Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of Nov. 12, 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 latest edition of Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews! We got a lot of new music to unpack, so let’s get this party started.

The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions features superb artistry from Eric Clapton, but the song selection could bore some listeners. (Album cover property of Bushbranch Productions & Universal Music Group)

The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions by Eric Clapton 

Rock music icon Eric Clapton is the latest legend to release his COVID-19 lockdown project. Unlike some of his fellow music legends, the album does not feature any guest artists. That decision was a great one as it highlighted Mr. Clapton’s music and voice. While The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions contains impeccable tracks such as “Black Magic Woman, “Golden Ring,” and some of his classics, I wished that removed some songs because it messed up the album’s flow.  C

Tracks to Download: “Golden Ring,” “Black Magic Woman,” & “Layla.”

Pentatonix released their fifth Christmas album: Evergreen. (Album cover property of RCA Records)

Evergreen by Pentatonix 

Pentatonix released dropped their fifth Christmas-themed album: Evergreen. The quintet (Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Kevin Olusola, and Matt Sallee) gathered a diverse group of holiday classics that range from traditional (“Frosty the Snowman” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”) to pop culture fan-favorites (“River,” “The Prayer,” and “I Just Called To Say I Love You”). Pentatonix does a fabulous job with the arrangements that will capture listeners’ attention. Keep an ear out for Alessia Cara and longtime collaborator Lindsey Stirling, who make cameos throughout the album. Great work, Pentatonix! 

Tracks to Download: “Wonderful Christmastime,” “River,” “Over the River,” “The Prayer,” “Evergreen,” & “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”

Bruno Mars & Anderson.Paak’s An Evening With Silk Sonic is finally out! (Album cover property of Aftermath Entertainment & Atlantic Records)

An Evening With Silk Sonic by Silk Sonic

One album that I have been anxiously waiting to drop finally did! Superstars Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak formed a formidable super duo called Silk Sonic. They released a nine-track extended play called An Evening with Silk Sonic. What I love about this record is that the “24K Magic” singer and the “Twilight” singer-rapper is that they fantastically blended 70s R&B together with modern soul. This record is fantastic! A

Tracks to Download: “Leave the Door Open,” “Smokin Out The Window,” “Skate,” & “After Last Night.”

Summer Walker’s Still Over It helps take her presence in the world into the stratosphere. (Album cover property of LVRN & Interscope Records)

Still Over It by Summer Walker 

Summer Walker has risen through the ranks and become one of R&B/Soul’s top superstars in three years. She released her sophomore album: Still Over It.  The album contains 20 massive tracks which feature collaborations with fellow R&B and rap superstars, including Cardi B, Ciara, Omarion, Pharrell Williams, and SZA. Summer co-wrote all 20 songs with a plethora of today’s top hitmakers such as Aubrey Robinson, London on da Track, The Neptunes, Sean Garrett, and 9th Wonder. Throughout the album, Summer Walker’s vocal delivery showcases why she can have a long career in the music world. Her frankness on songs such as “You Don’t Know Me,” “Insane,” and “Constant B——-” will rally veteran fans and add newcomers to her side. I cannot wait to see what Summer does next. B+

Tracks to Download: “Ex For A Reason,” “No Love,” “Throw It Away,” & “Dat Right There.”

Red (Taylor’s Version) is one of 2021’s best albums. (Album cover property of Taylor Swift)

Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift 

Taylor Swift’s re-recordings of all her pre-Republic Records albums continue! This time, the “Look What You Make Me Do” singer-songwriter turned her attention to the 2012 album Red. Red was the first record that Taylor transitioned from only focusing on country music to her signature pop sound. Red (Taylor’s Version) contains the 22 tracks on both the standard and deluxe versions and eight songs from the 11-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter’s vault. Swifties will be happy that the Red classics (“I Knew You Were Trouble,” “All Too Well,” “22,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) are still intact. Taylor made an intelligent move to welcome back the album’s original production team – Christopher Rowe, Shellback, Jeff Bhasker, and Butch Walker. The “From the Vault” portion of Red (Taylor’s Version) blew me away, especially the moving version of “Better Man” and her new collaborations with Chris Stapleton and Ed Sheeran. Red (Taylor’s Version) is one of the best albums I listened to all year. Bravo, Taylor! A+ 

Tracks to Download: “I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor’s version),” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor’s version),” “Everything Has Changed (Taylor’s version),” “Better Man (Taylor’s version)” & “Run (Taylor’s Version).”

“Christmas Without You” by Audrey DuBois Harris 

Jake’s Take friend Audrey DuBois Harris released a beautiful holiday song: “Christmas Without You.” Audrey’s outstanding vocals shine from start to finish as the song will make listeners remember the true joy of the holiday season – being with loved ones. B+ 

“Fall in Love at Christmas” by Mariah Carey, Khalid & Kirk Franklin 

Christmas is getting closer, and the Queen of Christmas released a new holiday tune! Mariah Carey collaborated with Khalid and gospel legend Kirk Franklin for “Fall in Love with Christmas.” The trio co-wrote the song with Daniel Moore II, who assisted the “Heartbreaker” hitmaker with the production. I loved the song’s transition from smooth R&B to hearty gospel. It was a solid track. A- 

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