Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews – Week of Oct. 22, 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

It is the third and final October 2021 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.

Sir Elton John’s ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ features an all-star group of Top 40 hitmakers and industry icons. (Album cover property of EMI Records)

The Lockdown Sessions by Elton John

The COVID-19 pandemic paused Sir Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. However, the music icon decided to use his time wisely to record his first collaborative album in nine years. The Lockdown Sessions features an all-star group of recording artists that range from today’s top music stars such as Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, and Lil Nas X to fellow legends including Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, and the late Glen Campbell. The Lockdown Sessions also marks the first time that the “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” singer-songwriter worked with this generation’s top songwriters and producers, including Puth, Andrew Watt, Ali Tamposi, and Surfaces. The only complaint is that I wish some of the material used were exclusively on The Lockdown Sessions. Otherwise, The Lockdown Sessions is a superb album! A- 

Tracks to Download: “Nothing Else Matters,” “Finish Line,” “After All,” “Stolen Car,” & “Beauty in the Bones.”

Lana Del Rey’s Blue Banisters marks a new chapter for the “High By the Beach” songstress. (Album cover property of Polydor Records & Interscope Records)

Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey

Blue Banisters marks an album of transition for the “Summertime Sadness” singer-songwriter. Regular collaborator Jack Antonoff is missing, while Rick Nowels only contributed “Cherry Blossom” to the record. Zach Dawes, Mike Dean, Barrie-James O’Neill, and Drew Erikson helped Lana Del Rey fulfill her vision for her eighth studio album. Ms. Del Rey is still seductive as ever, with her signature hypnotic vocals captivating listeners at every turn. B

Tracks to Download: “Text Book,” “Arcadia,” “If You Lie Down with Me,” & “Wildflower Wildfire.”

Santana’s Blessings & Miracles features an all-star cast of musicians. (Album cover property of Starfaith LLC & BMG Rights Management)

Blessings & Miracles by Santana 

Santana dropped its twenty-sixth album on Oct. 15! The iconic rock band’s latest offering features a plethora of music superstars such as Ally Brooke (“Break”), Chris Stapleton (“Joy”), Diane Warren & G-Eazy (“She’s Fire”), Steve Winwood (“Whiter Shade of Pale”), and the late Chick Corea (“Angel Choir/”All Together”). Blessings & Miracles also features “Move,” a track that reunites Santana with its “Smooth” collaborator Rob Thomas and includes Jake’s Take friends American Authors. The collaborations are Blessings & Miracles’ standouts and showcase why Santana continues to captivate the music industry for over 55 years. B- 

Tracks to Download: “Joy,” “Move,” “Whiter Shade of Pale,” & “She’s Fire.”

Zac Brown Band’s The Comeback returns to its country roots. (Album cover property of Home Grown & Warner Music Nashville)

The Comeback by Zac Brown Band

When I first heard the preview of “Slow Burn” on Apple Music, I was thrilled to hear Zac Brown Band was back to its country music roots. While it is excellent that the Zac Brown Band experimented with other musical genres as they did in 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde and 2019’s The Owl, there is something extraordinary about having this band returning to the country music world. Keep an ear out for Marcus King and Grammy-winning singer Gregory Porter, who recorded collaborations with the group. B+/A-  

Tracks to Download: “Slow Burn, ”Us Against the World,” “Same Boat,” “Fun Having Fun,” & “The Comeback.”

“Fear Takes Control” by Betty Moon

Betty Moon is getting her fans ready for Halloween with her new single: “Fear Takes Control.” When I first listened to the track, it reminded me of a mixture of the King of Pop’s sinister songs such as “Smooth Criminal,” “Threatened,” and “Is It Scary?” I was impressed with the production as it would be a perfect track for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.  

“Track Shoes” by Rence 

Jake’s Take’s friend Rence is back! His latest single, “Track Shoes,” will breathe new life into pop and rock fans. From the production to the lyrics, this song is outstanding! I hope that “Track Shoes” makes a significant presence on radio and streaming playlists because it is the perfect song to end 2021. 

“Something Beautiful” by Tom Walker & Masked Wolf

One of my favorite UK breakout artists, Tom Walker, teamed up with Masked Wolf – one of the world’s most talked-about performers. “Something Beautiful” brings out the best in both recording artists. The combination of Tom’s lyrics and honest vocals and Masked Wolf’s smooth beats will put a smile on both of their respective fanbases’ faces. A- 

Head to the second page for this edition’s Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar