Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of July 26, 2019

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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 to the latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews!

In this edition, Jake’s Take unpacks Beyonce’s Lion King-inspired album, DJ Snake’s sophomore record, and Iggy Azalea’s return. Plus, Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back with several artists that are ready to shake up the music industry.  Let’s get this party started!

Beyonce created new music to accompany The Lion King experience. (Album cover property of Columbia Records & Parkwood Entertainment LLC)

The Lion King: The Gift by Beyonce

In addition to contributing to The Lion King soundtrack, Beyonce Knowles-Carter created an album that focuses more on African culture. The “Daddy Lessons” singer recruited an all-star cast of collaborators and producers to transport the listeners to Africa. Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, and Pharrell played significant roles on this album, while some of Mrs. Carter’s co-stars such as James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, and Seth Rogen re-recorded their Lion King dialogue for the record. Also, the actress-singer recruited several African recording artists to contribute to this epic event. Keep an ear out for Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, and Mr. Eazi, who all make cameos on the album. I believe that The Lion King: The Gift enhances moviegoers’ experience and would be an excellent addition to any music library. B+/A-

Tracks to Download: “BIGGER,” “FIND YOUR WAY BACK,” “MOOD 4 EVA,” & “ALREADY.”

DJ Snake’s Carte Blanche features a plethora of up-and-coming artists. (Album cover property of DJ Snake Music Productions Ltd. & Geffen Records)

Carte Blanche by DJ Snake

Thanks to his collaborations with Lil Jon (“Turn Down for What”) and Major Lazer (“Lean On”), French producer DJ Snake became an international household name. Three years following the success of his 2016 debut album, Encore, the music producer released Carte Blanche. DJ Snake’s sophomore album is covered by collaborators. While there are only a few A-list artists including Selena Gomez, Cardi B, J Balvin, and Sean Paul, Carte Blanche is full of artists to watch. I believe that music fans would look up all of the featured artists that made it on the album. Carte Blanche showcases DJ Snake’s success in smashing various musical genres together, while setting him up to be one of the best EDM creators discovered this decade. B+

Tracks to Download: “When the Lights Go Down,” “No More,” “Smile,” & “Taki Taki”

In My Defense by Iggy Azalea

Seven years ago, I had the opportunity to attend Dancefestopia in Kansas City. One artist that made an impact at the music festival was Iggy Azalea. I remembered watching her perform and interact with fans and I thought: “I have not seen the last of Iggy Azalea.” Recently, the Australian singer-rapper released her sophomore album. In My Defense is seven years in the making as the former X Factor Australia judge airs her grievances throughout the 12 tracks. The “Fancy” rapper wrote all songs on the album, while producer J. White Did It recorded a bulk of In My Defense. This record marks a new chapter in her music career and I hope that Iggy bounces back to the Top 40. B

Tracks to Download: “Thanks I Get,” “Sally Walker,” & “Spend It.”

Sam Smith teamed up with Max Martin, Ilya, & Savan Kotecha to co-write a potential Top 40 hit song. (Music video property of Capitol Records)

“How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith released his second single of 2019. “How Do You Sleep?” transports listeners to the “Too Good at Goodbyes” performer’s dream world.  He co-wrote the track with iconic hitmakers Max Martin, Ilya, and Savan Kotecha. The song could be the millennial version of the late George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” because “How Do You Sleep’s” chorus structure is very similar to the late music legend’s 1984 hit. Hopefully, this single is a sign that Sam Smith is ready to drop another album because this track was amazing. B+

The Archer” by Taylor Swift

Weeks before the “Look What You Made Me Do” singer-songwriter dropped “The Archer,” she lashed out at both Big Machine Records and Scooter Braun after the talent manager acquired her masters in a deal with Scott Borchetta. After listening to “The Archer,” many Swifties would instantly connect the song’s lyrics to the dastardly duo and Braun’s artists (Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato).  “The Archer” not only would remind listeners of a 1990s soft rock track, but the song does showcase a softer but edgier side of the music superstar. A-

Artists to Watch

Anthony Ramos could be one of Republic Records’ breakout artists especially if he releases quality music. (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Dear Diary” by Anthony Ramos

Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos signed with Republic Records. His first single with the music label is “Dear Diary.” Mr. Ramos delivered a fantastic tribute to his hometown, mother, and friends with this three-minute, 41-second track. I believe that Anthony Ramos has the potential to be a significant force in the pop-rock world. I cannot wait to hear other tracks. B+/A-

Bandits on the Run’s “Sweet Thing” is definite folk rock classic. (Music video property of Bandits on the Run)

“Sweet Thing” by Bandits on the Run

Brooklyn-based Bandits on the Run is the redefying folk-rock genre. The group consists of Clarissa, Bonzana Jellyfish, and Roy Dodger. Bandits on the Run’s latest single, “Sweet Thing,” is a fabulous track with superb musical arrangements and excellent lyrics. There is definitely a need for the Bandits’ music and I hope that several other music tastemakers pick up this track. A-

Brittany Howard’s “Stay High” is the first single off of her upcoming debut studio album. (Music video property of Capitol Music Group)

“Stay High” by Brittany Howard

Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard is in the process of releasing her first solo album. The singer-songwriter electrified music lovers with her outstanding voice in both Alabama Shakes records and her John Legend collaboration. “Stay High” is the first single off of Jaime, her debut record. The track beautifully showcases Howard’s impeccable vocals and superb songwriting abilities. I cannot wait to see what Brittany Howard has in store for music lovers later this year. A

Rence teamed up with Noah Cyrus on a superb song: “Expensive.” (Music video property of Epic Records)

“Expensive” by Rence featuring Noah Cyrus

Singer, songwriter, and producer Rence concludes this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews. This recently signed Epic Records artist dropped his first single on the label: “Expensive.” “Expensive” is a strong piece of addictive ear candy that is not only Top 40 radio friendly, but it also shows potential to be a chart-topping smash. I have a feeling that “Expensive” is just the start of a fantastic career in the music industry. A

I do not own any of the music videos that are featured in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record companies.


  1. […] such as “Baby Blue,” “blaring through the night,” “Darkside,” and “Expensive,” a collaboration with Noah Cyrus. Each of these songs blend various musical […]

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