It’s The Crow New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
A Tribe Called Quest – Anthology
A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory
Art Blakey – Jazz Messengers [180 gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket]
Art Blakey – Meet You At The Jazz Corner of The World, Vol 2
Art Blakey – Moanin [180 gram Vinyl]
Art Blakey – Night in Tunisia [180 gram Vinyl]
Art Blakey – Night at Birdland 1
Art Blakey – Night at Birdland 2
Bob Mould – Distortion: 1989-1995 (8LP Boxed Set, Indie Exclusive, Autographed/Signed Exclusive)
Beastie Boys – Music
Beyonce – Lemonade [180 gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket]
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks [150 gram Vinyl]
Bobby Hutcherson – Oblique [180 gram Vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You [140 gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket]
The angry young Boss who declared Independence Day and went racing in the street is nowhere to be
found on A Letter to You.
The title song is a sunny paean to Bruce Springsteen’s band and fans. “House of a Thousand Guitars”
manages to celebrate the healing power of music in a way that doesn’t sound forced or corny.
If many religious numbers are love songs with the subject changed from a boy or girl to Him, Springsteen
turns the tables on “The Power of Prayer.” Here he equates communication with the almighty to the
love found through communion with a romantic partner.
The perpetually sunny moments stand in contrast to the dark theme running throughout these letters:
death. Springsteen is 71 years old now. The loss of an early bandmate during the Vietnam War is
amplified by the deaths of two beloved E Street band members in just three years. The heavy weight of
these specters can be seen from the song titles: “One Minute You’re Here,” “Song for Orphans” and the
upbeat benediction “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”
Musically A Letter to You is one of the best-sounding E Street Band releases in a while. There is a feeling
of comradery in the performances that has long been palpable from the concert stage but strangely
lacking from the meticulously layered studio releases. These elements add up to one of the most
satisfying and rewarding E Street album since the band reconvened at the turn of the century. -Joel Francis
Cecil Taylor – Conquistador
Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um [Limited Edition, 180 gram Vinyl]
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Close But No Cigar
Delvon Lamarr – Live at KEXP
Depeche Mode – 101
Devo – Duty Now For The Future
Devo – Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!
Diamanda Galas – Litanies of Satan Remaster
Deftones – Ohms
The record that vocalist Chino Moreno says had the band ‘firing on all cylinders’, is their ninth studio album spanning over 30 years.
A Pink Floyd-esque intro teases as opening track, Genesis, unfolds. Like the apocalypse, Stephen Carpenter’s razor riffs explode across Frank Delgado’s fizzling pads, while Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega’s driving bass/percussion combo underpins the colossal soundscape. Frontman Moreno’s vocals shift from frenzied-banshee to smooth-crooner in a breath, and it’s that trademark bitter/sweet sound, which Deftones are masters of, that is ever-present on Ohms. Each track is a journey to the polar extremes of existence; we’re catapulted from heaven to hell, as the songs sweep between heavy to sweet. And in a parallel with the current global landscape, the heavier sections paint a picture of impending doom while the softer elements offer a glimmer of hope.
With its earworm chorus, and channelling Nine Inch Nails vibes, Error is the most commercial/poppy track on the album. The Spell of Mathematics takes us on a downwards spiral acid trip and back to much darker territories; brimming with tension, the song is laden with effects, huge sci-fi pads and plucky strings.
Pompeji features poison-poem delivery punctuated with a heavy chorus. The sounds of waves breaking and seagulls crying close the track before a Sci-Fi synth leads us into The Link Is Broke. Here Moreno’s vocal sounds even more unhinged; he screams, “’Cause I’m filled up with true hatred, And I relate to no one – it’s a useless game, I’m slowly closing down”.
Radiant City has a huge chorus. Headless slows things down a touch before we head into last track, Ohms. Bringing the incredible journey to a close, Moreno commands, “Time won’t change this, We shall remain”.
In Ohms, Deftones have delivered a futuristic masterclass in heavy alt-metal; brutal, gentle, cinematic and beautiful. Most importantly, Deftone’s ninth record is one that will keep the old fans very happy and will, no doubt, earn them a mass of new followers. Have no fear, this one rocks! Pick it up while you still can from the Underground gang! -Albert Schmurr
Drive-By Truckers – Live from Austin TX [Limited Edition, Blue Colored Vinyl]
Duke Pearson – The Phantom [180 gram Vinyl]
Duran Duran – Dreaming Of Your Cars – 1979 Demo Part 2
Dexter Gordon – Go
Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Freddie Gibbs – Alfredo
The Flaming Lips – Transmissions from The Satellite Heart [Green Colored Vinyl]
Gorillaz – Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez
Collaboration has been the Gorillaz raison d’etre since Blur frontman Damon Albarn asked comic book
writer Jamie Hewlett to create a virtual band in the late ‘90s. The band’s best albums and singles have
always featured several guest artists, but even in that light the multitude of help assembled for group’s
seventh album is impressive.
Perhaps even more notable is that despite the cavalcade of features and impressive range of styles
expressed, “Song Machine: Season One” hangs together as Albarn’s cohesive – if eclectic – vision. The
11 songs (with six more on the deluxe edition) are a juke box to the party we so desperately need to
combat the climate of suddenly cold weather combined with COVID and election fatigue.
Drop a quarter, punch a number and pick your party. Elton John and Atlanta’s 6lack make “The Pink
Phantom” sound like a futuristic yellow brick road. Peter Hook makes sure the basslines that propelled
New Order will keep your feet moving on “Aries.” Rapper Schoolboy Q brings a “Dirty Harry” vibe to
“Pac-Man,” while Slowthai and Slaves turn “Momentary Bliss” into a reggaeton party. Beck, St. Vincent,
Robert Smith from the Cure and many more turn up to keep reality at bay and pump endorphins in your
ears. -Joel Francis
Gregory Porter – Take Me To The Alley
Gary Numan – Hybrid
Hybrid is a 2003 collection of reinvented classics by influential synth pop innovator Gary Numan.
Numan collaborated with numerous producers such as Flood, Curve, Andy Gray, Alan Moulder, Rico and Sulphur, to completely rework some of his best known songs from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
Highlights includes the track “Crazier” which became Numan’s first UK top 20 hits since 1996 and new wave classics “Cars”, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and ‘Down In The Park” which are reworked with industrial, techno and darkwave inspired sound.
Since the mid-90’s Numan has been delving deeper and deeper into industrial rock territory, moving away from the synth pop of the 80’s.
The sound here is dark, heavy, at times quite paranoid (just listen to the Flood-reworked Cars!) and just all out beefed up. There’s a perfect blend of programming and all-out rocking present here.
In general, I find I love the Sulpher-reworkings most, or perhaps it’s just that I really like Sulpher and enjoy hearing more stuff where they’re involved. Picking favourite tracks here is hard – everything is really good, but the Andy Gray reworking of Absolution, Curve’s and Rico’s two versions of Down in the Park are pretty high on the list. At the top would be the title track, Hybrid, though – with it’s great use of electronics and programming.Pick up this 2 disc red vinyl pressing with gatefold cover from the hardest working crew in KC! -Albert Schmurr
The Grateful Dead – Anthem Of The Sun
Iration – Coastin
INXS – Kick
Nearly 25 years after the death of lead singer Michael Hutchence, the music of INXS remains ubiquitous.
The Australian band’s pop prowess is undeniable, but they always had trouble crafting great albums
around those magnificent singles. Kick, their sixth album, is the one time everything clicked. OK, it helps
that five of the dozen tracks here were big hits, but the other seven are no slouches.
Opening track “Guns in the Sky” plays like a set of expectations the band will need met before delivering
the hits. It sets the table nicely for the great run of “New Sensation,” “Devil Inside” and “Need you
Tonight.” The first half concludes with “The Loved One,” the only cover on the album. The second side
includes another amazing run of “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Mystify” and the title song.
You’ve heard these songs so many times I don’t need to describe them. Kick was so big that even the
songs that weren’t singles ended up being recognizable. Knowing the songs’ omnipresence, you may
question needing to own the album. The answer is yes, of course you do. Because even though you’ve
heard them a million times, once you get done playing Kick, you’re going to want to flip it over and play
it again. -Joel Francis
John Coltrane – Art Blakey’s Big band and Qintete
John Coltrane – John Coltrane & Kenny Burrell [180 gram Vinyl]
Joel Ross – Kingmaker
Joel Ross seems to have quickly advanced from sideman to the main act (and for good reason). It
wasn’t that long again that he was making appearances on albums by some really talented artists
like Walter Smith and Makaya McCraven. Now, he’s an exciting new artist on Blue Note. And
although this is Ross’s first record under his own name, the immediate impression is less of
promise and more of an arrival. There is clarity in vision here that artists can take years to develop.
It’s probably important to acknowledge up front that the list of important vibraphonists is rather
short. (The instrument, itself, was invented less than a hundred years ago). Because of this,
comparisons to Stefon Harris and Bobby Hutcherson are inevitable but also sometimes apt. The
band’s playing on songs like “Prince Lynn’s Twin” and the title cut feel confident not unlike mid- to
late-seventies Bobby Hutcherson. The song “Grey” (written by the drummer Jeremy Dutton and the
only song on the album not written by Ross) wanders into some early-eighties Gary Burton Quartet
territory with its dreamlike and floating melodies.
Sure, comparisons to (mostly) former greats are unavoidable, but Ross and his band do a great job
on songs like “The Grand Struggle Against Fear” and “Touched By an Angel” to form their own
collective identity with solos that crossfade more than just abruptly starting and stopping. Another
striking thing about KingMaker is how the band ends many of its songs. Not simply inclined to rely
on the fade-out (although there are a couple), the way the group ends many songs feels definitive. It
almost feels like each song is a chapter in a book.
Maybe what makes this record feel more mature and less like a new artist just trying to find his own
way is Ross’s trust with his bandmembers and producer. Many times, it’s Immanuel Wilkins who
pushes the songs forward with a confident alto sax line. Other times, it’s Jeremy Corren on piano
who supports the song with thick harmonies. Ideas from the producer, Harish Raghavan, help Ross
assemble the album in a way that makes it feel more conceptual. The delay on the drums on the
opening and closing tracks bookend the album. And the pacing of the songs is ideal, giving listeners
a break when songs start to feel a little cerebral or frenetic and dense.
KingMaker is an impressive debut album that doesn’t just hint at an artist’s promise; it is a solid
album on its own merits. Bandmembers strike a balance between structure and improvisation,
giving just enough but leave the listener wanting more. Until Ross releases another exciting record,
it feels good just to go back and start this one over again (and again). -Jonathon Smith
Weekly Review #2:
The debut album by Joel Ross is a confident vision that captures the listener’s attention and leaves one
hungry to see where he goes next.
Just 23 at the time of recording Kingmaker, Ross is not only an accomplished vibraphone player, but a
self-assured leader. He mixes up the arrangements from the standard template of playing the theme
passing solos around the ensemble. On “Ill Relations,” Ross and alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins
introduce the theme together before sparring in brief solos that build the song’s energy as the rhythm
section turns up the heat underneath them.
Opening number “Touched by an Angel” also features several crisp Ross solos. Although it is evident
Ross is skilled enough to solo at length, he displays the timing of a comedian, cutting off the solo at its
peak, letting the band build off the unresolved energy and making every note count.
Eleven of the 12 songs on Kingmaker are Ross originals. The album runs more than an hour, but the
songs seem to glide by, never feeling ponderous despite the seriousness of the performances. The good
news for the many new fans Ross seems poised to pick up with this release is that his second album has
just hit the digital shelves. Long live the King. -Joel Francis
Kandace Springs – Soul Eyes
Kanye West – Ye
Koffee – Rapture
Larry Young – Lawrence of Newark
Lee Morgan – The Rumproller [180 gram Vinyl]
Mac Miller – Go:Od Am
Madlib – Shades of Blue
Mary J. Blige – What’s The 411
Mastodon – Medium Rarities [Limited Edition, Pink Colored Vinyl]
Matt Berninger – Serpentine Prison [Clear Blue Colored Vinyl]
Miles Davis – Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud
Miles Davis – Birth Of The Cool
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew [140 gram VInyl]
Miles Davis – The Lost Quintet [180 gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket]
Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls, [180 gram Vinyl]
The Mountain Goats – Getting Into Knives
Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos
In the late 90s, Manson was the king of shock rock, meant to scare and push the boundaries of human excitement and satisfaction. Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, etc., these artists are all examples of shock rock as they enhance thrill and surprise within their art. Manson, in my opinion, tops the list, especially during the 90s. Parents, politicians, religious leaders were all after him for his music and the messages of rebelling against the traditionalized American systems.
Now Manson is back with a new album, “We Are Chaos.” But it’s not the Manson of the 90s we hear. While still dark, the new album, sounds more like a mature rebellion. It’s articulate and artful. Manson has stepped away from his crazy antics. He sounds older. No longer do we hear mockery about religion and its values but rather a refined interpretation of death and humanity.“We Are Chaos” is a different Manson. It makes sense in the hardships that this year has held but also the darkness that can lie within a person in everyday society. This album is darker and more emotional than “Heaven Upside Down.” It recalls Manson’s early personality but with a newer, more modern-sounding album.
The last track, ‘’Broken Needle’’ contains lyrics that reflect Manson’s fear of one day being damaged and being forgotten by society. The song relates to Manson as a needle used to play vinyl records: “I am a needle,/Dig in your grooves/Scratch you up/Then I’ll put you away.’’
Manson understands that he is getting older, and the lyrics reflect a worry that people will put him away and forget his impact within the world of music. Manson not only deals with his personal fears but the emotions related to the current status our world finds itself in. “We Are Chaos”, is a return to good sounding albums for Manson, with a more mature approach without compromising his persona. Your copy awaits at the Vinyl Underground. – Albert Schmurr
Nas – Illmatic
Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets – Live At the Roundhouse [150 gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket]
Neil Young – Tonight’s The Night
No Germ Candy – Straight Talk / Indian Summer 7in
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Souvenir
Pennywise – About Time
Prince – Sign O’ The Times (Limited Edition)
The Pretty Things – Bare As Bones Bright As Blood
The Raveonettes – Pretty in Black [Limited Edition, 180 gram Vinyl]
The Replacements – Pleased To Meet You
The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
Radiohead – In Rainbows [180 gram Vinyl]
Radiohead – Ok Computer [180 gram Vinyl]
Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee [140 gram Vinyl]
Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin
Rare Earth – Get Ready [180 gram Vinyl]
Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope
Reuben Wilson – Blue Mode
Rodgriguez – Cold Facts
Sade – The Best of Sade [180 gram Vinyl]
Shy Boys – Bell House
Shy Boys – Talk Loud
Slightly Stoopid – Chronchitis
Slightly Stoopid – Everyday Life Everyday People
Slightly Stoopid – Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid
Soja – Poetry In Motion
Sonny Rollins – Volume 1
Songhoy Blues – Optimisme
Natives of Timbuktu, Mali, Songhoy Blues operate at a common crossroads. The quartet performs
rhythms and melodies of their native land on Western instruments. And while Irish punk, Viking metal
and many other World music hybrids mine this vein, there is something uniquely compelling about
hearing the patterns of a kora performed on a distorted electric guitar.
The fingerpicked electric guitar interplay on “Pour Toi” sounds like something Peter Gabriel might
borrow – until a disco beat kicks in and the tempo doubles. This stands in contrast to “Badala,” which
imagines AC/DC as a punk band. On “Worry,” the band sings in English. Despite the quartet’s hardships,
the message is inspiring: “Don’t worry/you’ve got to be happy/keep fighting today/that smile will come
Eight years and three albums after being forced into exile, Songhoy Blues continue to produce not only
incredibly invigorating performances, but optimistic energy as well. It is a winning combination. -Joel Francis
Talking Heads – Remaining in Light
Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Himself
Three 6 Mafia – Mystic Stylez
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind – [20th Anniversary, 180 Gram Vinyl, Deluxe Edition]
U2 – All That You Cant Leave Behind [20th Anniversary, 180 Gram Vinyl]
Various – The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Various – Grease (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Van Halen – Van Halen
William Elliot Whitmore – I’m With You
Folk singer William Elliott Whitmore wrote all the songs on his eighth album, I’m With You, but you’d be
forgiven for thinking they have been around a while. The themes and performances of the nine songs on
the album feel so lived-in and timeless it’s hard to believe they are new.
Whitmore ruminates on the passing of friends and how each generation passes its knowledge along to
the next on “Solar Flare.” “MK Ultra Blues” tells the true story about the U.S. military’s experiments with
LSD during the Cold War and works in references to Ken Kesey and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. “I’m
Here” is a pensive number that recalls Steve Earle’s more somber moments.
The arrangements on I’m With You add to the album’s timeless feel. Most songs are just a voice and an
instrument. Songs with banjo, violin and foot stomps seem ornate in this context.
The hoedown “Black Iowa Dirt” ends the album on a high note as the Iowa native celebrates his home
state. While the subject matter on other songs isn’t as light-hearted, the album never seems weighty.
It’s like the wise relative that always makes your head a little fuller and your heart a little lighter after
each visit. -Joel Francis
50% OFF – ANY 1 RSD Title – Thursday, October 29th ONLY!
Black Friday Record Store Day 2020 is going to be Friday, November 27th. Click HERE to RSVP.
Turntables! We got ’em. From starter tables to audiophile, and everything in between, we have you covered. We are honored to once again be carrying a full line up of the award winning, top of their class, made in America, U-turn Orbits! We have all the colors- including the high performance walnut and maple. Get here fast for best selection. Get yours today!
We have official Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven shirts in all sizes again- small to 3XL! Come in today and pick one up.
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.
Thanks for reading this week’s Crow New Vinyl Thursday post! Mention that you did before you check out and we will take 20% off of ANY one item in the store! Offer good through 11/05/20.
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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