JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of July 29, 2022

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

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Happy New Music Friday! We got a lot of new music to unpack so let’s get this party started.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance is full of hypnotic songs, but does it contain original material? (Album cover property of Columbia Records & Parkwood Entertainment)

Renaissance by Beyoncé 

Beyoncé dropped her seventh studio album: Renaissance. The “Spirit” singer-songwriter released 16 new songs from an all-star group of collaborators. The-Dream, Honey Dijon, Mike Dean, Nija, Raphael Saadiq, and Skrillex co-wrote or co-produced the album, while Beam, Grace Jones, and Tems are featured artists. I am torn as the “Daddy’s Lessons” performer and her team released intense music, but was it original enough? There have been reports that ten tracks feature one or more samples of previously released music. Some like Big Freedia were eager to be included, and others like Kelis voiced their outrage about not being contacted to use their music. While Renaissance offers some hypnotic bangers, I need more originality, especially from an artist so established as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. B- 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “COZY,” “CUFF IT,” “BREAK MY SOUL,” & “CHURCH GIRL.”

Ne-Yo’s Self Explanatory returns to his classic sound. (Album cover property of Motown Records & Shaffer Smith)

Self Explanatory by Ne-Yo 

Ne-Yo released Self Explanatory, his first studio album in four years. The album features collaborations with BLEU, Jeremih, Trippie Redd, and Zae France. Self Explanatory showcases the R&B superstar’s return to his classic sound. Songs such as “Handle Me Gently,” “Don’t Love Me,” and “Push Up” showcases that the “Good Man” performer is still one of R&B music’s top vocalists. B+ 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “After Party,” “Handle Me Gently,” “Don’t Love Me,” & “Push Up.” 

MJ: The Musical – Original Broadway Cast Recording honors the King of Pop’s legacy and why the show won four Tony Awards. (Album cover property of MJP LLC & Sony Music Entertainment)

 MJ: The Musical – Original Broadway Cast Recording  by Various Artists 

MJ: The Musical is a jukebox musical that showcases the King of Pop’s life from his early days with the Jackson 5 to rehearsing for the 1992 Dangerous World Tour. Tony-winning performer Myles Frost, who had the monstrous task of portraying Michael Jackson, led the cast to tackle some of the Gloved One’s beloved anthems and hits. David Holcenberg and Jason Michael Webb, also nominated for Tonys, did a phenomenal job working with fellow production team members Derik Lee and Lea Vollack, elevating Jackson’s signature songs to a Broadway level. This cast recording makes me so excited to see the show in October! A- 

Tracks to Download or Stream: “Beat It,” “I’ll Be There,” “Keep the Faith,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” & “Man in the Mirror.” 

“Left and Right” by Charlie Puth and Jung Kook

Charlie Puth is getting ready to drop Charlie, his fourth studio album, later this year. His third single is “Left and Right,” a collaboration with BTS member Jung Kook that the “See You Again” singer co-wrote with longtime collaborator Jacob Kasher. The track is a delicious piece of ear candy that would satisfy millennial fans as it could have been released during the late 1990s/early 2000s bubblegum pop era. “Left and Right” cements Charlie Puth and Jacob Kasher as a superb songwriting team. B+

“Substance” by Demi Lovato

“Substance” is Demi Lovato’s second single off their highly anticipated studio albumHoly Fvck. The “Cool for the Summer” performer co-wrote the track with Alex Nice, Jutes, Keith Sorrells, Laura Veltz, and Warren “Oak” Felder. Meanwhile, Nice, “Oak,” and Sorrells co-produced the track. “Substance’s” powerful pop-punk guitars reminded me of Kelly Clarkson’s “Never Again” and speak to listeners. I look forward to hearing the rest of Holy Fvck’s tracks as it sets up a bold, new era for Demi. A-

Artists to Watch:

Jake’s Take‘s Artists to Watch is back! Here are some of the recording artists and groups that you are taking the music world by storm!

Chapel Hart’s The Girls Are Back in Town showcases why they received the AGT: Season 17 Group Golden Buzzer. (Album cover property of Chapel Hart)

The Girls Are Back in Town by Chapel Hart 

Country music trio Chapel Hart is taking the world by storm! The trio (Danica Hart, Devynn Hart, and Trea Swindle) received the America’s Got Talent: Season 17 Group Golden Buzzer, and now the trio is heading to the Dolby Theatre live shows! To commemorate this milestone, I reviewed the group’s 2021 album: The Girls Are Back. The album is one of the most substantial pieces of country music I have heard this decade. The ladies’ harmonies are superb, and the songs have strong potential to dominate country radio and streaming services’ playlists. I believe that this is just the beginning for Chapel Hart. I will be rooting for Chapel Hart to go far this season! A

Tracks to Download or Stream: “I Will Follow,” “Just Say I Love You,” “Grown Ass Woman,” “You Can Have Him, Jolene,” & “Angel.” 

“House in the Hills” by Carleton Stone 

Carleton Stone’s “House in the Hills” deals with early 2020, which seems like a lifetime ago. The single reminds me of Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” and “Move On.” Like the “Cooler than Me” singer-songwriter, Carleton Stone has mastered transporting autobiographical experiences into hit songs. B+ 

“Can’t Do Like That” by Foreign Slim 

Emerging Houston, Texas-based Afrobeats recording artist Foreign Slim is getting music fans dancing with her new single: “Can’t Do Like That.” The Mystro Sugar-produced single features hypnotic drums and Foreign Slim’s sultry vocal tone that will make audiences dance. I love that Foreign Slim is bringing her sound to the music industry, and I hope other music influencers can pick up her star quality. A- 

“Propeller” by JAE5 featuring BNXN and Dave 

Grammy-winning UK-based producer JAE5 rounds out this edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! The Epic Records-signed recording artist collaborated with Nigerian Afro-fusion singer BNXN and London-music wunderkind Dave. “Propeller” is a hypnotic song from start to finish as JAE5 not only help expand BNXN and Dave’s worldwide followings, but proves that he is one of his generation’s top music producers to watch! 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar