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Robert Finley New Vinyl Thursday

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

Aaron Frazer- Introducing…

Annette Peacock- X- Dreams

Annette Peacock- The Perfect Release

Weekly Review:

Singer, pianist and composer Annette Peacock has yet to receive her due as a pioneer of both psychedelic culture and electronic music. Her work has been covered, sampled or referenced by no less than David Bowie, Busta Rhymes and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. Reissues of a pair of her seminal late ‘70s albums will hopefully elevate her standing.

Released in 1978, X-Dreams finds Peacock working with former Spiders from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford (among a host of other musicians). The X in the title could mean explicit – Peacock isn’t afraid to tread sexual waters on opening track “Mama Never Taught Me How To Cook” and “Real and Defined Androgens” – but it likely also refers to her XX chromosomes. If you can peer through the free-range saxophones, rock guitars and pounding pianos, Peacock examines male-female romance through a variety of prisms. A cover of the Elvis Presley song “Don’t Be Cruel” is as transformative as it is revelatory.

The Perfect Release followed one year later. Here, Peacock works with the same set of musicians on each track and emerges with a sound a little closer to the jazz-fusion of Steely Dan. The subject matter is expansive as the seven lengthy tracks, range from ecology, on “Solar Systems,” to sex, on “The Succubus,” and the existential, on “Survival.”

Peacock doesn’t attempt to be accessible and as such, it may take a few listens to warm up to her approach – particularly on X-Dreams – but those who can embrace her will be rewarded.- Joel Francis

Arrested Development- 3 Years 5 Months & 2 Days in the life of…

Aurora- All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend

The Avalanches- Since I Left You

Amy Winehouse – At the BBC

Weekly Review:

Perhaps no single artist is more responsible for the popularity of the contemporary neo-soul movement as Amy Winehouse. Her sultry contralto voice was both mysterious and comforting, a mix of classic soul and modern pop.
Sadly the arc of her career also mirrored some of the great classic soulful jazz artists like Billy Holiday when she died of alcoholism in 2011 at the age of just 27.
Due to her addictions, for a time, her live performances became infamous train wrecks of forgotten words and prematurely ended sets. But when she was on, there was no other performer quite like her.
To quote music critic Dan Cairns, “She was shy, warm, funny, cheeky, complicated, a mass and a mess of contradictions, affectionate, loyal, a tricky customer when she chose to be, occasionally too hot to handle.
UMC and Island have just reissued this lovely, comprehensive, three record set: Amy Winehouse At the BBC compiling some her best live performances including: Later With Jules Holland and BBC Sessions Live at Porchester Hall in 2007. This is a fitting tribute to a truly singular talent. -Major Matt

Billie Eilish- When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Bruce Springsteen- Greatest Hits

The Beatles- Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Black Keys- Delta Kream

Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2

Weekly Review:

Busta Rhymes most recent album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God is a dark, sweeping, apocalyptic nightmare predicting the end of the world and inevitable self destruction of the human race… or is it?
It is clear that even though Mr. Rhymes might be approaching the sunset of his highly impactful, over 30 year career in hip hop, he’s still got some important things to get off his chest.
The dark cover art and biblical intro to this album sets the stage for a tone that sadly we are all too familiar with in these days of pandemics, racial tensions, and global warming. But the album is not void of irony. Like all true masters, Rhymes knows how to flip a script and reveal these doomsday scenarios for the bandwagon schemes that they sometimes are.
“Fuck your plague and disease and sickness brought on by colonization.” Claims Rhymes on the end of the opening track.
The features on this record read like a list of hip-hop and r&b royalty of past and present including: Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Anderson .Paak, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Q-Tip, Bell Biv DeVoe and more.
Rhymes has always been a difficult MC to pin down, weaving in and out of Top 40 and more cutting edge East coast factions. This record is no different. Depending on your point of view not every thing on ELE 2 will be easy to digest.
To quote the man himself, he’s here to provide, “A good balance of science, and a good balance of heat, Classic shit, as I continue to give you that food. Feast on this full course meal, as I welcome you all”. -Major Matt

Charlie Quintet Parker- Bluebird

Colter Wall- Imaginary Appalachia

Death Cab for Cutie- Codes and Keys

Death Cab for Cutie- Transatlanticism (Anniversary Edition)

Denzel Curry- Unlocked

Dr. Dre- Chronic

Dropkick Murphys- Turn Up That Dial (Coke Bottle Green) [INDIE EX]

Weekly Review:

From the first notes played on the Boston Celtic punks’ new album, a tone is set. It’s the tone of a band that have rediscovered the spark that first ignited their passion to play music.
Sure, the Dropkicks have been around a long time and like every band they have their formula, but on reflection their last couple of releases missed the confident swagger they carried in hungrier times.
That swagger returns with the album opener, a love letter to punk rock and the scene it has created, and just what the music and fans mean to the band. This atmosphere carries through on L-EE-B-O-Y and Middle Finger, both pure rockers with the flair that you have come to expect from the  Murphy boys.
Queen of Suffolk County is the Dropkick Murphy at their story telling best. As banjos and accordions rattle along in the background, this is the tale of the toughest bird you’ve ever had the pleasure of not meeting. But this is a short passage of serious story telling amongst a group of rowdy drunken stories, the funniest one among them Mick Jones Stole My Pudding about the Clash guitarist pinching a tasty treat from some poor bastard’s fridge, but only because he was high.
Rarely a band to be too obviously political Chosen Few is a weary view on how the rest of the world may well currently view the US. That doesn’t dent proceedings, as the good times continue and culminate in Ken Casey’s love song to the band’s hometown on City By The Sea,  about travelling far from home but always being happy to come back.
The album wraps on the sombre notes of I Wish You Were Here. A mournful ballad tucked away at the end of an album that has been nothing but a party up until this point, it is here as a heartfelt tribute to Al Barr’s father, who passed away whilst the album was being written. It’s the lights being turned off in the hall you have just partied in for the last 35 minutes, so get out already.
Turn Up That Dial sits amongst some of the strongest material the Dropkick Murphys have cobbled together. A riotous good time just waiting for you to crack a cold one and turn it up. So why are you still reading this? Get to the Underground and pick up yours today.- Albert Schmurr
Durand Jones & The Indications- American Love Call
Durand Jones & The Indications- Durand Jones & The Indications
The Doors- L.A. Woman
Earl Sweatshirt- Doris
Elliott Smith- Either/ Or
Weekly Review:

Indie folk artist Elliott Smith has long been held in hushed, exalted reverence, but in many ways his third album, 1997’s Either/Or established that legacy.

Either/Or is Smith’s final album before he jumped to a major label. It is also the album filmmaker Gus Van Sant heard, which inspired him to place three of its songs in the movie Good Will Hunting and to ask Smith to record a new song specifically for the soundtrack.

The first side of Either/Or functions as a mini greatest-hits set, starting with “Speed Trials,” a subtle yet catchy single. “Pictures of Me” and “Angeles” are two of the best songs Smith ever wrote. There’s also “Between the Bars,” Smith’s best-known (and oft-covered) song.

Side B isn’t as celebrated, but is nearly as sturdy, containing “Cupid’s Trick,” the most electric performance on the album, preceded by the lovely “Angeles,” one of Either/Or’s most delicate performances. Spend as much time as you need sifting through the dozen songs looking for a weak track, but it can’t be found.

This reissue of Either/Or retains the 20th anniversary mixes while shedding the edition’s bonus material. It remains the best entry point to Smith’s catalog, but be warned: Once you’ve absorbed Either/Or, you will insatiably track down every other morsel from this gifted artist. – Joel Francis

Eric Johnson- Ah Via Musicom (Limited Edition, Gold, Anniversary Edition)
Gary Numan- Intruder
Gojira- Fortitude
Weekly Review:
Gojira is a  metal band hailing from southern France. Their name is taken from the Japanese translation for Godzilla.
I wouldn’t consider myself a metal head but I am a child of of the 90’s. Truth be told, my coming of age was more during the 80’s. I witnessed the evolution of classic rock, to arena rock, to hair metal, to grunge, to the stoner rock/ death metal/ prog metal/ anything goes environment we find ourselves in today.
Gojira’s inception dates all the way back to 1996, when they began hacking their way into the technical, melodic, death metal scene with their first self produced album Terra Ingognito. It wasn’t really until their sixth studio album Magma, an album heavily influenced by the death of guitar player and drummer Joe and Mario Duplantier’s mother, that they started to break through to larger audiences.
On Gojira’s latest studio album, Fortitude, Joe Duple explains this time, the band “had the desire to fill the album with more joy, even if it doesn’t come across as joyful music.” One can literally hear their evolution track by track.
Not unlike Metallica’s Black album, Gojira made an effort to dial back the guitar solos and focus more on riff’s and melodic cord progressions. The results are a band that has as much in common with Alice In Chains as it does with Pantera.
For me this record hearkens back to some of my favorite crossover metal acts of the 90’s like Prong, Corrosion Of Conformity and Kyuss.
What I like about Fortitude is that it inspires me to think differently about the metal genre. During the song Amazonia, a song that addresses the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, I started to consider the similarities between Gojira’s vocal stylings and classic Gregorian Chants. I also like that you can hear the band trying out different things, whether it’s an effect or a particular rhythm.
There’s still enough Cookie Monster vocals and triggered double kick drums for contemporary metalheads, but one can hear the band’s desire to evolve. This is especially true on the title track Fortitude which consists of a simple droney bass line and hand percussion accompanies by a repetitive work-song style chant the sounds more like a calssic prison-line spiritual. The track melts the next track The Chant, getting a more metal treatment.
Taken from an interview on French Radio station in 2021 the band is quoted as saying the album was inspired as an encouragement to self-reinforcement, “to show courage to face up the world, to face tomorrow’s problems.” And if that’s not a good reason to make a metal record then I don’t know what is!- Major Matt
Harry Nilsson- Nilsson Schmilsson
Her’s- Invitation To Her’s
Ian Carr- Belladonna
Jimi Hendrix- Electric Ladyland

Jon Batiste- Soul (Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)

John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings (Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Juliana Hatfield- Blood
Weekly Reviews:
Juliana Hatfield first came to my attention as the bass player and singer for Boston trio Blake Babies, in the early 1990’s when collage rock bands like REM and Throwing Muses ruled the alternative alternative airwave.
Even though her highest charting work was with the song My Sister in 1993, performed by her band at the time The Juliana Hatfield Three, she has continued to a produce an impressive catalog of 19 albums of original material interspersed with a couple of fun cover albums of songs by The Police and Olivia Newton John.
The cover art on Hatfield’s latest relese, Blood, does a pretty good job at conveying her dark sense of humor. “I have to punch myself in the face to get myself out of bed,” she proclaims on the the song Nightmary.
Her nonchalant, (dare I say) sweet sounding voice makes for a nice contrast to the driving beats shredding guitars. The literal and sonic images of the act of chopping and cutting are a common theme throughout the album… oh and the blood.
On Had a Dream, she plays with the Freudian theory of how our dreams can be the playground for our darker thoughts, envisioning herself as a literal killing machine, first stabbing, then quartering, and finally sawing a person in half. She ends each verse with a simply repeated chorus,”It was a very American Dream.” The track is a relentless cycle of crushing guitars, layered with a distant Mellotron conjuring up images of some kind of demented circus.
Recorded during the pandemic, Hatfield produced most of the tracks herself in her Massachusetts home with recent collaborator Jed Davis, assisting from Connecticut. She’s makes no bones about the album’s inspiration being largely a reaction to the Trump administration when she claims on her Bandcamp page, “I think these songs are a reaction to how seriously and negatively a lot of people have been affected by the past four years,”
Though, the album is not without it’s half glass full moments, she always seems to be winking back at you with that special brand of cynicism. On the song Splinter she proclaims, “I’m ready to finally pop this bubble. Get myself in some kind of trouble.”
The more I listen to this record the more I enjoy it and you gotta love the limited edition 350 red splatter vinyl!- Major Matt
Weekly Review #2:

In several ways, Juliana Hatfield’s latest album, Blood, serves as a continuation of Pussycat, the 2017 album that kicked off a prolific streak of five albums in as many years. Pussycat was a laceration of America’s recently elected president. While a different white male occupies the Oval Office today, Hatfield still bears grievances.

On “Nightmary,” a song buoyed by a pop hook that could have been taken from Hatfield’s recent Police tribute, she sings “The whole world is controlled by fascist bloodsucking thugs.” The next song, “Had a Dream,” is gory analogy of America’s gun violence problem. Lead single “Mouthful of Blood” is what Hatfield winds up with after biting her tongue for so long. “If I say what I want to say,” she sings, “it might just get me killed.”

Musically, Blood remains as peppy and accessible as its subject matter is gruesome and unflinching. Fuzzy guitars, bubbly melodies and spritely keyboards (all played by Hatfield) make the album pleasing to both the ear and intellect.

After 19 albums, Hatfield isn’t out to prove anything to anyone, but her truth and passion make Blood an album that will not only appeal to longtime fans, but will hopefully win Hatfield some new ones as well.- Joel Francis

Kendrick Lamar- Damn
Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Khruangbin- Mordechai
Lord Huron- Long Lost (Colored Vinyl, Blue, Indie Exclusive)
Lynyrd Skynyrd- (Pronounced ‘Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd’)
Machine Gun Kelly- Tickets To My Downfall
Macy Gray – Stripped
Weekly Review:
In 2001 Macy Gray’s hit single, I Try, earned her the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
There is something both classic and essential contemporary about Gray’s music. Her raspy, wise voice rang overtones of Billy Holiday, while her larger than life persona and relaxed boho-style were reminiscent of the early sixties with a dash of club- kid.
Stripped is her ninth studio album and it’s her first foray into a more pure jazz vibe. It was recorded live on April 7 and April 8, 2016, in a decommissioned Brooklyn church. As the name suggests, the record has a stripped down feel featuring Russell Malone on guitar and Wallace Roney on Trumpet.
Stand out tracks are the late night lounge version of I Try and a soulful rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. -Major Matt
Marcos Valle- Marcos Valle (Red Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Marvin Gaye- Every Great Motown Hit Of Marvin Gaye: 15 Spectacular Performances
Mdou Moctar- Afrique Victime (Colored Vinyl, Purple, Indie Exclusive)
Mdou Moctar- Afelan
Metallica- Kill Em All
Metallica- Ride the Lightning
Mother Mother- Eureka
Weekly Review:

Vancouver-based quintet Mother Mother is another band in a long line of acts that are huge in their native Canada but can’t get arrested in the United States. Which is a shame, because Mother Mother is a lot of fun. Lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Ryan Guldemond and his sister Molly Guldemond have a male-female, tag-team vocal pairing that recalls the New Pornographers or Grouplove.

Musically, Mother Mother is effortlessly effervescent without becoming annoying. Plenty of power pop guitar chords and soaring synthesizers keep the proceedings bubbly, but Ryan Guldermond isn’t above sneaking a banjo or other musical surprise into the arrangement.

Eureka doesn’t have such lofty expectations lyrically, but the words always serve the spirit of the song – to keep the good times going and elevate the spirit.

This first-ever vinyl release drops in commemoration of Eurkea’s 10th anniversary, but this isn’t a bygone time capsule. Mother Mother is still going strong with a new album on the way in June, making Eureka a great way to get up to speed.- Joel Francis

My Bloody Valentine- M B V
Nick Drake- Bryter Layter
Ornette Coleman- Free Jazz
Outkast- Aquemini
Paul McCartney- Ram
Weekly Review:

In hindsight, it is easy to understand why Beatles fans may have felt underwhelmed by Sir Paul’s post-Fab offerings. The homespun sounds of McCartney and Ram don’t have any of the ambition or grandeur of “Hey Jude” or “Let It Be.” But the low-key charm of these two albums are exactly why they continue to resonate today.

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” may be goofy and whimsical, but is also a lot of fun and continues the tradition of mini-medley songs that started on Abbey Road’s second side and carried through to Red Rose Speedway and, most recently, Egypt Station. With the exception of the widescreen album closer “The Back Seat of My Car,” the rest of Ram is the perfect marriage of whimsy and substance. Whenever McCartney attempted to work in this style again, the results were either lazy or too cute (sometimes both: see, “Wonderful Christmastime”). 

The legacy of Ram can be heard in lo-fi indie projects such as Death Cab for Cutie, the Elephant Six collective, the Decemberists, Of Montreal, Fiery Furnaces. In observance of the album’s 50th anniversary it is being reissued in a half-speed-mastered edition with better sound quality. Regardless of how you get it, Ram should be in any music collection.- Joel Francis

Paula Cole- American Quilt
Prince- Purple Rain
Qur’an Shaheed- Process
Ray Charles- Genius + Soul = Jazz
Weekly Review:

After melding blues, jump, gospel and rhythm and blues into soul music in the 1950s, Ray Charles opened the ‘60s by combining soul with other genres. His 1961 release (only the second album issued on Impulse Records) places Charles’ organ (and vocals, sometimes) in a big band setting.

Charles receives immaculate support from members of the Count Basie Orchestra for half the tracks and New York’s finest jazz session players for the other. Quincy Jones, the man who would give us Thriller a little more than 20 years later, arranged many of the songs. Brother Ray tears through a fevered version of “One Mint Julep” and sings the blues on “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.”

While the organ and orchestra motif was well-established by Jimmy Smith by this point, Charles provides a unique take. For one thing, Charles’ playing has more of a gospel inflection. And despite the undeniable pedigree of the supporting players, it’s not hard to imagine these songs swinging nearly as hard with a standard R&B combo as they do with the big band. In other words, the momentum from these performances comes from Charles, not the charts or the ensemble.   

Shortly after releasing this album, Charles melded his sound with country and western for two wildly successful (and celebrated) albums. Part of Charles’ genius was the ability to convince the public to accompany him into these ventures. When the results are as fun and enthusiastic as they are here, it’s hard not flock to the party.- Joel Francis

Reigning Sound- A Little More Time with Reigning Sound
Robert Finley- Sharecropper’s Son
Royal Blood- Typhoons
Sade- This Far (Boxed Set, Remastered)
Sons of Kemet- Black to the Future
Weekly Review:

On the heels of one of 2020’s best albums, We Are Sent Here by History, jazz man Shabaka Hutchings returns with another strong offering.

With Hutchings on reeds, Theon Cross on tuba and drummers Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick, Sons of Kemet sound different from other jazz ensembles by design. On their fourth album, the quartet ride Afro-Caribbean rhythms and Cross’ mighty tuba for a sound that is danceable yet anxious.

The spoken-word pieces that open and close the album make Hutchings’ thesis clear. From the introduction: “One knee on my back/one knee on my lung/telling me to run sprint times in a marathon.” The heavy gets even heavier on “Let the Circle Be Unbroken.” The track opens with an almost Calypso rhythm with the tuba carrying the melody. Hutchings’ sax enters doubling the tuba line before dancing in its own direction. As the tuba grows more insistent, the sax becomes even more discordant, until it dissolves into a sputtered staccato.

Kemet gets some help along the way from several guest vocalists, but the group’s thesis is so tight the song titles read like a poem on the back cover. The year is far from over, but Black to the Future is an early contender for 2021’s best jazz release. – Joel Francis

Sons of Kemet- Burn
Sook-Yin Lee- Jooj Two
Soundgarden- Badmotorfinger
Steve Reid- Rhythmatism
Stone Temple Pilots- Core (2017 Remaster)
St. Vincent- Daddy’s Home
Weekly Review:
If there’s one thing that we’ve grown to understand about the albums of Annie Clark, the driving force behind St. Vincent, it’s that you’re probably going to get something a little different from the what you heard on the previous album. Daddy’s Home is no exception.
Aside from the sure to make some uncomfortable album title, which is rumored to be a reference to her actual father being released from prison for a white color investment scheme, Daddy’s Home is being touted as her “70’s Album.” I suppose that could be accurate in the sense that, unlike most of St. Vincent’s albums, this one doesn’t sound like the future… at least completely.
The standout opening track, Pay Your Way In Pain could be an out take from Prince’s 1981 album Controversy (see her 2020 Grammy Performance).
The lush vocal arrangements and electric sitar on songs Live In a Dream as well as the watery slap echoed vocals on Melting Of the Sun hearken a bit more to late 60’s Beatles and T. Rex to my ear. But the mid -period Pink Floyd references are not totally lost on me.
The 70’s reference are much clearer in the back half of the album a high light for me being the Joni Mitchellesque acoustic number …At The Holiday Party.
On occasion, I’ve found Clark’s more consciously intrusive production style to be slightly exhausting. But I feel like this record has a nicer balance of musicality and freakiness. The black smoke vinyl is a nice choice as well!- Major Matt
Tame Impala- Innerspeaker
Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin
Three 6 Mafia- End (Colored Vinyl, Orange, Remastered)
Todd Snider- Cash Cabin Sessions 3
Tool- Opiate (ep)
Tyler, The Creator- Igor
Van Weezer

Weekly Review:

It’s no secret the guys in Weezer grew up as 80s arena-rock fans. There’s a song on their 1994 self-titled debut album (the blue album) “In The Garage”  that contains lyrics “I’ve got posters on the wall, my favorite rock band KISS.” Twenty-seven years later (almost to the day) Weezer releases a 10 track ode to their hair band heroes titled Van Weezer.

 
Van Weezer is almost exactly what you’d expect, arena rock with big riffs, tricky guitar solos, and tight leather pants (probably). It pays homage to the greats, from the Van Halen-inspired Van Weezer album title to the “Crazy Train” guitar riff of “Blue Dream,” which somehow morphs into a heavy-metal Beatles “Octopus’s Garden” inspired anthem. Sound weird? It is, but it’s actually really good. The song “1 More Hit” broods with a Metallica-inspired guitar riff, while “Shelia Can Do It” kickstarts our hearts with a motorcycle revving like on the Motley Crue rocker “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The nods to bands that inspired them is a nice touch, one that oozes nostalgia in a band that often finds itself still trying to fit in with the “cool kids.”
Van Weezer is not is super hard rocking. It’s less “Hot For Teacher” and more “Too Hot for Tee Shirt”… it is Weezer after all, and awkward and nerdy they will forever be. After the hard-rocking intros of each song, they transition into the comfortable, melodic, pop masters we know them to be. Cuomo, who apparently does not age, still sounds like he always has, and many of the same vibes from the first album “white snake” their way onto Van Weezer. It’s not the Blue Album revisited, but I’d be lying if I didn’t get some of the same warm, fuzzy, “In The Garage” feelings from this album.  The aforementioned “Shela Can Do It” has a “Surf Rock America” feel that takes me back to high school.
Van Weezer is nostalgic on two fronts. It’s an eighties-era metal rock trip down memory lane but with a Weezer Blue Album detour about a quarter of the way through each song. It’s a bonafide, volume crankable, air guitar-inspiring album that most Weezer fans are sure to enjoy.- Brad Simmons
Various Artists- Impulse Records: Music, Message And The Moment (Boxed Set)
Weekly Review:

Albums released by Impulse Records are instantly recognizable for their iconic orange and black spines. From its first release in 1961, the label was a safe haven for free jazz and avant-garde experimentation. While John Coltrane’s increasingly experimental work for Impulse has become so synonymous with the label it is often called The House that Trane Built, the Impulse story goes well beyond the iconic saxophonist.

This new four-album set curated in recognition of Impulse’s 60th anniversary includes plenty of Coltrane (claiming all of the first side), but goes out of its way to document the label’s role in the political and social realm of the Black experience in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Bop pioneers Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Ahmad Jamal are sequenced alongside free jazz explorers Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders. Then there are those that aren’t easily categorized, like Michael White’s neo-classical piece “Lament (Mankind)” and Marion Brown’s contemplative “Bismillahi ‘Rrahmani ‘Rrahim.”

While the 60th anniversary is a bit a misnomer since the label went dark after 1980 save for a few dozen releases (and has only recently become active again), this 25-track collection is a great overview of Impulse’s restless and adventurous spirit over its first two decades. The accompanying essays, song notes and photographs enhance the journey.- Joel Francis

Weeknd- Starboy
World Party- Private Revolution
Wu-Tang Clan- Enter Wu-Tang

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