It’s Junglepussy New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
311 – Mardi Gras 2020
Arrested Development – 3 Years 5 Months & 2 Days
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
The Band – Stage Fright – 50th Anniversary
Bon Iver – For Emma Forever Ago
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep , Where Do We Go?
Branford Marsalis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Music From the Netflix Film) (Blue, 180 Gram Vinyl, Limited Edition)
Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
Beach Bunny – Blame Game
Bill Withers – Greatest Hits (150 Gram Vinyl, Download Insert)
Billy Strings – Home
Beastie Boys – Beastie Boys Music
Brittany Spears – Oops I Did It Again [Picture Disc Vinyl LP, 140 Gram Vinyl, 20th Anniversary Edition]
Britney Spears – Baby One More Time (Picture Disc Vinyl LP, 140 Gram Vinyl, Download Insert)
Britney Spears – Glory (Bonus Tracks, White Colored Vinyl, Deluxe Edition, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Benny the Butcher – Burden Of Proof
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Orange Colored Vinyl)
Charles Tolliver – Connect
Charles Lloyd – Dream Weaver
Celeste – Not Your Muse
Charlie Parker – The Magnificent Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker – Bird Of Paradise: Best Of The Dial Masters (Limited Edition, Green 180 Gram Vinyl)
Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen To You
Chet Baker – Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe
Chet Baker – Chet Baker In New York
Chet Baker – Chet
Chevelle – NIRATIAS (150 Gram Vinyl)
The Cranberries – Dreams: The Collection
Childish Gambino – Because the Internet
The Cramps – Stay Sick!
Curtis Mayfield – Roots (Orange Vinyl, Rhino Black History Month)
Cleveland Eaton – Plenty Good Eaton
Deftones – White Pony
Metal was in a weird place 20 years ago. Metallica was suing fans and nu metal ruled the charts. Then
White Pony landed midway through the year.
Driven by singles “Change (In the House of Flies)” and “Back to School (Mini Maggit),” White Pony
combines metal with shoegaze, art rock, industrial and a host of other influences. The album is
accessible but also rewards repeated listens, as one slowly pulls back the layers and swims through the
To celebrate White Pony’s porcelain anniversary, the band has reissued the album with Black Stallion, a
companion remix album. New interpretations by DJ Shadow, Robert Smith from the Cure, Linkin Park’s
Mike Shinoda and Phantogram speak to White Pony’s widespread influence over the years.
Black Stallion works as best as a supplement to White Pony, imaging a place where the album was a club
banger rather than a head banger. Clams Casino turns “Feiticeria” into a trip hop voyage while DJ
Shadow flips “Digital Bath” as a downtempo dance tune.
But as soon as Black Stallion starts to feel predictable, Blanck Mass turn the bombastic guitars from
“Elite” into an aggressive, industrial nightmare. Later, Squarepusher turn “Pink Maggit” into a glitchy
White Pony didn’t need Black Stallion as a partner on the 20-year victory lap, but the addendum
provides a new approach to an album longtime listeners have come close to memorizing. For that alone,
it is worthwhile to have Black Stallion riding shotgun with White Pony. -Joel Francis
Donny Hathaway – The Best of Donny Hathaway (Gold Disc, Audiophile, Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Anniversary Edition)
Dave Brubeck – Time Outtakes
Drake – Take Care
D’Angelo – Brown Sugar brown
Doja Cat – Hot Pink [150 gram Vinyl, Pink Colored]
Don Cherry – Cherry Jam (Indie Exclusive)
Ella Mai – Ella Mai
Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight
The Foo Fighters are one of the biggest rock bands in the world. They fill and thrill arenas near and far, and they have Dave Grohl, one of the most likable musicians to ever walk this earth. Not too long ago they released their 10th album, “Medicine At Midnight.” This album was promised to be a bit more “danceable” by Grohl, which begs the question how does the Foo do danceable? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Let’s start with the good. “Waiting On A War” is a Foo song through and through. It’s got that great acoustic build that reaches a boiling point with grinding electric guitars and Grohl yelling “Just waiting on a warrrrrrr” over perfectly placed drum fills. The title track “Medicine at Midnight” embraces David Bowie’s Let’s Dance era. It’s got a “Modern Love” vibe to it. It’s not your typical Foo, but it’s super catchy. The last track on the album “Love Dies Young” is the medicine I was hoping for, it’s too bad I had to wait until the very end of the day to get it. It’s like an amped-up version of the Heart song “Baracuda.” It’s got arena rock glitter all over it.
Now for the different… The first single “Shame Shame” was a surprise choice, not because it’s a bad song, but because it takes a while to get where it’s going. It’s a plodding intro and verse into the chorus. The intro track “Making a Fire” brings in some super solid vocal backing (think Joe Cocker “Help From My Friends.” If it weren’t for Grohl’s recognizable vocals, I am not sure I would know this was a Foo Fighters song if I heard it on the radio.
Overall it’s a solid Foo album. It’s a nice mix of branching out and staying in your wheelhouse at the same time. A nod to the old, the new, and to making old new again, which for a 25-year-old band makes all kinds of sense during times like these. -Brad Simmons
Funkadelic – Standing on the Verge: The Best of Funkadelic
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Fleetwood Mac – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac
By the late 1960s, the field was crowded with British blues bands. Peter Green, a guitarist
who gained notoriety for replacing Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, started his
band named for members of the rhythm section Mick Fleetwood and John McVie (who
were also former Bluesbreakers).
While the beginnings of Fleetwood Mac are easy to Google, its early recordings are perhaps
not well-known in the United States. Blue Horizon, the label that originally released the
first three Fleetwood Mac records (in the UK), has re-launched with reissues of those first
three British albums.
Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac was released in 1968 to great success in Britain, yet it barely
entered the top 200 in America. As a blues record (and no indication of the pop sound the
band would later become known for), the subject matter is fairly predictable with double
entendres, wayward affections, and untrustworthy women. In addition to covers of Elmore
James and Robert Johnson tunes, original songs on the record are split between upbeat and
lachrymose. Songwriters in the band, Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green, switch off between
angular, aggressive tunes like “Long Grey Mare” and heavy, forlorn songs like “Looking for
The quiet cover of Johnson’s “Hellhound on My Trail” with Spencer on the upright piano is a
highlight, almost a reprieve, given how other British bands at the time had become famous
for electrifying his tunes. Another standout cut is Green’s “I Loved Another Woman,”
psychedelic blues number that hints at the style he would soon perfect with the "Black
Magic Woman”. With a running length of about a half-hour, the song arrangements on the
album are economical, and the jams never overstay their welcome.
With the astronomical rise of the band’s popularity, it can be difficult now to resist the
temptation to view the record as only a launching pad for success. But even with streaming
services and search engines, the band’s beginnings are still easily overshadowed by later,
multi-platinum albums. With this round of reissues, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac is
accessible once again to people with an interest in the blues or who want to become more
familiar with the history of the band. -Jonathon Smith
Five Day Rain – Five Day Rain
Frank Black – Oddballs
Frank Black had been a solo artist about as long as he was a Pixie when this collection dropped in 2000.
All but two of the songs appeared as b-sides, making this an odd ‘n’ sods of Black’s solo collection.
Album opener “Pray a Litter Faster” kicks out the jams, and the album hangs together surprisingly well
considering the disparate source material. In addition to “Pray,” several other tracks jump out as
diamonds in the rough, including the loud/quiet “Announcement” and “Hate Me,” which sounds like a
lost Pixies cut. A version of Roxy Music’s “Re-make/Re-model” trades the glam rock of the original for a
‘90s alternative sheen and suffers for it.
Closing song “Man of Steel,” originally released on the Songs in the Key of X compilation, is easily the
best track here. The swampy, surf ditty about a person driving at night wondering if he is loved is a song
only Black could write.
Despite Black’s notes of who he was trying to emulate on each song (Dylan, Bowie, Stones, Strummer,
etc.), most performances end up as distinctly Frank Black. Oddballs isn’t as strong as the Pixies’
Complete ‘B’ Sides collection, but is a pleasant footnote to the first chapter of Black’s solo career. -Joel Francis
Gorillaz – Demon Days
Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man
Gil Scott-Heron – Free Will
Gene Russell – Talk to My Lady
Keyboardist Gene Russell is probably better known for the record label he started than his own work.
Between 1971 and 1975, the Black Jazz label released 20 albums, all produced by Russell. In the
moments between working on others’ releases, Russell put out two solo albums on Black Jazz. Talk to
My Lady, from 1973, is Russell’s second album.
As with other Black Jazz albums, Talk to My Lady rests right in the pocket between soul and jazz. Covers
of the Philadelphia soul hit “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Motown chart-topper “You Are the Sunshine of My
Life” and John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things” show where Russell’s heart was.
After opening the album with the upbeat title song on electric piano, Russell keeps the funk flowing and
switches to acoustic piano for “Get Down” and a performance that recalls Ahmad Jamal. Henry
Franklin’s bass dominates “My Favorite Things,” while Russell jumps back to acoustic piano for the
spoken-word number “If You Could See Me Now.”
While Talk to My Lady is a good slab of ‘70s jazz and soul, Russell’s covers don’t come near replacing the
initial versions and his originals aren’t distinguished enough to become standards of their own. Fans of
each genre will enjoy Talk to My Lady but others would be better served by Jamal, Jimmy Smith and
Herbie Hancock’s funky electric adventures from the Me Decade. -Joel Francis
Herbie Hancock – My Point Of View (180 Gram Vinyl)
Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
Herbie Hancock – The Herbie Hancock Trio
Heldon – Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale
Heldon – Third
Junglepussy – Jp4
Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird – These 13 (Gray Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
Singer/songwriter Julien Baker knows the darkness. She grew up gay in a Christian household in the
South and overcome a teenage addiction. This background – and a recent breakup and relapse – informs
Baker’s third album.
Little Oblivions isn’t where you go for a pick-me-up. It is, however, a gorgeous, if harrowing, listen.
Baker’s lyrics are surrounded by a full band that adds color to the dark lyrics and buffer the body blows.
Playing all the instruments herself, Baker’s voice soars over pianos and shimmering guitars as she sings
“I’ll wrap Orion’s belt around my neck and kick the chair out” (on “Heatwave”).
Baker’s boygenius bandmates Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers lend backing vocals to “Favor.” The
portraits of relapse on “Song in E” and “Crying Wolf” are vivid enough to send the listener to a sponsor,
even if he or she isn’t in the program.
It would be easy to dismiss Little Oblivions for its unrelenting bleakness it the album weren’t so
musically beautiful and cathartic. File Little Oblivions next to Elliott Smith for those times when you need
it most. -Joel Francis
Juice Wrld – Legends Never Die
Joy Division – Substance (180 Gram Vinyl)
Khana Bierbood – Strangers From The Far East
Korn – Issues (140 Gram Vinyl)
Kanye West – College Dropout
Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself (180 Gram Vinyl, Colored Vinyl, Cream, Gatefold LP Jacket, With Booklet)
Kiss – Destroyer
Kiss – Kissworld -The best Of Kiss [140 gram Vinyl]
Lykantropi – Tales To Be Told (Colored Vinyl, Limited Edition)
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 3 (180 Gram Vinyl)
Leonard Cohen – Field Commander Cohen: Tour Of 1979
Menahan Street Band – The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band
Daptone records has a such a full roster of outstanding instrumental ensembles it sometimes feels like I
need a cheat sheet to keep track. Nine years have elapsed since we last heard from Menahan Street
Band, so even a dedicated fan might need a reminder.
Menahan’s 2008 debut was a gold mine for crate diggers, generating tunes sampled by Jay-Z, Kendrick
Lamar, Kid Cudi and 50 Cent. A second album followed in 2012, then the quintet returned to their day
jobs with soul singers Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and other groups.
The deaths of Jones and Bradley loom large over The Exciting Sounds. It’s hard not to hear songs such as
“Rainy Day Lady,” “Devil’s Respite” without imaging Jones or Bradley’s singing on them. Album closer
“There was a Man” is dedicated to Bradley.
But The Exciting Sounds is hardly a downbeat affair. Stand-out cut “Cabin Fever” was recorded for an
aborted project with Roots MC Black Thought and you can feel his energy on the track even without his
vocals. “The Starchaser” and “Glovebox Pistol” sound like outtakes from a blaxploitation score.
With any luck fans won’t have to wait a near-decade for more material. The band let it slip they’ve
recorded a new version of the Ghostbuster’s theme for the reboot flick out this summer. -Joel Francis
Mac Miller – Swimming In Circles (Deluxe Box Set)
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (180 Gram Vinyl, Reissue)
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Machine Gun Kelly – Hotel Diablo
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
Nick Drake – Bryter Layter
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Way Down in the Rust Bucket
Neil Young’s most recent trawl trough the archives is a big win for fans. Way Down in the Rust Bucket
captures an intimate, three-hour concert shortly after the release of Ragged Glory. Unsurprisingly, most
of the songs from Ragged Glory appear in the setlist.
There are several key differences between Rust Bucket and Weld, the 1991 live album recorded on the
Ragged Glory tour. Rust Bucket is a more immediate and intimate and draws from a single performance.
It is also an hour longer and contains epic versions of “Like a Hurricane,” “Love and Only Love” and
“Cortez the Killer.” These three songs comprise the encore set and run than a half hour. Bucket also has
the rarities “Danger Bird,” “T-Bone” (which is surprisingly fun) and “Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze.”
This is more than enough to make long-time Young fans salivate, but the material here is also appealing
to any classic or guitar-driven rock fan. Rust Bucket shouldn’t replace Decade or Live Rust as the go-to
Young album, but it deserves its space on the shelf next to those classics. The accompanying live DVD
adds extra appeal to the set. -Joel Francis
The Notorious B.I.G. – Greatest Hits
Ozzy Osbourne – Diary Of A Madman (Picture Disc Vinyl LP, Remastered)
Outkast – Stankonia
Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
Primus – Pork Soda
Primus – The Desaturating Seven (Colored Vinyl)
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
Pink Floyd – Animals
PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
Queen – A Day At The Races (180 Gram Vinyl)
Queen – Greatest Hits I
Queen of the Stone Age – Rated R [180 gram Vinyl]
Ron Gallo – Peacemeal (Colored Vinyl, Green)
Roddy Ricch – Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial
The Staple Singers – Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection (Boxed Set)
Sleater-Kinney – Call the Doctor (Digital Download Card)
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
Tool – Lateralus
Various – Soul Jazz Records Presents Cuba: Music And Revolution: Culture Clash in Havana: Experiments in Latin Music 1975-85 Vol. 1
Weezer – Pinkerton
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Zombies – Odessey & Oracle
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