It’s Rosie Tucker New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Abbey Lincoln- Abbey Is Blue
Arctic Monkeys- AM
Arlo Parks- Collapsed In Sunbeams (Deep Red Vinyl)
Benjamin Tod- A Heart Of Gold Is Hard To Find
Beyoncé- Lemonade (Colored Vinyl, Yellow)
Billie Eilish- Dont Smile At Me
Billie Holiday- Strange Fruit
Billy F Gibbons- Hardware
The roadster on the cover of Billy Gibbon’s third solo album isn’t too different from the hot rods that graced the front of his band ZZ Top’s records during their commercial peak in the 1980s.
Likewise, much of the music on Hardware utilizes the same traits Gibbons brought to the Top: blown-out blues guitar, impish jokes, boogie rhythms and rumbling vocals. Three consecutive songs near the top of the album could easily slide into any Top playlist: “She’s on Fire,” “More-More-More” and “Shuffle, Step and Slide.”
Over on side two, “West Coast Junkie” is a fun blast of surf-rock, while Larkin Poe stop by to help on “Stackin’ Bones.” A cover of Augie Meyer’s “Hey Baby, Que Paso” imagines a south-of-the-border juke joint. Album closer “Desert High” is an atmospheric spoken-word piece.
It’s unclear why Gibbons didn’t make Hardware with ZZ Top. The most recent Top album was in 2012 and Gibbons has released three solo albums since 2015. Regardless, Hardware result will satisfy longtime Top fans and hopefully win Gibbons a couple new ones. -Joel Francis.
Black Patti- Satan’s Funeral
Black Pumas- Black Pumas (Limited Edition, Cream, Colored Vinyl)
Blackberry Smoke- You Hear Georgia
Blink 182- Dude Ranch (Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition)
The Beatles- Let It Be
The Black Keys- Delta Kream
CROW / O.S.T. – The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Cavetown- Lemon Boy (Red Vinyl)
Cigarettes After Sex- Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex has a very distinct dream pop sound- you know it when you hear it. Singer Greg Gonzalez uses melancholic lines and melodies, fronting a soft and steady beat to create something that could evoke catharsis, and even relaxation.
Something I think they do really well with the construction of this album is having a consistent theme throughout that allows the songs to flow seamlessly from one to the next. Though the vocals, guitar riffs, and backing beat remain fairly similar throughout the entire album, it conveys Gonzalez’s message much more clearly, with slight changes in tempo or key to add to the specific story. In general, I think the lyrics are well thought out, as they speak metaphorically, but also about the reality of life struggles and raw human emotion in beautiful harmony with the instrumentals. Contradictions, sad lines, and a hint of reverb all put together is a recipe for nostalgia, and a generally emotional listen. Listening to this album with headphones on, makes it feel like it was made to be a soundscape. I get lost in the spacious, airy tones that persist throughout. In my opinion, it’s definitely an album better suited for relaxing times, late night drives, or a guide through a rough patch.
In comparison to other alternative/indie/dream pop bands and albums, I’d rate this album a 7/10. This is because I appreciate many aspects of the album, but I would’ve liked to see more variation in beats, riffs, and vocal tone. Artistically I think it’s up to the mark, but creatively I would’ve liked to see more, I’d still highly recommend it, but definitely more towards a certain audience. – Nova Stebbin.
Charlie Quintet Parker- Bluebird
Dave Matthews- Crash Anniversary Edition
The Cranberries- Dreams: The Collection
David Byrne- Love This Giant
David Bowie & Trevor Jones- Labyrinth
Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
Def Leppard- Songs From The Sparkle Lounge
Dep Leppard- X
Pop-metal hitmakers hit their zenith in the 1980s, but remained an active recording group into the new century. Two titles from the ‘00s are now on vinyl for the first time.
The touchstones for 2002’s X were Aerosmith’s “Jaded” and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” To accomplish both ends, Def Leppard brought in Marti Frederiksen, who produced and co-wrote Aerosmith’s Top 10 hit, and Max Martin, the man behind “It’s My Life” and a slew of boy band and pop star hits.
Unfortunately, X doesn’t soar to either level. The album tests the patience of listeners by starting with five straight ballads. The belated rocker “Four Letter Word” sounds a lot like “Animal.” It’s easy to play spot-the-remake with these songs, but the songs where Def Leppard are aping their previous hits are better than songs like “Unbelievable” and “Girl Like You” that are so generic they sound like they could be performed by anyone.
X pumps harder in the second half, but it’s ultimately too limp and faceless to recommend.
The band was no doubt wanting to correct course for their 2008 album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. Opening number “Go” rocks harder than anything on X and even better, the band sounds like themselves again. Tim McGraw guests on “Nine Lives” in a blatant attempt to get some crossover appeal, but the band doesn’t change much to accommodate him.
At 11 songs and 40 minutes, Sparkle Lounge doesn’t overstay its welcome. The ballads arrive like brief reprieves that improve the album’s pacing. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge doesn’t try to replace Hysteria or Pyromania, but can sit comfortably next to them as proof that the band still had something to offer more than 20 years later. – Joel Francis.
Def Leppard- Volume Two (Boxed Set)
Dinosaur Jr- Sweep It Into Space (Purple, Indie Exclusive)
The Doors- Strange Days
The Doors- The Doors
Fall Out Boy- Take This To Your Grave (Colored Vinyl, Silver)
Faith No More – Who Cares a Lot? The Greatest Hits
The San Francisco-based alternative rockers Faith No More built a decent career defying expectations and boundaries. Their best work combined metal, punk, hip hop and funk – sometimes all in the same song. The band’s only Top 40 hit, 1990’s “Epic” features metal guitars, rapped verses and a huge sound that distills into a single piano by the end. It’s the video with the fish flopping around at the end.
Released in the wake of Faith No More’s breakup, Who Cares a Lot? rounds up 15 songs from five albums released in the decade between 1987 and 1997. The chronological collection democratically selects three tracks from most albums, with a couple b-side covers snuck into the mix for good measure.
While “Epic” was the band’s biggest hit, several other songs received airplay and just about all of them may be found here. Solid covers of the Commodore’s “Easy” and the Bee-Gee’s “I Started a Joke” demonstrate the band’s fearless confidence and dedication to flouting assumptions. A later CD collection has four more songs and a few more rarities, but Who Cares a Lot? remains an excellent entry point into Faith No More’s adventurous catalog.- Joel Francis.
First International Sex Opera Band- Anita (Colored Vinyl, Purple, Remastered)
Gil Scott-Heron- Pieces of a Man
GZA- Liquid Swords
Godspeed You Black Emperor- G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! (Incl. 10″)
Golden Earring- Together
Gorillaz- Song Machine, Season One
Greta Van Fleet- The Battle At Garden’s Gate (Colored Vinyl, White)
Guns N Roses- Greatest Hits
Guru Guru- Hinten (Colored Vinyl, Yellow, Limited Edition)
The Grateful Dead- Anthem Of The Sun
Horse Jumper of Love- So Divine
Iggy & Stooges- Jesus Loves The Stooges (Black & Gold Splatter)
Japanese Breakfast- Jubilee
Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced
It’s no doubt that Jimi Hendrix was not only an extremely influential musical figure in the 70’s, but even today, does his work remain legendary. In 1967, Are You Experienced was released, bringing a fresh sound to rock. His experimentation with vocal reverb in combination with guitar flares, and irregularly placed synths and riffs brought with it a beautiful psychedelic rock that seems to have had an everlasting effect.
Just in his guitar playing alone, Jimi Hendrix went above and beyond to create an entirely different listening experience. Mixing blues with rock, psychedelic, and even hints of R&B is, to me, what makes him stand out (ontop of being one of the best guitarists, of course).
With this album, something I think he does really well is incorporates soulful, powerful guitar riffs, with alluring, deeply poetic lyrics. A lot of listeners find inspiration from his incredible instrumental skills, but I think his lyrics hold just as much, if not more value. He pairs his vocal melodies with intricate riffs, drums, synths, and other interesting fills that evokes catharsis, and a generally positively related listen . He also creates art based on real life struggles that aren’t commonly talked about, especially considering the time frame in which he was making music.
Overall, I personally find this album, along with all of his music, to be immaculate, inspirational, and ultimately legendary. – Nova Stebbin.
John Coltrane- 1963: New Directions (Boxed Set)
Joni Mitchell- Blue
Journey- Greatest Hits
Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak (Deluxe Edition, Collector’s Edition)
Kanye West- College Dropout
Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Demos Vol 1 & 2 [Limited Orange Marble Colored Vinyl]
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Fishing For Fishies: Demos & Live (Limited Edition)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Live In London 19 [Limited Gatefold Red Colored Vinyl]
The Kinks- Best Of The Kinks 1964-1970
The Kinks- Something Else By the Kinks
L7- Hungry For Stink (Limited Edition)
Lana Del Rey- Chemtrails Over The Country Club
Lionel Loueke- HH
Lost Dog Street Band- Weight Of A Trigger
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real- A Few Stars Apart
Max Roach 4- Plays Charlie Parker
Mac Miller- K.I.D.S.
Mammoth Wvh- Mammoth Wvh
Miles Davis- Filles De Kilimanjaro
Miles Davis- Kind of Blue
Moby has built an impressive catalog during his three decades in the music business, but he’s also earned the reputation of being the one electronic artist your parents really like.
Reprise, Moby’s latest and 19th album, finds the musician revisiting several of his old songs with an orchestra. This organic approach shows a new depth to Moby’s compositions.
The woozy synthesizers on “Porcelain” are replaced with a full string section, bringing a cinematic feel to the song. This is doubly true on “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,” a song used in its original form to great effect in the movie Heat, given even greater emotional heft by the sweeping orchestral arrangement. “Extreme Ways” is known as the end credits song in all the Jason Bourne films. Here, Moby strips the song back to acoustic guitar, adding strings that make the lyrics seem mournful, as if Bourne was looking back over his life with regret.
In addition to the orchestra, Moby gets help from Kris Kristofferson, Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Gregory Porter and a handful of other collaborators. Reprise isn’t good enough to Moby’s music away from dinner parties and back into the clubs, but it will make longtime fans appreciate the traits that made them fans in the first place.- Joel Francis.
Night Beats- Outlaw R&b
Nitin Sawhney- Live At Ronnie Scott’s
Panic! At the Disco- Death of a Bachelor
Passerine Dream – Passerine Dream
I had to look it up, but a passerine is a perching bird, including all songbirds. It’s the perfect name and description for this charming, hope-filled album that leaves you feeling a little bit better about yourself and our world after listening.
Passerine Dream is Dave Tanner’s passion project. The longtime Kansas City resident is frequently found playing bass for Liverpool, a local Beatles tribute band. Unsurprisingly, Tanner’s songs share many of Sir Paul’s characteristics, including bright melodies that pull you right in.
The album’s nine songs came together during last year’s shutdown and clues to their origin are sprinkled throughout the lyrics. On the wistful opening number “Be Together,” Tanner sings “A lot had happened and a year went by/I was reminded why I had to try.”
On the cheerful “Little Dreams,” Tanner informs “I’m saving these hours for me/gonna spend them away from reality” before offering the proverb “little dreams should turn into bigger dreams.” “Driver” is another standout track and example of Tanner’s clever songwriting. Here, he turns a song about staying out too late drinking into a psalm of gratitude. When Tanner sings “I’m always here for you” on “Breaking Through,” it feels genuine and heartfelt.
Passerine Dream is like a hug that makes you want to dance. Treat yourself to its healing grooves today – you deserve it.- Joel Francis.
Phish- Lp On Lp 01 (Ruby Waves 7/ 14/ 19) (Limited Edition)
Phish- Lp On Lp 02 (Waves 5/ 26/ 2011)
Pink Floyd- Animals
Post Malone- Beerbongs & Bentleys
Rosie Tucker- Sucker Supreme
Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain
SZA- CTRL (Colored Vinyl, Green)
Sarathy Korwar- My East Is Your West
Sleater-Kinney- Path Of Wellness
Prior to their decade-long hiatus, the all-female, alt-rock trio Sleater-Kinney had never made a bad album. That changed in 2019, when a collaboration with St. Vincent resulted in a departure from the band’s usual drums-and-guitar sound and lead to the exit of longtime drummer Janet Weiss. In their first album since then, Sleater-Kinney, now a duo, has delivered another first in their catalog: an OK album.
Path of Wellness steps back from the synthesizers that mark the work with St. Vincent, although they are still subtly present. There are plenty of good moments across these 11 songs and 40 minutes, but as a whole the album doesn’t contain the energy and desperation of S-K’s best work.
The political tracks find the band most fired up. “Complex Female Characters” is a takedown of how the entertainment industry uses women as window dressing. Closing track “Bring Mercy” was inspired by last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Portland, Ore. Against an increasingly urgent electric piano, the song pleads for mercy and love.
“If I’m going to f-k up, I’m going to f-k up with you,” Corin Tucker sings on “Worry with You.” While it’s great to hear Tucker’s dedication to bandmate Carrie Brownstein, one hopes they find a new raison d’etre before the next album.- Joel Francis.
Snoop Dogg- Doggystyle
Sons of Kemet- Black To The Future
Sons of Kemet- Burn
Sons of Kemet- Your Queen Is A Reptile
Spoon- Everything Hits At Once: The Best Of Spoon
St Vincent- Daddy’s Home
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble- The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble
The Sisters of Mercy- Some Girls Wander By Mistake
Tame Impala- Innerspeaker
Taylor Swift- Speak Now
Terrace Martin- Dinner Party
Thelonious Monk- Palo Alto
Tubby Hayes- Modes And Blues – Live At Ronnie Scott’s, 8th February 1964
Tyler, The Creator- Flower Boy
VAMPIRA WITH SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS / O.S.T.- Vampira With Satan’s Cheerleaders (Original Soundtrack)
Van Halen- Fair Warning
Viagra Boys- Welfare Jazz
Waxahatchee- Saint Cloud
Wipers- Land Of The Lost (Limited Edition)
The White Stripes- The White Stripes Greatest Hits
Zapp & Roger- All The Greatest Hits
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