Jason Isbell New Vinyl Thursday

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

Alunah – Strange Machine

Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)

Black Widow – Black Widow

Black Keys – Dropout Boogie

Weekly Review:

After taking a few years off in the 2010s, the Black Keys are back in a big way with Dropout Boogie, the
band’s third album in four years.
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney sound energized on opening track (and lead single) “Wild Child”
emerges from a slinky disco groove into a wall of fuzz guitars that sound like a horn section. After a few
tracks, however, that initial burst of energy tapers off and Dropout Boogie starts to feel like any other
Black Keys release.

“Your Team is Looking Good” is a swampy Delta blues number that would have fit on any of the Keys’
previous albums, except this song is about … sports. I can’t imagine this song igniting stadium crowds.
The groove is too laid back and lyrics are way too polite to be effective as trash talk. “Your team is
lookin’ good, but not as good as ours,” Auberach sings. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust/You beat
everybody, but you won’t beat us.”
Another stand-out track, “Burn the Damn Thing Down” marries a T-Rex boogie with a chorus that brings
to mind “We’re an American Band.” “Baby, I’m Coming Home” leans so heavily on the riff from
“Midnight Rider” that Gregg Allman should get co-writing credit. Even a guest appearance from ZZ Top
guitarist Billy Gibbons on “Good Love” can’t shake excitement into the album.
The first time the Keys’ sound started getting stale, they brought in Danger Mouse, who helped the duo
craft some of the best music in their catalog and break into the mainstream. The second time, the pair
packed it in for several years. At this point, 20 years after the release of their first album, color-by-
numbers blues albums might be all we can expect from the boys. Fair enough, but there’s hardly any
reason to pick up Dropout Boogie if you have any of the Keys’ previous work. -Joel Francis

Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album (140 Gram Vinyl, With Booklet)

Bill Evans – At The Montreux Jazz Festival

Black Pumas – Black Pumas (Limited Edition, Cream Colored Vinyl)

Bill Evans – Inner Spirit: The 1979 Concert At The Teatro General San Martin (RSD Exclusive)

Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love (Black, 140 Gram Vinyl)

Charley Crockett – Lil G.l. Presents: Jukebox Charley

Claypool Lennon Delirium – Monolith Of Phobos (Phobos Moon Edition, Gray, Smoke Colored Vinyl)

The Clash – Combat Rock + The People’s Hall (Bonus Tracks, 180 Gram Vinyl, Special Edition)

The Damned – Damned Damned Damned

Eminem – Encore

Eric Dolphy – Conversations

Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs

Weekly Review:

Earlier this year, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder released a solo album with contributions from Elton
John, Stevie Wonder, half of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other guests. Ukulele Songs is not that
album. Ukulele Songs is Vedder’s second solo album. Released in 2011, and back on vinyl for the first
time since that initial run, Ukulele Songs is – you guessed it – Vedder performing on ukulele.
There’s a lot of charm in hearing Vedder perform in this stripped-down, intimate environment. The false
starts and between-song murmuring make the 16 songs feel more like a 34-minute recital than an
Because most of the album is just Vedder and his uke, it’s tempting to look at this as a collection of Pearl
Jam demos. And while it’s true that three of the songs here also appear on PJ albums, these definitely
aren’t home recordings. Vedder layers his instrument to create a lush bed for his rich vocals.
That said, there’s only so much one can do with a ukulele and voice. Duets with Glen Hansard and Cat
Power add some variety, but 34 minutes is still a lot of ukulele. It’s hard to imagine even devoted fans
reaching for this over Vedder’s new full-band rock album or a favorite PJ release. -Joel Francis

Esperanza Spalding – Songwrights Apothecary Lab

Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death (Deluxe Edition, Gatefold LP Jacket, Photo Book)


Hermeto Pascoal E Grupo – Planetario Da Gavea

High Pulp – Pursuit of Ends (Opaque Tan Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Hot Water Music – Feel The Void

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue

Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales (150 Gram Vinyl)

Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers – American Babylon (Anniversary Edition)

Joel Ross – The Parable Of The Poet

John Coltrane – My Favorite Things (2022 Remaster)

Japanese Breakfast – Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack)

Weekly Review:

Three months after releasing their breakthrough album Jubilee, Japanese Breakfast returned with
another new release. Sable is the soundtrack to an exploration video game, where a young girl seeks a

mask which enables her to rejoin her nomadic tribe. There are many, many places to delve into, each
with a unique soundscape.
To create these themes, Japanese Breakfast auteur Michelle Zauner drew on the density of shoegaze,
intensity of industrial and the hazy ambience of Brian Eno. Woodwinds, synthesizers, classical guitar and
piano all float in and out of the album’s 32 tracks.
While it’s interesting to hear Zauner experiment and expand her palette, most of the pieces are
designed to be background music. As such, few stand out. These themes average around three minutes
and the double album clocks in at nearly 100 minutes, which makes listening a considerable investment.
I’m not sure who the audience is for this album. The best way to experience these pieces is through the
game, which is where nearly all gamers will hear it. There aren’t enough actual songs to make Sable
interesting to Japanese Breakfast’s pop fans. Ultimately, Sable’s most compelling aspect will be to see
how Zauner draws on what she’s learned in this process and applies it to future Japanese Breakfast
albums. -Joel Francis

Kevin Morby – This Is A Photograph (Gold Colored Vinyl)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Nonagon Infinity

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

Kanye West – Late Registration

Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Milky Clear Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)

Maki Asakawa – Maki Asakawa

Monophonics – Sage Motel (Transparent Orange w/ Black Swirl Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Weekly Review:

Across the past six albums and 15 years, Kelly Finnigan has proved to be adept at conjuring and
recreating the sounds and mystique of classic soul and R&B tracks. The latest album from Finnigan and
his comrades in the Monophonics is no exception, but it also raises the question if the group has any
other new tricks up their sleeves.
The cover, which looks like one of those ‘70s rock sleeves designed by Hipgnosis, provides the first hint
that Sage Motel is a concept album. Like most concept albums, however, the concept isn’t very clear
and you don’t need to understand it to enjoy the album.
Sonically, Sage Motel draws on the underrated albums Norman Whitfield made with Marvin Gaye, with
swirls of Philly soul, Northern soul and more than a little Curtis Mayfield. Together, it all effortlessly
congeals into an impeccable 37-minute performance.
This proficiency and familiarity also highlight the Monophonics’ greatest weakness. There’s nothing on
Sage Motel that makes it stand out from the band’s previous albums. Furthermore, there is no shortage
of other acts repurposing the same veins of ‘70s soul. Developing a concept for Sage Motel is a nice step
forward for this consistently solid band. Hopefully next time they will push out even more. -Joel Francis

Metallica – Metallica

Michael Jackson – Thriller (Picture Disc)

Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (Remastered 20th Anniversary Edition)

Neil Young – Citizen Kane Jr. Blues 1974 (Live at The Bottom Line)

Prince – Purple Rain (Picture Disc)

The Proclaimers – Sunshine on Leith

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Night Gnomes (Red Colored Vinyl, 180 Gram Vinyl)

Rammstein – Zeit

Roxy Music – Stranded

Sunflower Bean – Headful Of Sugar (Orange Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)

Weekly Review:

The Brooklyn-based indie rock trio Sunflower Bean continue to grow and delight on their third album,
Headful of Sugar.
On their previous album, 2018’s Twentytwo in Blues, the band felt disheartened by the current political
landscape and unsure of their place in society as grown-ups. Four years of adulting and the rat race have
not abated that anger and frustration. “The TV makes me so mad / NPR is always telling me something
bad,” singer Julia Cumming sighs on “Baby Don’t Cry.” “Everything made in a boardroom gets pumped
straight into my head.”
“Roll the Dice” sounds like a lost Yeah Yeah Yeahs track and calls out corporate greed. “Win big, win
lose, that’s just how the game works,” Cumming sings. “In this city money talks, that’s just how the
world works/Making rich another man.”
Headful of Sugar isn’t just a playlist for Bernie Sanders rallies. “I Don’t Have Control Sometimes” is a
cheery blast of self-assurance and “Beat the Odds” is a powerful, scuzzy anthem. Sonic touchstones
Garbage, Liz Phair and Gorillaz keep the party percolating and keep the album from getting weighty.
Sunflower Bean aren’t questioning their place in an unpleasant environment. They’re shoving their way
forward with swagger and confidence. -Joel Francis

Skull Snaps – Skull Snaps

Sir Edward -The Power Of Feeling

Steve Vai – Flex-able: 36th Anniversary (Clear Vinyl, Anniversary Edition)

Suicidal Tendencies – Controlled By Hatred / Feel Like Shit…deja Vu (Pink Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)

Tony Allen – Secret Agent

Toro y Moi – MAHAL
Weekly Review
Toro y Moi is the project name for native South Carolinan Chaz Bundic aka Bear’s slo- mo synth pop/ chill wave project.
“MAHL,” Bear’s latest release on Dead Oceans, is a milky excursion though deep cut grooves, warm watery synth sounds interwoven with backwards guitars and meaty bass lines. It’s sure to tickle a multitude of fancies from Funkadelic freaks to fans of classic hip hop and indie rock.
I’ll be upfront, if you like to get high, you’re probably gonna love this album. As soon as you are done reading this interview you’re gonna want to Google the YouTube: “Toro y Moi ‘MAHL’ Listening Party” to understand why I am so confident in this statement.
But I am also happy to say, up to this point I’ve managed to thoroughly appreciate Mahal under no chemical influence beside my single morning double espresso.
The flanged out engine turnover sound that open la up Mahal serves is an apt intro that catapults  itself into a spaced out guitar jam instrumental entitled “The Medium.” And kind of where the album lives, not to hit and not to cold.
After approximately three minutes we’re into the first proper song, the finger snapping phased out lounge shifter: “Goes By So Fast.”
Not especially original, but Bear makes good use of the long sweep filter and bursts of radio static to conceptualize the record as trip down the radio dail if you inner psyche.
“Magazine” is fresh trip hop excursion, featuring Slami Tose and Joes Lewis, while “Postman”  is a delightful psychedelic funk number with a tight Mooger Fooger  bass line that would make Bootsy Collins stand up and salute.
This following track, “The Loop” is perhaps one of the most accessible, modern R&B influenced tracks. There’s nothing especially profound about Bear’s lyric content. His smooth melodic voice reminds me very much of Phil Elvrum of the ambient folk band Mt. Eerie. But unlike Elvrum’s deep confessional lyrics, Bear sounds like he’s just reporting about his night out:
“I saw this band I think you’d dig
But the record got bad reviews
But then the singer looked into my eyes all away across the room
And he said, “Damn””
“Last Year” is a Jazzy trip hop throwback that sounds like something Chet Baker would be doing if he was still alive and teaming up with Tame Impala. “Clarity” has a more driving late period Portishead vibe featuring tandem vocals by Sofie Royer.
“Foreplay” disguises itself, starting off as a romantic homage to summer, but then descends into Pat Martinoesque psychedelics guitar jam that seamlessly devolves into the next track “Deja Vu,” perhaps the closest thing to a genuine political track on the album,  lyrically speaking:
“Do dirty dancing in a tiny town
Red, white and blue
Black and brown
No romancing, don’t you mess around
A sweet taboo and you made a vow (Mmm, yes, sir)”
“Way Too Hot” is more of straightforward 60’s psych rock with softened guitars while “Millennium” brings us back into the realm of late 90’s r&b/ jazz pop.
The final track on MAHL is the most early Yes, 70’s prog sounding track on the album, complete with harmonized lead vocal and whistling soaring synths.
The vibe of MAHAL is a weed smoke hazed journey through some of the most satisfying sounds of later twentieth century psych funk, jazz and pop music.
I’m not sure Bear’s lyrics are quite up to par with some of those legendary song that he may drawing influence from. But his mastery of the musical pallet is unparalleled. For fans of Tame Impala, Portishead and Thundercat.
– Major Matt

Van Morrison – What’s It Gonna Take?

Van Halen – 1984 (180-gram)


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