JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of Dec. 9, 2022

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Welcome to the final edition of “Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews” for 2022. (Bitmoji property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Welcome to the final Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2022! We got a lot of music to unpack, so for the final time this year….let’s get this party started!

Three generations of Estefans came together to celebrate the holiday season with Estefan Family Christmas. (Album cover property of Crescent Moon Records & Sony Music Entertainment)

Estefan Family Christmas by Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan, & Sasha Estefan-Coppola 

The Estefan Family celebrates the holidays by releasing their first Christmas album. Estefan Family Christmas features the Queen of Latin Pop, her daughter, Emily, and her grandson Sasha Estefan-Coppola. While it is not Gloria Estefan’s first foray with holiday music (the Phil Ramone-produced Christmas Through Your Eyes album is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary next year), the Estefans showcased that their family legacy is in good hands with Emily and Sasha. Estefan Family Christmas brilliantly rearranges holiday classics that will enhance the holiday season. B+ 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Wonderful Christmastime,” “Thankful,” “My Favorite Things,” “Last Christmas,” & “Happy Xmas (War is Over).”

Harry Connick, Jr.’s Make It Merry was an average holiday music album. (Album cover property of Marsalis Music)

Make It Merry by Harry Connick, Jr. 

Emmy and Grammy-winning performer Harry Connick, Jr. revisited the holiday soundtrack for the fourth time in his career. The future Australian Idol judge decided to record a combination of holiday classics that are rarely recorded (“Papa Noel” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain”) along with the familiar standards (“The Christmas Song) and new material (“Make it Merry”). The rare holiday tracks and original songs are where he shines. I wished he relied on recording new material instead of singing the same holiday tunes. 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Papa Noel,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” &  “Make It Merry.”

Morgan Wallen’s One Thing At a Time (Sampler) showcased a new chapter for the “You Proof” country music superstar. (Album cover property of Big Loud Records & Mercury Records)

One Thing At a Time (Sampler) by Morgan Wallen 

Country music superstar Morgan Wallen is preparing to go on tour next year! The One Thing at a Time Tour is expected to travel across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Longtime collaborators Ernst and Hardy and rising recording artists Parker McCollum and Bailey Zimmerman have confirmed that they will be opening for the “You Proof” singer-songwriter. A three-song sampler accompanied the tour announcement and previewed the next chapter in the American Music Award-winning artist’s career. All three songs are a superb and a great way to end 2022! 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “One Thing at a Time,” “Days That End in Why,” & “Tennessee Fan.”

Pentatonix celebrates Holidays Around the World! (Album cover property of RCA Records)

Holidays Around the World by Pentatonix

Grammy-winning vocal group Pentatonix dropped their latest holiday album: Holidays Around the World. Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, Scott Hoying, and Matt Sallee’s sixth-holiday album features an all-star group of collaborators such as the King’s Singers, Lang Lang, Lea Salonga, and Meghan Trainor. People also reported that newly crowned Oscar recipient Diane Warren penned a powerful anthem: “Prayers for the World.” What I loved about Holidays Around the World was that there was no boring holiday song. This album would be an excellent addition to any holiday party playlist. A- 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Kid on Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Love Came on Christmas,” “Prayers for the World,” & “Feliz Navidad.”

“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.” by Lana Del Rey 

Lana Del Rey surprised her fans with the release of the title track of her ninth studio album: “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd..” The “Summertime Sadness” singer-songwriter co-wrote the song with longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff and Mike Hermosa. The trio also co-produced the track with Zach Dawes and Drew Erickson. Once again, Lana Del Rey’s hypnotic vocals will capture the listeners’ attention and transport them into her world. I am looking forward to hearing more tracks next year. 

Artists to Watch

For the final time this year, Jake’s Take is revealing its Artists to Watch! Here are some of the musicians and recording artists who are shaking up the music industry.

DJ Karaba’s Délivrance is one of the best EDM records I have heard all year! (Album cover property of Karaba Music)

Délivrance by DJ Karaba 

DJ Karaba will be one name you must keep an eye on in 2023. Délivrance took three years to make, and this five-track extended play blew me away. From the first 30 seconds of the title track to the conclusion of “Mouzou,” DJ Karaba delivered one of the best EDM records all year with her hypnotic beats and smooth production. A+ 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Délivrance,” “Roots,” “Mad Mess,” Pesa Menu Passage” & “Mouzou.”

Jonah Kagen’s georgia got colder was a brilliant extended play. (Album cover property of Arista Records)

Georgia got colder by Jonah Kagen

22-year-old Savannah, Georgia native Jonah Kagen’s music has garnered him a fanbase through TikTok, and he received a recording contract with Arista Records. The singer and guitarist released his debut extended play: Georgia got colder. As I listened to the EP, I was thoroughly impressed with Jonah’s songwriting and musicianship. In fact, at times listening to Jonah reminded me of the first time I heard Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” and “Thinking Out Loud.” Georgia got colder sets up Jonah Kagen for superstar potential, and I look forward to hearing more music from him in the future. A- 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “hill that I’ll die on,” “Graveyard shift,” “Georgia,” & “Barcelona.”

“Everything is Nothing” by Justus Bennetts

Capitol Records recording artist Justus Bennetts is making waves in the music industry with praise from publications such as EARMILK and Ones to Watch. His latest single, “Everything is Nothing,” is a punk rock anthem that he co-wrote with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Pat Linehan, and Remy Gautreau. Also, kudos to Shinoda and Linehan, who co-produced the track. “Everything is Nothing” is one of the excellent pieces of ear candy that I heard all year. B+ 

“The Tissue Song” by Streetwise 

Streetwise has the honor of closing out the final Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews of 2022! “The Tissue Song” is part of his second extended play, The Road Ahead, which is scheduled to drop in early February. “The Tissue Song” has shades of “Cat’s in the Cradle,” but it deals with a dedicated father who watched his son grow up over the years and watched as he started his own family. “The Tissue Song” is a superb track that will touch the heartstrings of people who have close bonds with their families. B+/A- 

Thank you for checking out Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews this year! We will be back in 2023!

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  1. Jake,
    Good Morning,
    My name is Raymond Castronovo. Lead singer and guitarist of streetwise. I wanted to thank you for taking the rime for listening and writing such a positive review. I really appreciate it. I also ant to wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy Holiday.
    We are planning our US tour scheduled for late spring early summer.
    See you in 2023.
    Thanks again

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar