Jake’s Take’s New Music Reviews: Week of Sept. 10, 2021

Jake's Take Bitmoji
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 get the party started.

Drake’s Certified Lover Boy continues to cement his dominance in hip-hop music. (Album cover property of OVO Records & Republic Records)

Certified Lover Boy by Drake 

On my birthday, Drake dropped his highly anticipated sixth studio album: Certified Lover Boy. Complex reported that his album cover art that featured 12 pregnant emoji women left many fans confused. What was confusing to me is the number of tracks on this album – 21 and the number of featured artists (14) sprinkled throughout the album. While Jay-Z, Travis Scott, and Yebba are welcomed additions to this record, I wished that Drake and his team eliminated some of the unnecessary collaborations such as “Girls Want Girls” (Lil Baby), “Knife Talk” (21 Savage and Project Pat), and “In This Bible” (Lil Durk & GIVEON).  Certified Lover Boy showcases that the “Hold On, We’re Going Home” rapper remains one of the millennial generation’s top artists and a significant player in the hip-hop music genre. 

Tracks to Download: “Love All,” “Fair Trade,” “Pipe Down,” & “No Friends in the Industry.”

Halsey If I Can't Have I Want Power album cover
Halsey teamed up Nine Inch Nails for a power punch of a fourth studio album. (Album cover property of Capitol Records)

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey 

Halsey continues to break boundaries in both the alternative and pop music genres. For her fourth studio album, If I Can’t Have, I Want Power, she teamed up with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus RossJonathan Cunningham, and Greg Kurstin to craft several toe-tappers that reflect on pregnancy and childbirth.  If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is a superb autobiographical record that packs a punch. I think this album could play a significant role in the 2021-23 music awards race. A- 

Tracks to Download: “The Tradition,” “Lilith,” “you asked for this,” “Darling,” & “honey.”

Imagine Dragons’ Mercury – Act 1 may feature standouts such as the Rick Rubin-produced “Cutthroat” but the rest of the songs are average. (Album cover property of Kidinakorner & Interscope Records)

Mercury – Act 1 by Imagine Dragons 

Imagine Dragons is back! The four-piece pop-rock band (vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman) released their first album in three years. The quartet reunited with their Origins production and songwriting team (Mattman & Robin and Justin Tranter) and welcomed Brandon Darner and founding member Andrew Tolman into the fold. Mercury – Act 1 is a mixed bag. There are several standout tracks, such as the Rick Rubin-produced “Cutthroat” and “Follow You,” but the rest of the songs were average. C+ 

Tracks to Download: “My Life,” “Monday,” “Follow You,” & “Cutthroat.”

Metallica celebrated its 40th anniversary by inviting a diverse group of artists to record their music in The Metallica Blacklist. (Album cover property of Blackened Recordings)

The Metallica Blacklist by Various Artists

For heavy metal band Metallica’s 40th anniversary, the group invited various recording artists from different music genres to take on the rock group’s iconic songs. While I applaud this concept, there are only 13 songs that countless artists interpret. I believe that the nine-time Grammy-winning band has more hits that Metallica and their team could have authorized to give out, such as “Whiskey in the Jar,” “One,” and “Better Than You.” The Metallica Blacklist is way too lengthy and could potentially lose the listener’s attention. D+

Tracks to Download: “Enter Sandman” (Weezer), “Wherever I May Roam” (J. Balvin featuring Metallica), “Nothing Else Matters” (Chris Stapleton), & “Nothing Else Matters” (Miley Cyrus, Sir Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma & WATT).”

“I Still Have Faith in You” by ABBA 

ABBA is one of the most influential pop groups ever assembled. For the first time in 40 years, the Swedish recording group announced that they would release a new album. The first single, “I Still Have Faith in You,” is a superb power ballad that celebrates the group’s legacy, and it gave me chills. Kudos to Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, who produced and wrote this beautiful track. A- 

“Free Britney Tribute” by Frankie Zulferino 

Jake’s Take friend Frankie Zulferino paid the ultimate homage to Britney Spears with his latest tribute video. Frankie delivered a mix of some of the “Stronger” recording artist’s biggest hits, including “My Prerogative,” “I’m Slave 4 U,” “Toxic,” “Overprotected,” and “Me Against the Music.” In addition to creating a spectacular visual tribute to the Princess of Pop, Frankie delivered a rousing arrangement to satisfy all Britney fans! 

For this edition’s Artists to Watch, head to the second page!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar