It’s Freedom Affair New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode II (140 Gram Vinyl, Red Colored Vinyl)
A Perfect Circle – Mer de Noms (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl)
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (180 Gram Vinyl)
Big Sean – Detroit 2
The Band – Stage Fright – 50th Anniversary
Bremer/McCoy – Utopia
Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Beach Bunny – Honeymoon (Turquoise Blue Colored Vinyl)
Britney Spears – Glory (Bonus Tracks, White Colored Vinyl, Deluxe Edition, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
Bob Marley – Legend (180 Gram Vinyl, Special Edition, Reissue)
Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 – The Basement Beat
Celeste – Not Your Muse
The cover of Celeste’s debut album looks like an old black and white photo that has been colorized. It is
an apt representation of Celeste’s music: new songs built on old jazz and soul sensibilities.
Expectations for Not Your Muse are high, overseas anyway. Celeste won the BBC’s Sound of 2020 poll
and has been used in several prominent TV spots. Just 26, the British-Jamaican singer-songwriter is
already being compared to Adele and Amy Winehouse.
To be fair, there are times on Not Your Muse when Celeste’s raspy voice recalls Winehouse. This is
especially true on “Love is Back,” a song built on a staccato drum and horn line that feels like the
Daptone sound Winehouse rode so successfully on Back to Black.
Other moments, such as “Beloved,” with its light bossa nova arrangement, has a 1950s, Peggy Lee vibe.
On the jazz song “Strange,” Celeste resembles Billie Holliday.
There is nothing wrong with wearing one’s influences prominently, as Winehouse and Adele have
shown. Repeated listens to Not Your Muse, however, show that Celeste hasn’t completely found her
muse. She can skillfully sound like others, but is searching for her own voice. Seeing how (and if) she
matures artistically is definitely worth keeping an eye on. For now, Not Your Muse is a fine starting
point. -Joel Francis
Charlie Parker – The Magnificent Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker – Bird Of Paradise: Best Of The Dial Masters (Limited Edition, Green 180 Gram Vinyl)
Childish Gambino – Because the Internet
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Tone Poem
Chaka Khan – Epiphany: The Best Of Chaka Khan (Burgundy Colored Vinyl)
Dave Brubeck – Time Outtakes
Dizzy Gillespie – Cubana Be Cubana Bop
David Bowie – Labyrinth Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Danny Elfman – Batman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Deftones – Around the Fur (180 Gram Vinyl)
Dababy – Blame It On Baby
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
Emmet Cohen – Future Stride
Ella Mai – Ella Mai
The Freedom Affair – Freedom Is Love
Frankie and the Witch Fingers – Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters
Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Gang of Four – 77-81 (Deluxe Edition, Boxed Set, With Book, With Cassette)
Gil Scott-Heron – Free Will
The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy
Herbie Hancock – My Point Of View (180 Gram Vinyl)
Junglepussy – Jp4
For her fourth album as Junglepussy, New York City rapper Shayna McHayle builds on the confident,
provocative, explicit sexuality that Lil’ Kim helped cultivate a generation ago.
While “WAP” was made to shock as much as empower, Junglepussy knows that sex is supposed to be
fun. On “No Band Aid” she wisecracks “they will never touch the cervix/Keep more than six feet from my
surface, dummy. Other lines like “brushing my teeth hoping you want a taste” on “Morning Rock”
combine this humor with vulnerability rarely shown by similar tastemakers.
On “Stamina,” Jp4’s most lyrically specific track, Junglepussy recognizes her roots by bringing on Gangsta
Boo, the only female member of the Three 6 Mafia, and another pioneer of empowered, explicit
Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio provides some of the more interesting beats on Jp4, including the
claustrophobic trophic clatter of “No Band Aid” “What You Want.” Elsewhere, Shy Guy provides what
sounds like a drunken arcade on “Morning Rock” and Sporting Life brings sideways strings to “Arugula.”
This inventive production keeps Jp4 sound like standard strip club fare.
Over in just under 30 minutes, Jp4 might inspire its own jokes about stamina and premature climax, but
it also deserves credit for knowing not to hang around after the deed is done. -Joel Francis
Joyner Lucas – Evolution
Julien Baker – Little Oblivions (Yellow Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
John Coltrane – The Last Trane
John Coltrane – Standard Coltrane
John Coltrane – Lush Life
Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird – These 13
In a more just world, Jimbo Mathus would be as famous and celebrated as Jack White. Mathus started a
neo-revivalist act in the 1990s, took a break from the band to work with blues legends, then opened an
antique recording studio in his mother’s hometown of Clarksdale, Miss. (the birthplace of the blues).
Now Mathus has teamed with Andrew Bird, an indie folk violinist with similar old-school cred, for a
collection of acoustic duets recorded live. The strains of Appalachia and Americana in these new songs
make them feel familiar and lived-in.
The concept is straightforward enough, but something gets lost along the way. Namely the humor that
propelled Mathus’ biggest hit, 1996’s “Hell,” recorded with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. While well-
executed, the performances are over-earnest and delivered with a po-faced sincerity that takes all the
fun away from what should be a spirited project.
As a comparison, look at Billy Bragg and Joe Henry’s 2016 album Shine a Light, recorded live in railway
stations during train stops along a journey from Chicago to Los Angeles. Shine a Light isn’t perfect, or,
frankly, entirely memorable, but the musicians are clearly enjoying themselves.
Despite this, there are many fine moments on These 13. The interplay between Bird’s violin and Mathus’
acoustic guitar on “Three White Horses” is mesmerizing. Mathus does a great job of channeling Johnny
Cash on many of his vocals and Bird’s high harmonies add a mournful quality. Hopefully the pair will
revisit this concept again and remember to simile a little more. -Joel Francis
Khruangbin – Mordechai
Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself (180 Gram Vinyl, Cream Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, With Booklet)
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Lil Kim – The Notorious K.I.M./Notorious B.IG. – Greatest Hits
It feels like we are in a mini-renaissance of Biggy Smalls. Fans can stream a new documentary and pick
up a reissue of the rapper’s greatest hits. The second album by protégé Lil’ Kim back is even back in print
Originally released in 2007 to mark the 10 th anniversary of his passing, Notorious B.I.G.’s Greatest Hits is
a mixed bag. Several of the rapper’s biggest moments are here – “Juicy,” “Big Poppa” and “Hypnotize”
open the album – but a handful of key hits are also missing. Further muddying the waters are three
tracks from the posthumous albums and two unreleased tracks. These questionable choices add up to
six of the 17 tracks, which is just too many. Longtime fans have devoured the two albums B.I.G. actively
participated in during his short lifetime. Newcomers should skip this hits set and start with Ready to Die.
Released in 2000 (and reissued on vinyl for the first time since then), The Notorious K.I.M. was an
obvious homage to Kim’s mentor. Executive production from Sean “Puffy” Combs resulted in a broad
palette of sounds, ranging from the Latin American sounds to funk and samples encompassing Sade, Pat
Benatar, Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega.
The sexual confidence displayed by Kim’s unzipped jeans on the cover translate to some direct,
descriptive lyrics that definitely live up to the parental advisory warning. If anything, Kim lets her libido
lead the way too often. By the time “Hold On,” an honest, heartfelt tribute to Biggy shows up near the
end of the album it feels out of place. A few more unguarded moments like this would have helped
make Kim seem less like the sex dolls she portrays in the video for “How Many Licks?” and more human. -Joel Francis
Madness – Our House
My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Machine Gun Kelly – Hotel Diablo
The Notorious B.I.G. – Greatest Hits
It’s been 24 years this week since we lost The Notorious B.I.G. to a senseless shooting that still, to this day remains unsolved. While that mystery remains, it’s no mystery that B.I.G. is one of the greatest hip hop lyricists to ever walk this earth and his Greatest Hits album from 2007 is a testament to that legacy.
Nirvana – In Utero
Nirvana – Bleach
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Polly Jean Harvey never ceases to surprise and conflate expectations with each album, but on 2000’s
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, the unexpected twist is happiness. Harvey sounds giddy on
the lustful blues-rock stomp “This Is Love,” singing “I can’t believe life is so complex/When I just want to
sit here and watch you undress.” The allegories and oblique meanings of Harvey’s early lyrics are
replaced with a confident directness that retains vulnerability.
Inspired by her time in New York City and her English countryside home in Dorset, Harvey channels the
Pretenders, Liz Phair and Patti Smith. While none of the singles charted in the U.S., the album has a
mainstream rock sound that landed “This Is Love” in several TV shows and movies. Even a duet with
Thom Yorke – normally a very melancholy prospect – on “This Mess We’re In” is a celebration of a tryst
(with less concern about its messy aftermath).
Harvey remained upbeat on her next album, but went Gothic for its follow-up. Earning the reputation of
never putting out the same album twice, it is unlikely fans will hear Harvey this artistically happy – and
accessible – again. -Joel Francis
Pink Floyd – Delicate Sound Of Thunder 3LP (180 Gram Vinyl, With Booklet, Download Insert)
Pink Floyd – Obscured By Clouds (180 Gram Vinyl)
Pink Floyd – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn [180 gram Vinyl]
Primus – The Desaturating Seven, Pork Soda
Primus have always been tough to pin down. The trio occupies that narrow slice in the Venn diagram
where prog, funk, alternative and Dr. Demento happily coexist. Although Primus catalog seems very
much what-you-see-is-what-you-get, a closer look at the band’s third and ninth albums, both recently
reissued, shows how the group has subtly grown over its three-decade career.
Released in 1993, Pork Soda finds the band riding the alt-rock wave with the unlikely hits “My Name is
Mud” and fan favorites “Mr. Krinkle” and “DMV.” The album takes a darker turn on “Bob,” a song about
suicide. The threesome stretch out on the jam “Hamburger Train.” Consistently fun, inventive and
quirky, Pork Soda is classic Primus from the band’s commercial and artistic zenith.
The Desaturating Seven is based on the children’s book The Rainbow Goblins. Three of the album’s
seven tracks reach past six minutes, but unlike “Hamburger Train,” which is basically an excuse for the
instrumentalists to riff off each other, the longer pieces here are intricate and structured. Primus have
rarely sounded this consistently focused, but it pays off. The trio wastes no moments moving the story
along and wrapping up in just 35 minutes. The most recent Primus album to date, 2017’s Desaturating
Seven isn’t as playful or funky as Pork Soda, but showcases a group that still has plenty to say. -Joel Francis
Queen – Greatest Hits I
Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (Red w/ Black & White Splatter)
Rolling Stones – Goats Head Soup [2LP 2020 Deluxe Edition](180 Gram Vinyl)
Radiohead – Kid A
The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!
Sonny Rollins – Tenor Madness
Sigur Ros – Takk…
The Staple Singers – Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection (Boxed Set)
The Strawbs – Settlement (180 Gram Vinyl)
System of a Down – Toxicity (140 Gram Vinyl)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble
Traveling Wilburys – The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues [180 gram Vinyl]
Tame Impala – Slow Rush
Tool – Lateralus
Various Artists – Soul Slabs Vol. 2 / Various (Indie Exclusive)
Van Halen – 1984
William Bell – Bound To Happen
The White Stripes – The White Stripes Greatest Hits [150 gram Vinyl]
The Weather Station – Ignorance
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Here’s where we talk about the virus. We are all freaked out. We are all nervous and anxious. We are OPEN. If you want to come shop in person put on your mask and we will say hello, give you a virtual high five- a virtual hug if we know you that well- and we will keep our distance. We love all of our customers and are glad to keep this little bit of normalcy in these crazy times. With that being said, we will also offer various other ways to get your vinyl fix. We have always shipped music and we will continue to do so. We also offer curbside pick up. Call us, pay, call us when you are outside and we will deliver your freshly sanitized purchase to your car.
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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, Dave and Max
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