JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of June 25, 2021

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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 last edition of June 2021’s Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We got an incredible group of new releases, so let’s get this party started.

Anthony Ramos’ Love and Lies is his sophomore record with Republic Records. (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Love And Lies by Anthony Ramos 

Grammy-winning actor Anthony Ramos dropped his sophomore album with Republic Records. The Hamilton and In the Heights star continued to build upon his 2019 debut:  The Good & The Bad. While there are fantastic songs such as “Blessings,” “Say Less,” and the title track that could impact the charts and streaming playlists, some of the songs felt repetitive. However, Love and Lies does continue on the road that will cement Anthony Ramos’s status as a recording star. B- 

Tracks to Download: “Love and Lies,” “Say Less,” & “Blessings.”

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer + guitarist H.E.R. dropped her highly anticipated debut album: Back of My Mind. (Album cover property of RCA Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

Back of My Mind by H.E.R. 

R&B vocalist and guitarist H.E.R. is having a breakout 2021. She won Song of the Year at the Grammys for “I Can’t Breathe” and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah.  Now, H.E.R. dropped her highly anticipated album: Back of My Mind. H.E.R. (the pen name for Gabriella Wilson) co-wrote all 21 tracks with a plethora of superstar songwriters and producers, including Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, DJ Camper, Hit-Boy, Mike Will Make I, and Rodney Jerkins. Also, Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, and Ty Dolla $ign are a few of the artists that are sprinkled throughout the album. As I listened through Back of My Mind, it reminded me about the first time I listened to Beyonce’s Dangerously in Love and Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad. Like those albums, I believe that Back of My Mind will significantly impact the R&B music genre and play a huge role in the 2021-22 music awards. 

Tracks to Download: “We Made It,” “Damage,” “Closer to Me,” “Come Through,” & “I Can Have It All.”

Home Free’s Land of the Free showcases features music that you would need to add to your Independence Day playlist. (Album cover property of Home Free Records)

Land of the Free by Home Free

Country music and A cappella group Home Free dropped their latest studio album. Home Free comprises of Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Adam Rupp, Tim Foust, and Adam Chance. For Land of the Free, the quintet recorded many Americana tunes, including “God Bless the U.S.A.” and “American Pie,” which they worked with Lee Greenwood and Don McLean. The group delivered a beautiful album from start to finish that I hope is featured on a massive amount of Independence Day playlists. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Undivided,” “God Bless The U.S.A,” “America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee),” & “Born In the U.S.A.”

Jennifer Nettles heads to Broadway with the her latest studio album: Always Like New. (Album cover property of Concord Records)

Always Like New by Jennifer Nettles 

Country music star Jennifer Nettles is stretching her repertoire. She teamed up with Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen composer Alex Lacamoire to release an album full of new and classic Broadway tunes. In addition to Mr. Lacamoire’s musicals, Always Like New features songs from Annie, Bridges of Madison County, My Fair Lady, and Oklahoma. The music superstar and the Grammy and Tony-winning composer make a sturdy team as they introduce a new generation of fans to the Great White Way. B

Tracks to Download: “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat,” “Wait for It,” & “You Will Be Found.”

Happy 10th anniversary, Born This Way!!! (Album cover property of Republic Records)

Born This Way – The Tenth Anniversary by Lady Gaga 

10 years ago, Lady Gaga released her game-changing sophomore album Born This Way. The album peaked at number one on 25 different countries’ music charts, and several tracks such as “Marry the Night,” “Judas,” “You & I,” “The Edge of Glory,” and the title song dominated the radio stations. Those songs cemented the future Golden Globe and Oscar-winning performer as a global powerhouse. In addition to all 14 tracks, the “Americano” singer-songwriter commissioned several artists who have strong ties to the LGBT community to cover their favorite songs from the album. Both Ben Platt’s beautiful “You & I” and Orville Peck’s moving “Born This Way” will give listeners chills, while both Big Freedia and Kylie Minogue’s respective covers of “Judas” and “Marry the Night” will make everyone dance. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary, Lady Gaga! Thank you for all that you do in the music industry and around the world. A+ 

Tracks to Download: “Born This Way (The Country Road Version),” “Marry the Night (Kylie Minogue version),” “You & I (Ben Platt),” “Judas (Big Freedia),” & “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) – The Highwomen, Brittney Spencer & Madeline Edwards.”

“Somebody” by Christina Wells 

It has been a while since we heard new music from Jake’s Take friend and America’s Got Talent alum, Christina Wells. The “Ready or Not” singer-songwriter dropped a new single: “Somebody.” From start to finish, EDM and soul music lovers would have a smile on their faces. Once again, Christina delivered a great track and will hum the empowering chorus after listening to the song. A- 

“Thank You” by Diana Ross 

Countless media outlets, including Rolling Stone, reported that music legend Ms. Diana Ross has recorded new music. On September 10, 2021, the “Someday We’ll Be Together” singer will drop her first studio album in 15 years! The Motown icon’s first single, “Thank You,” marks the first part of her comeback era. Ms. Ross co-wrote the track with Troy Miller, Amy Wadge, Nathaniel Ledwidge, and Christian Paul Wossilek. The lyrics (along with the selected interview and concert clips) reflect how the music legend feels about her fans. It is a beautiful track, and I am looking forward to hearing Ms. Ross’s new material in September. A- 

“Get More Rest” by Dylan Dunlap 

Jake’s Take friend Dylan Dunlap released a new single: “Get More Rest.” In addition to the superb production, Dylan’s lyrics hit like a gut punch, and his honesty is refreshing to hear in the shallowest section of the entertainment industry. B+/A- 

“I Don’t Mind” by Lindsey Buckingham 

Rounding up the latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews is Lindsey Buckingham! The rocker has had a rough few years in the public eye. Between his polarizing expulsion from Fleetwood Mac and health problems to his wife, Kristen Messner, recently filing for divorce, I was nervous that the “Holiday Road” singer-songwriter would never pen new music. On June 8, Lindsey Buckingham released “I Don’t Mind,” his first single off his first studio album in a decade. “I Don’t Mind” has the potential to be his comeback song. His guitar arrangement is superb, and his vocals are fantastic. However, the backing vocalists tend at times to overpower the “Go Insane” recording artist. Otherwise, I am so happy that he is back, and I cannot wait to listen to the record. B+ 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar