Delvon Lamarr New Vinyl Thursday

It’s Delvon Lamarr New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:

Alt-J – The Dream (Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Aoife O’Donovan – Age of Apathy (Bone Color Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, Digital Download Card)

Ashford & Simpson – So So Satisfied (Green Colored Vinyl)

Adele- 30

Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session

Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You (Indie Exclusive)

Billie Holiday – Golden Hits

Billy Bragg – The Million Things That Never Happened

Weekly Review:

British folk singer took to the airwaves in the 1980s as a political firebrand, a left-wing hybrid of Woody
Guthrie and Joe Strummer.
Now, 63, Bragg is still as spirited as ever, but he has embraced the ethos that the personal is political on
The Million Things that Never Happened. Bragg’s 13th studio album, and first studio release since 2013, is
powered more by introspection than dogma. On “Good Days and Bad Days,” Bragg addresses his current
state with such candor and tenderness that it could pass for a Paul Simon song if not for the prominent
Essex accent.
Bragg has always been an underrated writer of love songs, but here he offers two more additions to the
songbook d’amour: “I Believe In You” (not a Bob Dylan cover) and “I Will Be Your Shield.”
Even the political numbers have a more relaxed, reflective tone. The lyrics to “Ten Mysterious Photos
that Can’t Be Explained” capture this state of mind:
“I’ve been down rabbit holes
I’ve seen the rabid trolls
Cackling in the twilight of the Age of Reason
One thing I’ve noticed as I get older
Common sense, like art, is in the eye of the beholder”
Nearly 40 years after his debut release, Bragg might only be reaching to the converted, but his gospel is
good news, indeed. -Joel Francis

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – American X: Baby 81 Sessions

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures (Limited Edition)

Bob Marley- Legend

The Beatles- Abbey Road Anniversary

The Beatles- Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Billie Eilish- Happier Than Ever

Charles Mingus – The Jazz Experiments Of Charles Mingus

Cosmic Jokers – Cosmic Jokers

Childish Gambino – Because the Internet

Curtis Mayfield – The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield

Weekly Review:

Chicago soul singer Curtis Mayfield was a steady voice of encouragement, romance and empowerment
throughout his time with the Impressions in the 1960s and subsequent solo career. The Very Best of
Curtis Mayfield covers the legend’s most fertile decade – the 1970s – across four sides of vinyl.
The collection opens with three cuts from Mayfield’s excellent solo debut, 1970’s Curtis. It gets bonus
points for offering unedited versions of the upbeat anthem “Move on Up” and energizing, yet doom-
laden “(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go.” Side two hits a pair of high points
from 1971’s Roots and Mayfield’s best-known album, the Super Fly soundtrack.
These three albums all deserve to be experienced in their totality, but The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield
does a good job of a half-dozen songs from Mayfield’s later efforts before wrapping up with two duets
with Linda Clifford. These pedestrian examples of Mayfield’s romantic side end the collection on a weak
note. Listeners would be better served with “Show Me Love” or “This Year,” a strong single that was
never featured on any of Mayfield’s album.
While The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield does an admirable job of summarizing the artist’s output, it only
whets the appetite for more. -Joel Francis

Cigarettes After Sex- Cigarettes After Sex

Cactus – The Birth Of Cactus – 1970 (Purple Colored Vinyl)

Calvin Arsenia – La Sessions

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Cold As Weiss (Blue Clear Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Dr. Dre – The Chronic

The Doors- Waiting For The Sun

Eddie Spaghetti – Extra Sauce

Flogging Molly – Swagger (20th Anniversary Box Set) (With DVD, Boxed Set, Gatefold LP Jacket)

Funkadelic – Standing on the Verge: The Best of Funkadelic

Greta Van Fleet – The Battle At Garden’s Gate (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Hollis Brown – In The Aftermath (140 Gram Vinyl, Black)

Hollis Brown – Ozone Park

Houndmouth – Good For You

Hippo Campus – Lp3

Weekly Review:

Twin Cities indie rockers Hippo Campus mean business on their third album. Bestowing the
straightforward title, LP3, the album finds Hippo Campus expand their indie, jangle-pop sound with
electronic elements.
This shift is evident on “Listerine,” a portrait of someone stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Singer Jake Luppen’s vocals are heavily processed and coolly detached as he delivers lines like “You’ve
got lips and I’ve got Listerine/But you can’t wash the f-ked up out of me tonight.” The haunting,
processed electronics behind his voice create a barren, alien landscape.
On “Bang Bang,” another stand-out track, the band pull off the age-old trick of pairing dark lyrics with a
sunny melody. Lyrics about the dying days of a long-distance relationship hide in plain sight alongside
sparkling synthesizers.
The drum sound on “Ride or Die” is stationed just a little north of Jamaica, giving the song a bouncy,
summertime vibe that makes it feel like a lost Vampire Weekend track. Lead single “Boys” is awash in a
nostalgic Day-Glo vibe that blends keyboards and guitars with live drums.
After taking four years between albums (with a stopgap EP released last year), Hippo Campus sound
energized and more mature. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait as long to see where the band winds up
next. In the meantime, there is much to enjoy on LP3. -Joel Francis

Harry Styles – Fine Line (Gatefold LP Jacket, Poster, 180 Gram Vinyl)

Ibibio Sound Machine – Uyai (Limited Edition,Blue Colored Vinyl)

Ibibio Sound Machine – Doko Mien (Black, Gatefold LP Jacket, Digital Download Card)

Joe Pass – For Django

Jill Scott – Who Is Jill Scott: Words And Sounds, Vol. 1 (Blue Colored Vinyl, Limited Edition)

Joshua Ray Walker – Glad You Made It

Jimi Hendrix – Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix [150 gram Vinyl]

John Prine- Sweet Revenge

John Coltrane – Giant Steps

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

Kool and the Gang – Kool And The Gang (Purple Colored Vinyl)

Lady Wray – Piece of Me (Deep Emerald Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Weekly Review:
The latest album “Piece Of Me” by Lady Wray hits a contemporary, neo-soul sweet spot that is beyond infectious.
This is one of those albums that I put on in the store and by the time I get to flipping it over to side two at least three or four people have ask me: “Who is that?”
Lady Wray is the performance name for Nicole Monique Wray. She was born in Salina, CA but moved to Portsmouth, VA where at a young age she became a rapid star in her church choir.
Her first big break came in the lat 90’s when she met and was subsequently signed by rapper Missy Elliot. After appearing on two hit singles for Elliot, Wray released two album under Elliot’s own recording label, The Goldmine Inc. under the name Nicloe Wray.
The albums gained moderate success and after a brief stint on Def Jam Records, resulting  in the shelving of her third album Lovechild, Wray got a job singing back up for soul legend Lee Fields. It was during this time that Wray and singer/ friend Terri Walker decided to form a collaboration simply titled “Lady,” that was more influenced by the ever emerging retro-soul sound that was being generated by artist like Fields, Charles Bradly and even going back as far as Amy Winehouse.
The project was a success and resulted in a headlining tour. By the end of the tour and a label switch from Truth and Soul to Big Crown records, Wray had adopted the stage name Lady Wray and would go on to release the the album Queen Alone in 2016, garnering even more attention and praise.
In 2019 Wray released the singles “Piece Of Me” and “Come On In.” After several more singles over the course of the next two years she has finally released her third solo full studio record “Pieces Of Me” in January of 2022.
The boom-bap hiphop inspired grooves on this album are extremely satisfying. The gritty occasionally tripped out raw production hearkens to another recent favorite release of mine, Curtis Harding’s late 2021 release “If Words Were Flowers.”
While “Piece of Me” opens with the sultry left of center love song “I Do.” It’s track two, “Through It All,” that really lays the groove down with a songbird pop vocal like that falls somewhere between Aretha Franklin and a young Michael Jackson. Hip hop production choices  like Wray’s sampled vocal at the end of the track offer a freshness that keeps this album from coming across as just another retro- soul bandwagon venture.
The title track, “Piece Of Me” accomplishes the same effect thematically, with a modern twist on the classic soul break up song. Instead of a simple Reddingesque writhing in heartbreak, Wray offers “ you” (as her ex-lover) “a piece of me” and even goes so far as to “hope you get the piece you need… And if that’s not enough I’ll let you go peacefully.” It’s a well crafted, beautifully mature sentiment.
Wray allow herself to let off a little steam of the sizzler “Where Were You.”
“Every day, all alone by the phone
Thinking, what in the hell did I do wrong?
Got me stressed, not a clue what to do
I need a hand, I need someone to lean on
Drinking wine in my room, all alone
I need a friend, I need a dog, I need a loan
Dreams come true, yes, they do, yes, they do
But not for me, you went and kept it all for you”
But she returns right away with the resolute,  torch ballad “Beauty In the Fire”  featuring a spoken word piece by her father, Kenneth Wray Sr.
The family guest appearances continue with a super cute dubbed in line from her infant child, Melody Bloom Bacote, on the folky tune Melody.
There’s no question this record is gonna place Lady Wray on the map with the likes of Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill, legends like Sharon Jones.
The translucent green Vinyl makes a beautiful pairing with LW’s metallic pink hair on the cover! – Major Matt

Mozzy – Gangland Landlord

My Morning Jacket – Okonokos (Deluxe Edition, Colored Vinyl, Boxed Set)

Miles Davis – The Essential Miles Davis

Mitski – Laurel Hell

Weekly Review:

A lot has happened in the life of Mitski Miyawaki since her last album, four years ago. That release, Be
the Cowboy, made Mitski a star, earning both critical and popular praise. At the end of her tour in
support of Cowboy, Mitski announced she was leaving music, only to change her mind several months
later. Mitski has teased fans with several singles and a soundtrack released only on cassette and vinyl.
Now, Mitski is back with the proper follow-up to Be the Cowboy, Laurel Hell.
While many of Mitski’s fellow pop stars have stepped back by turning to acoustic instruments and
simpler arrangements, Mitski goes the other way on Laurel Hell, imbuing the album with synthesizers
and glossy production that almost seems to function as a wall between the artist and her audience.
Laurel Hell opens with the whisper-quiet “Valentine, Texas” before blossoming into something that
would make Robert Smith of The Cure proud. “There’s Nothing Left for You,” another standout track,
follows the same arrangement, starting quietly then springing to life in a carnival of synths, guitars and
drums before receding back into the quiet.
The album’s protracted gestation period is evident. Laurel Hell lurches more than it flows, with pop
numbers placed next to atmospheric pieces. Lyrically, Mitski mixes personal revelations with character
narratives effectively obscuring any attempts to read too much into her words (not that fans won’t still
After four years, it is good to have Mitski back, even if she’s unsure this is where she wants be. -Joel Francis

Nirvana – In Utero

Nathaniel Rateliff- The Future (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Orville Peck – Pony

Opeth – Watershed

Ornette Coleman – Round Trip – The Complete Ornette Coleman

Weekly Review:

Saxophonist Ornette Coleman changed the face of jazz with the albums he released for Atlantic Records
in the early 1960s. In the middle of the decade, Coleman signed with Blue Note Records. Everything
Coleman released on the label – five albums, plus a collaboration with fellow sax man Jackie McLean –
are collected on Round Trip: The Complete Ornette Coleman.
The first two albums capture Coleman and his trio in concert at the Golden Circle. The performances are
both playful and adventurous and represent some of the most accessible music in Coleman’s catalog. By
the time of 1966’s The Empty Foxhole, Coleman hadn’t been in a studio in four years. The cause celebre
for this album was drummer Denardo Coleman, the saxophonist’s 10-year-old son. A proud papa puts
his progeny front and center in the album’s trio format. Fortunately, the young man more than holds his
own between his father and bass player Charlie Haden.
McLean’s New and Old Gospel, from 1967, is the outlier in this assemblage. Coleman joins McLean’s
quartet on trumpet, but does contribute two original pieces to the album. The music is more blues-
based than Coleman’s normal output and it’s interesting to hear him in a sideman role.
The last two albums draw from the same spring 1968 recording dates. On Love Call and New York Is
Now, Coleman borrowed the late John Coltrane’s rhythm section of drummer Elvin Jones and bass
player Jimmy Garrison. The selections still swing, but they also feel a bit weighted. Tenor saxophonist
Dewey Redman augments Coleman’s work on alto sax and trumpet.
The price tag on this set will likely weed out any casual fans, but deep-pocketed newcomers should
know that these albums are hard to find in clean, early pressings and may cumulatively end up costing
more than this collection. -Joel Francis

Pinegrove – 11:11 (Red Clear Vinyl)

Prince – Purple Rain (Picture Disc Vinyl LP)

Prince – Around The World In A Day (Gatefold LP Jacket, 150 Gram Vinyl)

Prince – 1999; Purple Rain; Sign O’ the Times

Weekly Review:

Purple Rain, 1999, Sign O’ the Times. These three albums, released across a six-year span, starting in
1982, form the bedrock of Prince’s bulletproof reputation as a musical visionary and genius. The hits
from these albums are the core of any Prince playlist and are known by heart: “When Doves Cry,” “Little
Red Corvette,” “U Got the Look,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Delirious,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” among several
others (including all three title tracks).
But the most compelling reasons to buy these records are how well they hold together as albums, with
album tracks supporting (and sometimes surpassing) the singles. The first of these albums to arrive was
1999, released in 1982. Prince had hits on his previous four albums, but 1999 is where he became P-R-I-
N-C-E. Here, Prince took the synthesizers and funk sound pioneered by George Clinton and Parliament-
Funkadelic in the 1970s and pushed it to the future. Most of the songs on this double-album push past
the six-minute mark. It doesn’t get any better than the electro-funk of “D.S.M.R.” or erotic fantasy of
“Lady Cab Driver.” With the all the singles on the first record, the second platter feels like a dance party
of deep cuts known only to dedicated fans.
The follow-up to 1999, Purple Rain is Prince’s masterpiece. A concise single album comprising nine
songs, including two No. 1 hits, two more Top 10 hits and a Top 40 single. The four album tracks hold
their own as well. “Darling Nikki” inspired Tipper Gore to get hysterical, “Baby I’m a Star” flat-out rocks a
and “Computer Blue” continues the icy robotic synth vein of 1999.

Finally, 1987’s Sign O’ the Times is many fans’ favorite Prince album. A sprawling double album where
Prince tries almost everything – funk, pop, hard rock, gospel, folk – and succeeds at everything. The
opening title song rips the bandage of Ronald Reagan’s America with the intensity of a Public Enemy
track. Later, Prince pays tribute to James Brown and Joni Mitchell – and that’s just side one! “The Cross”
opens as an intimate testimony before blossoming into an arena rock song with tablas and sitar. The
next song, “It’s Going to Be a Beautiful Night,” is a for-real arena rocker, recorded live on tour in Paris
with support from the Revolution and a percussion solo by Shelia E. Closing track “Adore” is a beautiful,
heartfelt ballad that ties a bow on the album.
All of these albums should be in any serious music library, but if you want to pick away at them one at a
time, I suggest starting with Purple Rain, then casting a wider net toward Sign O’ the Times, before
finally grabbing the icy funk of 1999.  -Joel Francis

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd – The Wall (180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake – Demos

Quincy Jones – $ aka The Heist (Music From The Original Motion Picture Sound Track) )(Green Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Weekly Review:
Most people my age probably know Quincy Jones as the mastermind, producer behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or perhaps the guy that wrote the “We Are the World” song.  Or you might even remember him as the “Back On the Block” guy?
What some people may not know is that Quincy Jones got his start composing and arranging music for
Films. And after, twenty four soundtrack albums, two academy award nominations, 28 Grammys as well as being seated a  Grammy Legend Award in 1992 he pretty much owns the block at this point.
Jones was the first African American to be nominated for for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “The Eyes of Love” from the film Banning.
Possessing a unique talent for integrating folk based musical traditions like r&b, soul and funk music into more intricate musical realms akin to soundtracks, classical or musical theater, Jones is equally adept at churning out killer pop Melodies.
A culmination of Jones’ talents are on display with this newly reissued “$ aka The Heist (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” on Rhino Records.
The opening track, “Money Is,” is a smoking hot classic 70’s funk song featuring Little Richard on lead vocals and some fantastic wah- wah guitar work and funky bass by Jazz legend Ray Brown.
Other features on the album include Roberta Flack, violinist Doug Kershaw and Don Elliot Voices.
Kerahaw’s talents are featured On the funky hoedown “Redeye Running” while tracks like “Shady Lady” and “Candy Man” feature a lots of exploratory Fender Rhodes work. “Passin’ the Buck” is a straight up Chicago Blues instrumental. Roberta Flack is featured on on a light jazz version of the classic tune made famous by Louis Armstrong “When You’re Smiling.”
The final track is a nine and a half minute psychedelic Jazz montage complete with exploratory synth scapes and tabla- Sitar excursions.
Taken from Wikipedia: “”A website devoted to reviews of “cult soundtracks of the 60s. 70s and beyond” described the Dollar$ soundtrack as “essential”, being an “inventive blend of experimental jazz and rhythm & blues”. It was further described as being comparable to Jones’ score for They Call Me Mr. Tibbs, in terms of being among Jones’ “best funky soundtrack work.””
Anyone with an appreciation for classic 70’s R&B, funk, and soul music a la Street’s Of San Francisco “cop show” Jazz sound track are gonna find a lot to like about this one! Cool mint green vinyl!!!  – Major Matt

The Ramones – Rocket To Russia

Slash – 4 (Feat. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators) (Purple Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive, Guitar Pick, O-Card Packaging)

Soul Asylum – Let Your Dim Light Shine (Limited Edition, Purple Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Saint Etienne – Foxbase Alpha (30th Anniversary) (Green Colored Vinyl)

St. Paul and The Broken Bones – The Alien Coast
Weekly Review:
An advance press release for the new St. Paul and The Broken Bones album “The Alien Coast” boldly claims a “…convergence of soul and psychedelia, stoner metal and funk.” Okay, you have my attention!
In what could be shaping up to be one of the most exciting popular new music movements of the past decade, I applaud such a bold step away from the retro soul sound the Birmingham, Alabama based band has been so responsible for popularizing since it’s existence in 2012.
As an aging Gen Xer I feel grateful to have been able to cultivate a more glass half full optimism about humanity which has been especially helpful in this polarized, pandemic, period of history we live in. That being said, a substantial amount of my salad days were spent more in the direction of: “The world is fucked and so are we!”That’s kind of the sentiment behind “The Alien Coast.”
The album opens with “3000 AD” an organ laden eulogistic intro a la Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” but with marginally less irony. Frontman Paul Janeway poses the question: “Lord, can you hear me out there in the sky? / The fire, the brimstone / The fire, the brimstone.”
The track winds down into the near industrial plodding  “Bermejo And The Devil,“ perhaps a reference to the Middle Ages painter’s most famous depiction of an almost space age looking devil being triumphed over by St Michael, as portrayed in the book of Revelations. So yeah, already not your run of the mill, “Baby you broke my heart,” stuff.
If that wasn’t heavy enough for you, we have the track “Minotaur,” that’s right the fabled monster of Crete with the body of a man and the head of a bull that chills out in a maze feeding on human flesh. Here’s a little sample of the lyric to Minotaur:
“Innocence is lost by violent decay
Stuck inside the maze all the mundane
Minotaur baby, smell him in the room
Minotaur baby, carrying my youth”
Next we get a little instrumental piece, entitled “Atlas,”that resembles something  I’d envision hearing at the Devil’s night club, if he happened to own one. This is followed by the heavy disco influenced “The Last Dance” which draws upon the darker, coke driven, nihilistic side of this supposed party music.
Luckily, we are next transported to at least a calmer more reflected world with the soulful, love ballad “Ghost In Smoke.”  Here Janeway longingly confesses:
“I get stuck in the skyline
I get stuck in the street signs
I get stuck in the limelight
Please don’t let me lose myself”
There is a distance and coldness to the production of Alien Coast that is very counter intuitive to the warm, analogesque qualities that seems to make the new retro soul movement so appealing. By exchanging some of these blatant production techniques for the harsher colder, dare I say almost digital, sounds the band manages to bridge some interesting gaps between classic souls, 80’s post punk and even early 90’s industrial, techno.
Such musical connections are no more apparent than on the nightmarish “Hunter and His Hounds.” Janeway’s, vocals are brutally compressed and pushed to the front of the track, drenched in a harsh metallic echo effect. The grinding drum track pounds away, while a ghostly  musical line (can’t tell if it’s a guitar or a synth) oscillates in the background like the howl of a distant werewolf.
This is the kind of album that just opens up more and more upon repeated listens. I’m not gonna tell you that what you find is going to necessarily ease your stress about our present times. But if you’re like me, and you find the catharsis in occasionally listening to dark, soulful music, this one might be just what the doctor ordered.  – Major Matt

Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas

Sly & the Family Stone – There’s A Riot Goin’ On (Gatefold LP Jacket, Red Colored Vinyl, 150 Gram Vinyl, Anniversary Edition)

Twisted Sister – Greatest Hits -Tear It Loose (Atlantic Years) (Red Clear Vinyl, Limited Edition)

Tori Amos – Ocean To Ocean

U2 – Achtung Baby (30th Anniversary) (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, With Booklet & Poster)

Urge Overkill – Oui (Indie Exclusive)

Velvet Underground & Nico- The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground – White Light/ White Heat

Vitalic – OK Cowboy

William S. Fischer – Circles (Gray Clear Vinyl, Limited Edition)

Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor

Zero 7 – Garden [Import]


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Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:

Sherman, Gordon, Cat, Matt, Dylan, Doyle, Heather, Greg, Dave and Lain