Jake Miller admits to radio host Elvis Duran that he made this entire album himself. He wrote most of 2:00am In LA two steps away from his bed at his microphone and keyboard. A friend helped him drag a bed out to the middle of a street in downtown LA where they took pictures for the album cover. “I wanted to make sure the album didn’t have any pretty boy pictures of me on the cover. I wanted it to be more about the music” he told Duran. “It’s my favorite album cover we’ve ever done.”
2:00am In LA dropped and then climbed the charts immediately. Miller took to Snapchat thanking fans for making it happen. He spent his release day celebrating with family and friends. It’s easy to see; he’s happy. Although this is a breakup album, Miller fills it with every element of the good and the bad. “Sleeping with Strangers” is a reality check about moving on while “Parties” reflects on a new lifestyle after heartbreak.
Curated pop is an easy way to describe this collection. Each track feels carefully thought out and put together; call it a passion project if you will. “Can’t Help Myself”, “Answers”, and “Halfway” are infused with EDM beats; something Miller has been strikingly good at over the years (listen to his 2013 hit “Collide”). “No Return” brings out the R&B Jake that the ladies love. He daintily details a sexual encounter; “you naked in my bed right now, it’s getting so hard to breathe.” Breakup albums seem to be all the rage (Halsey’s recent Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, and Lorde’s, Melodrama), and for some reason, they resonate with the fans.
What makes LA so cool is that we see Jake as a grown man, who’s been broken down and is now built back up and ready for something new/better. Dropping his label, he has now taken complete control over his music and image. Even teaching himself how to produce his own music and piece together what he wanted this album to be. Don’t judge him on his early pop days, instead just soak up and absorb the artist he is today.
1.) “Perfect Places” – Lorde
2.) “Know Me Better” – Major Lazer feat. Travi$ Scott, Camila Cabello, Quavo
3.) “Alone” – Halsey
4.) “California” – The Band CAMINO
5.) “You Can Count On Me” – Ansel Elgort feat. Logic
1.) “Crying In the Club” – Camila Cabello
2.) “Don’t Let Me Be Yours” – Zara Larsson
3.) “Jump Out the Window” – Big Sean
4.) “Dennis Rodman” – Mansionz
5.) “Can’t Bring This Down” – Bridgit Mendler feat. Pell
Zayn follows in the footsteps of Drake and many others by catching onto the tropical vibe plaguing most pop/r&b lately. “Stop looking for love, girl you’re young you still got time,” creeps out of Zayn’s mouth as the beat pounds on in the background. Worthy of a beach party at sunset. Summer? Is that you?
Mike Posner and Blackbear team up for their new album MANSIONZ with a pop hit ready for the airwaves. A retro beat guides this song into a synth dream about a dangerous woman. “Wicked” opens with Posner’s infamous falsetto crooning, “Keep your distance from her.” Bear’s voice wavers effortlessly throughout each verse.
“Tell me, are you happy?” is a question we all need to hear. Sunshine provides an anthemic tune you can’t help but bop your head to. “Happy” makes you feel strong and powerful. A gospel choir adds to the emotional effect of the song. He said on Twitter, “It’s all about elevation and facing fears together…to show people your weaknesses is what makes us human.”
Tweaked falsetto takes the lead in this one, making “Over You” a magical electronic force to be reckoned with. Repeating synths line the chorus making you wish you had a disco ball to dance under. Trickles of a keyboard touch the ending undertones of “You” as impressive vocal harmonies infiltrate the ending. Klyne leaves a major impression with this one.
Just when you thought you had the perfect gym playlist. Gorillaz drop a pure heater with rapper Vince Staples. Accompanied by a rapid fire dance beat and a backup gospel choir, this song is a volcanic eruption of chaos. If you don’t feel like running a marathon while listening, then you’re doing it wrong.