 30, 2015 (Albums Edition)

Andrea Bocelli Cinema

Despite his best intentions, “Cinema” might be one of Andrea Bocelli’s most average albums. (Album cover property of Sugar Sri)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Happy almost Halloween, everyone!

While you are trying on your last-minute costume and finishing up preparing for your Halloween party, you might need some music to help you speed through the arranging process.

Luckily, here are my takes on some new albums from today’s hottest artists!

Cinema by Andrea Bocelli

Iconic tenor Andrea Bocelli kicks off this edition of New Music Releases! The Italian tenor reunited with longtime producing collaborators David Foster, Humberto Gatica and Tony Renis to tackle some of the most iconic tunes in cinematic history.  The three-time Grammy nominee superbly showcased his rich operatic vocal range in several arias that include “Moon River,” “The Music of the Night” and “Nelle tue mani.” Also, keep an ear out for Ariana Grande, Nicole Scherzinger and Mr. Bocelli’s own wife, Veronica Berti, who lend their vocals for several tracks that are sprinkled throughout the album.  However, I have two complaints about Cinema. One, I wish Mr. Bocelli recorded some more tunes in English, which would have been enjoyable to the listeners’ ears. Also, I wish that he had recorded with other incomparable vocalists. I would have been in heaven if Mr. Bocelli released a track with either Barbara Padilla, Gerphil Geraldine Flores, Jennifer Hudson, Tessanne Chin, Patti LaBelle or Emily West. Hopefully, Mr. Bocelli will get to do that in the future. C+

Tracks to Download: “The Music of the Night,” “No Llores por Mi Argentina” & “E Piu Ti Penso

If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Elvis fanatics rejoice! The King of Rock & Roll is back with a posthumous album that is definitely worthy of the King’s legacy! Ever since I heard Sir Elton John’s collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music’s orchestra, I have enjoyed the fusion of pop music and symphonic accompaniments.  I think kudos are due to executive producers Priscilla Presley, Nick Patrick and Don Reedman for bringing this superb album into fruition. Each track will instantly transport the listener to an alternative universe where the recording sessions between (an alive) Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra took place.  If you need to have one Elvis album in your collection, I would definitely suggest this one. B+

Tracks to Download: “Burning Love,” “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” & “If I Can Dream”


Tinker Bell We Love Disney

Super producer David Foster assembled a diverse group of Top 40 artists to tackle some of Disney’s most iconic songs! (Album cover property of The Verve Music Group)

We Love Disney by Various Artists

Two years ago, the French music market released an album called We Love Disney. On this album, numerous artists gave their interpretations of some of Disney’s greatest hits.  David Foster loved this idea so much that he assembled a diverse group of Top 40 favorites and set them loose onto the newly arranged tunes. The results are…SPECTACULAR! Artists such as Jessie J, Gwen Stefani and Ariana Grande’s recordings will give listeners chills. In addition to those covers, I loved hearing Fall Out Boy’s punk rock makeover of The Jungle Book’s “I Wan’na Be Like You” and the country world will be extremely satisfied with Rascal Flatts and Lucy Hale’s take on the Academy Award-winning song: “Let It Go.” I think Disney fans will be in a real treat and should definitely add this album to their musical library. A-

Tracks to Download: “Friend Like Me,” “Part of Your World,” “The Rainbow Connection,” “I Wan’na Be Like You” & “Let It Go”

Straight No Chaser The New Old Fashioned

A cappella supergroup Straight No Chaser’s “The New Old Fashioned” does not disappoint! (Album cover property of the Atlantic Recording Company)

The New Old Fashioned by Straight No Chaser

Before Pentatonix, Peter Hollens and Pitch Perfect introduced a cappella music to the mainstream music industry, Straight No Chaser started the modern-day a cappella movement. In their astonishing fifth studio album, the group rehashed their successful formula of mash-ups and stand alone arm hair-raising tunes to create impeccable melodies that puts them back in the forefront of a cappella musical genre.  Congratulations, Straight No Chaser! The New Old Fashioned is one my Albums of the Week! A+

Tracks to Download: “Happy,” “Let It Go,” “Creep,” “Shut Up & Dance,” “Make You Feel My Love” & “Can’t Feel My Face”


One music act that almost everyone is talking about is DNCE. Made up of Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle and JinJoo Lee, this new pop band is about to soar into Top 40 success by creating tracks that relates to the real life issues that Generation Y is dealing with. Between their crisp harmonies, amazing lyrics and awesome production, DNCE is ready to take over the music industry by storm! A

Tracks to Download: “Cake By the Ocean,” “Pay My Rent,” “Toothbrush” & “Jinx”

Deeper and Higher by Darshan

Brooklyn-based Hip-hop group Darshan hopes to bring Jewish music to the mainstream music market by combining deep engagement with sacred text, tradition, creative inspiration and cultural innovation. Composed of melody makers Shir Yaakov Feit and Basya Schechter and poet/rapper Eden Pearlstein (ePRHYME), this trio hopes that their music inspires its listeners. With all of the Christian Contemporary Music in today’s market, I believe that Darshan could be able to break the barrier and let Jewish musical acts pursue a spot in this religious music market. ePRHYME’s beats might remind listeners of a hybrid between Macklemore and Machine Gun Kelly, while many audiophiles might compare Shir’s voice to a younger version of Paul Simon. I also believe that Darshan’s approach to create tracks is a breath of fresh air. Instead of sampling beats and previously released tunes, the hypnotic music will leave its audience members in a trace of positivity and hope. I expect great things from this trio in the future. B+

Tracks to Download: “For the Sake of Unification,” “Praying in the Fields,” “To Zion” & “Know Return

Distant Cousins by Distant Cousins

Los Angeles-based band Distant Cousins rounds out this edition of New Music Releases. Made up of Ami Kozak, Dov Rosenblatt and Duvid Swirsky, Distant Cousins brilliantly combines Americana, folk and rock music into a brilliant sound that could rival my friends: The Mowgli’s. Distant Cousins’ positive tracks will definitely not only put smiles back onto listeners’ faces, but also could make them think. I also strongly believe that Distant Cousins could be one of the year’s final breakout acts. Congrats Distant Cousins! Your self-titled EP is my Album of the Week! A+  

Tracks to Download: “Taste of Tomorrow,” “Your Story,” “Everybody Feels It,” “Crash My World” & “Good Day”

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this edition of “New Music Releases.” They belong to the artists and their respective fans.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar