JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of Feb. 24, 2023

Jake's Take Bitmoji - New Music Reviews 2023
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! We got a lot of music to unpack, so let’s start this party.

Jake’s Take friends Branden & James deliver an amazing cover album: Everything Was Beautiful. (Album cover property of Branden James Music)

Everything Was Beautiful by Branden & James

Longtime Jake’s Take friends Branden & James released their latest album: Everything Was Beautiful. The 11-track album features powerful vocals from AGT fan-favorite tenor Branden James and his husband, cellist James Clark. The duo tackled tunes from Top 40 fan-favorites such as Rihanna (“Stay”) and The Weeknd (“Save Your Tears”) and classic rock legends such as Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and the Police (“Roxanne”). Everything Was Beautiful is an enchanting cover album that will leave listeners in a delightful trance. Bravo, gentlemen!! 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Stay,” “Save Your Tears,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Roxanne,” & “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”

Country music superstar Kelesa Ballerini breaks down her divorce and its aftermath in Rolling Up the Welcome Mat. (Album cover property of Black River Entertainment)

Rolling Up the Welcome Mat by Kelsea Ballerini

Country music sensation Kelsea Ballerini dropped one of her most personal projects to date. The “Peter Pan” singer-songwriter’s Rolling Up the Welcome Mat deals with the aftermath of her public divorce from fellow performer Morgan Evans. Ballerini and Subject to Change collaborator Alysa Vanderheym delivered a superb job taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride that ended with the marriage’s destruction and the beginning of a new chapter of self-discovery. 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Mountain with a View,” “Penthouse,”  “Blindsided,” & “Leave Me Again.”

Paramore’s This is Why is one of the band’s strongest albums in years. (Album cover property of Atlantic Records Group)

This is Why by Paramore 

Rock band Paramore (Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro) dropped the group’s sixth studio album: This is Why. Since the band dropped new music, the world experienced a few turbulent years, including a polarized United States, a pandemic, and cultural and societal upheavals. This is Why superbly tackled all these complex themes in 10 tracks. While the trio co-wrote all the tracks, frequent collaborator – music producer Carlos de la Garza produced all the songs. I believe that this is one of Paramore’s strongest records in years! B+ 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “This is Why,” “The News,” “Running Out of Time,” & “You First.”

P!nk’s Trustfall is one of the best records I have heard so far this decade. (Album cover property of RCA Records)

Trustfall by P!nk

P!nk released her latest studio album: Trustfall. The “What About Us” singer-songwriter recruited an all-star group of partners including veteran collaborators Billy Mann, Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, and Shellback plus new team members such as David Hodges, Fred Again, and Teddy Geiger to craft the 13 songs that populate the album. Also, Chris Stapleton, First Aid Kit, and the Lumineers are credited on featured artists. Trustfall is at the same level of excellence of 2008’s Funhouse, 2012’s The Truth About Love, and 2017’s Beautiful Trauma. I loved listening to this album from start to finish and I could see Trustfall play a significant role in the 2023-24 music awards. Bravo, P!nk! A+

Tracks to Download or Stream: “When I Get There,” “TRUSTFALL,” “Long Way to Go,” “Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” “Last Call,” & “Kids in Love.”

“Jolene” by Olivia Newton-John & Dolly Parton 

It is hard to believe that the legendary Olivia Newton-John died one year ago. This May, Primary Wave will release a posthumous collection of duets that the Grease actress recorded with many music superstars. What caught my attention was “Jolene,” a duet between Olivia Netwon-John and Dolly Parton. Three years after the Queen of Country Music released the song, the “Magic” performer covered it on her 1976 Come on Over studio album. Producer Dane Bryant did a fantastic job producing this song. 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar