RELEASE TUESDAY: October 21, 2014

October 19th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


The Budos Band: Burnt Offering (Daptone)
File Under: Rock

The Budos Band explores a more rock-oriented sound on their fourth album. Look for an interview we conducted with band member Tom Brenneck in issue 60 of Wax Poetics out later this fall. The title track can be heard below.


Boyz II Men: Collide (BMG)
File Under: R&B

Motownphilly’s back again. Target is offering a version with two additional tracks, “Beautiful” and “Can’t Let Go.”

In the world of exclusive deals, iTunes is offering a different bonus track called “Ladies Man.” Amazon is offering an autographed version.


Gavin Degraw: Finest Hour: The Best Of Gavin Degraw (RCA)
File Under: Pop

His subsequent albums after his fantastic debut, Chariot, have been uneven, but this collection grabs some of his best material.


Various Artists: Tru Thoughts 15th Anniversary (Tru Thoughts)
File Under: R&B

This is the pared down version of a box set, and even it’s two discs worth of material from the likes of Alice Russell, Nostalgia 77, Bonobo, Hidden Orchestra, and more.


Earth, Wind, & Fire: Holiday (Legacy)
File Under: Christmas, R&B

‘Tis the season. The Christmas titles are starting to roll out, and EWF covers some of the genre’s classics like “What Child Is This,” “The Drummer Boy,” and “Sleigh Ride.”


T.I.: Paperwork (Grand Hustle/Columbia)
File Under: Hip-Hop

T.I. teams up with Pharrell, Iggy Azalea, Chris Brown, Skylar Grey, and more for his latest effort.


El Michels Affair: Sounding Out The City (Deluxe Edition) (Truth & Soul)
File Under: Soul, Reissue

This came out last week, and we forgot to mention it. A decade ago, Leon Michels and his cronies put together this beautiful instrumental soul album. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the label is reissuing it with a bonus disc of some previously unreleased material. Additionally, that bonus material is being issued on vinyl on a 10″ called Loose Change.

RELEASE TUESDAY: September 30; October 7; October 14, 2014

October 13th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Weezer: Everything Will Be Alright In The End (Universal Republic)
File Under: Rock

Rivers Cuomo and his bandmates deliver another album, their ninth, this time via Universal Republic.


Oasis: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (Big Brother Recordings)
File Under: Rock, Reissue

A super deluxe version of this reissue exists, but with all the audio available in this 3-CD package at $20, it’s hard to turn this one down.


Kenny Drew: Undercurrent (Blue Note/Universal)
Sonny Clark: Cool Struttin’ (Blue Note/Universal)
Stanley Turrentine: That’s Where It’s At (Blue Note/Universal)
Freddie Hubbard: Ready For Freddie (Blue Note/Universal)
File Under: Jazz, Vinyl, Reissue

The Blue Note train rolls on with these vinyl reissues. Have we said how much we love old Blue Note album covers?


The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles: The Last Transmission (Now Again)
File Under: Psychedelic

The Heliocentrics launch yet another oneoff project, this time with Melvin Van Peebles. A second disc is included with the instrumentals of the tracks as well. If you’re a member of Now Again’s Drip.fm subscription, it’s available there now as well.


Various Artists: Peru Bravo: Funk, Soul, & Psych From Peru’s Radical Decade (Tiger’s Milk)
File Under: Global Grooves, Compilation

As a follow-up to the label’s Peru Maravilloso, the funk, soul, and psych scenes of the country’s musical history are explored.

Wax Poetics recently debuted a track from the compilation.


Bonobo: North Borders Tour: Live (Ninja Tune)
File Under: Live, DVD

The album comes with both the audio on CD and a companion DVD of the live show. A vinyl version is also offered.


Bob Seger: Ride Out (Universal)
File Under: Rock

He may be (even) older now, but Bob Seger is still runnin’ against the wind. From the title, are we to expect this may be his ride into the sunset?

The soundclips up at Amazon are certainly in line with what you’d expect from a Seger release.


U2: Songs Of Innocence (Interscope)
File Under: Pop, Rock

If you weren’t one of the half-billion people to receive the album for free via iTunes last month; or if you were one of those people who felt intruded upon by Apple; or if you just want the physical object of the album, well, then this is your release.

RELEASE TUESDAY: September 23, 2014

September 23rd, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Gary Clark, Jr.: Live (2-CD) (Warner)
File Under: Blues, Rock, Live

Gary Clark, Jr.’s, latest release showcases where she shines best: on stage. His debut album had moments but was mostly an uneven affair. But live… that’s another story!


Lenny Kravitz: Strut (Target Exclusive Edition) (Kobalt)
File Under: Pop, Rock

Lenny Kravitz shows off his strut and even covers the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby” with fantastic results. Target has an exclusive edition that includes “Lift Me Out Of My Head” and “It Won’t Feel The Same” as bonus offerings. Meanwhile, iTunes has a couple of exclusives of their own like “Sweet Gitchey Rose” and “Can’t Stop Thinkin’ ‘Bout You.”


Smashing Pumpkins: Adore (Super Deluxe Edition) (Virgin)
File Under: Rock, Alternative

The super deluxe madness continues with the Pumpkins, this time exploring their recording sessions during 1998′s Adore. Altogether, 107 tracks are spread across 6 CDs and a DVD that highlights their Fox Theater performance in Atlanta in August of 1998.


George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75 (Apple/Capitol)
File Under: Pop, Box Set

Experimental albums and a solo Beatle masterpiece are the centerpieces of this multiple disc box set chronicling George’s music as released by Apple Records both during and after the Beatles’ breakup.


Imelda May: Tribal (Verve)
File Under: Pop, Rockabilly

A queen in her genre, Imelda May’s junior album has what it takes to keep your boots kickin’. “It’s Good To Be Alive,” yes indeed.

RELEASE TUESDAY: September 2, 9, and 16, 2014

September 16th, 2014

RELEASE TUESDAY: September 2, 9, and 16, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


The Beatles: The Beatles In Mono Vinyl Box Set (Capitol)
File Under: Pop, Rock, Vinyl

They’re only virtually the most important music group in music history. Back in 2009, we got remasters of their full catalog in mono on CD. This year, as promised for some time now, the mono catalog (up through The Beatles aka The White Album when the albums stopped being done in mono) is now out on vinyl.


Various Artists: Catch Action: The Sophisticated Boogie Funk Of Sheridan House Records (Ubiquity)
File Under: R&B, Box Set, Vinyl, Compilation

A beautiful set from Ubiquity chronicling a sampling of records as released by 70s/80s label Sheridan House. Wax Poetics is hosting a contest giving one of the vinyl box sets away. A 2-CD version has also been released.


Etta James: Rocks The House (Argo/Jackpot)
File Under: R&B, Live

A fiery live LP recorded by Etta James in Nashville. The album has been reissued on blue vinyl.


Orlando Julius & The Heliocentrics: Jaiyede Afro (Strut)
File Under: Afrobeat

The Heliocentrics pair with legendary Afrobeat saxophonist to create a wonderfully funky record. You can hear their cover of James Brown’s “In The Middle” over at Wax Poetics.


Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams (Pax Am/Blue Note)
File Under: Rock

Ryan Adams’ self-titled album is far beyond a debut but a deeper look still into his musical journey.


Jimi Hendrix: Rainbow Bridge (Legacy)
Jimi Hendrix: The Cry Of Love (Legacy)
File Under: Rock

Legacy continues to release material from Hendrix. These two are older albums released posthumously, even originally. The Cry Of Love finds its way to CD for the first time.


Smokey Robinson/The Miracles/Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Various Albums (Motown/Universal)
File Under: Soul, Reissue

A number of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles as well as solo Smokey Robinson albums are finding their way to a digital storefront, some being available for the first time in years. Some titles, released between the 1960s through the 1980s, include:

Greatest Hits From The Beginning
A Pocket Full Of Miracles
The Season For Miracles
One Dozen Roses
Flying High Together
Yes, It’s You Lady
Touch The Sky
Essar
Smoke Signals


Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra: Pulsion (Ubiquity)
File Under: Soul, Jazz, Psychedelic, Library

A funky, quirky record from the tight ALVO crew exploring new territories. Here a teaser below.

RELEASE TUESDAY: August 26, 2014

August 26th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Brad Paisley: Moonshine In The Trunk (Sony Nashville/Arista)
File Under: Country

Megastar Paisley returns with his latest album.


Kem: Promise To Love (Target Deluxe Edition) (CMG)
File Under: R&B

A standard version of this album exists, but Target is selling a deluxe version including a couple of bonus tracks, “I Believe In Your Love” and “In The Meantime.”


Lou Donaldson: Lush Life (Blue Note/Universal)
Bud Powell: The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1 (Blue Note/Universal)
Wayne Shorter: Juju (Blue Note/Universal)
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like A Child (Blue Note/Universal)
Terence Blanchard: Flow (Blue Note/Universal)
File Under: Jazz, Vinyl, Reissue

The newest release of these is Terence Blanchard’s 2005 album, and the batch stretches back to classic Blue Note era albums like Lush Life and Juju.

RELEASE TUESDAY: August 19, 2014

August 20th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (ATO)
File Under: Rock

A really nice debut from this young rock and roller. NPR was streaming the album last week, and we were hooked. A couple months ago, he performed on David Letterman, singing his hit “Violent Shiver.”


Christian Gregory: Count On You EP (Movement)
File Under: R&B

Another debut project. This one comes from Christian Gregory, who partnered with singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka to form Movement Records. Okayplayer is still streaming the full EP. We’re loving “Won’t Get Nowhere” which has an incredibly slow but sensual beat with Gregory launching into a pristine falsetto.

You can also check out the title track’s official video:


Bebel Gilberto: Tudo (Sony Masterworks)
File Under: Global Grooves, Brazilian

Brazilian music + last name of Gilberto = immediate purchase.


Smokey Robinson: Smokey & Friends (Verve)
File Under: Soul, Covers

The guest list is big: Elton John, Steven Tyler, John Legend, Mary J Blige, and the list goes on. The results, however, leave a lot to be desired.

RELEASE TUESDAY: August 12, 2014

August 11th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Brian Setzer: Rockabilly Riot: All Original (Surfdog)
File Under: Rock & Roll

A fun new record from Brian Setzer.


The Gaslight Anthem: Get Hurt (Island)
File Under: Pop, Rock

New material following their acclaimed 2012 album Handwritten.


Ethan Johns: The Reckoning (Three Crows Records)
File Under: Rock, Blues

Johns is usually on the other side of the board, although this isn’t his solo debut. Instead, Ryan Adams puts on the producer hat while Johns gets behind the mic.


Donny Hathaway: The Best Of Donny Hathaway (Friday Music)
File Under: Soul, Compilation, Vinyl

An odd title to be reissuing given that it’s not considered to be the standard best of by Hathaway. Still, even at nine tracks, the selection is a good one, although by no means is it any more of a taste of the man’s great talents.

RELEASE TUESDAY: August 5, 2014

August 3rd, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Spoon: They Want My Soul (Loma Vista/Republic)
File Under: Rock

Their new single “Do You,” seen below, is catchy! You can hear the entire album up until release day via iTunes First Play.


Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes: Love Cliques EP (Vanguard)
File Under: Pop, Vinyl

A follow-up EP to their breakout debut album Baby Caught The Bus. Aside from it being released on mp3, a vinyl version is also seeing the light of day.

WE MISSED THIS TITLE LAST WEEK


LC Cooke: The Complete SAR Recordings (ABKCO)
File Under: Soul, R&B, Compilation

Not sure how we missed this last week, but LC Cooke’s complete SAR recording along with 2 tracks he did with Checker and another through Destination was released last week. Check out an interview and article we did for Wax Poetics.

RELEASE TUESDAY: July 29, 2014

July 27th, 2014

SPOTLIGHT RELEASE


Various Artists: Beck Song Reader (Capitol)
File Under: Pop, Rock

One of the most unique ideas for releasing new music was brought forth by Beck, who originally released it as sheet music only Now, artists like Jack White, Fun, Norah Jones, Jason Isbell, Swamp Dogg, Jack Black, and even Beck himself have recorded the tracks.


James Brown: Get On Up: The James Brown Story Soundtrack (UMe)
File Under: Soundtrack, R&B, Soul, Funk

Back in 1991, Brown’s box set entitled Star Time received a Grammy for Best Album Notes with contributing work from Harry Weinger on the liner notes. Over 20 years later, and Harry is still helping to preserve the man’s legacy.

A couple of tracks here are previously unreleased including “Please Please Please (Live)” and “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World (Live).”

The film opens nationwide on August 1st.

As only James Brown could do…


Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye (Warner Bros.)
File Under: Rock

Tom Petty returns for his lucky 13th album.


N’Sync: The Essential (Sony/Legacy)
File Under: Pop, Compilation

In the late ’90s/early ’00s, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, and the rest of the gang ruled pop radio and the album charts. This 2-CD compilation chronicles their success.


Marc Broussard: A Life Worth Living (Vanguard)
File Under: Pop, Soul

The album cover looks like it could have been on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Marc’s new album is streaming in full over at his official website.


Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze: An Appreciation Of JJ Cale (Bushbranch/Surfdog)
File Under: Rock

Clapton pays tribute to the man who inspired him throughout his career. Other artists paying tribute to Cale include Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler, and John Mayer, among others.


Cassandra Wilson: Traveling Miles (Blue Note/Universal)
Donald Byrd: Blackbyrd (Blue Note/Universal)
Joe Henderson: Mode For Joe (Blue Note/Universal)
Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue (Blue Note/Universal)
Kenny Dorham: Afro-Cuban (Blue Note/Universal)
File Under: Jazz, Vinyl

For their fifth installment of jazz vinyl reissue series, Blue Note offers up some new(ish) (Cassandra Wilson) and some classics (Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson, and Kenny Burrell).

DOM FLEMONS: THE AMERICAN SONGSTER

July 25th, 2014

Dom Flemons may be most recognized as a member of the Grammy-winning group Carolina Chocolate Drops, but he is no stranger to solo work. On his latest project, Prospect Hill (which we’re also happy to see was released on vinyl), he continues blazing down the folk path that made many music fans fall in love with him but also expands his comfort zone with extremely positive results.

It’s readily apparent that this album – and this career – is a true labor of love for him. As you scan through the album booklet, where most artists only cobble together a Thank You’s section, Flemons has taken the time to give a full paragraph commentary on each track presented on this 14-track opus. It’s this attention to detail that breathes added life into each track but also helps to bring understanding and sense of community to the folk craft that he is both trying to shine a light upon its past while also paving a road for its future.

There are tracks that harken to the styles that were prevalent on albums like Genuine Negro Jig by the Carolina Chocolate Drops like “Polly Put The Kettle On,” a traditional that he has arranged here, or “But They Got It Fixed Right On” with its well-placed jug playing (by Flemons) and Brian Horton’s sax. However, Flemons also pays tribute to the jazz of New Orleans on “‘Til The Sea Runs Dry” with some fantastic clarinet work (also by Brian Horton). On the studio version of “I Can’t Do It Anymore,” he cites Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, and Hank Ballard as influences and with an electric guitar sprinkled throughout the track played by Keith Ganz, there’s a nod to ’40s and ’50s rock and roll. On the acoustic version shown below, it oozes a ’40s postwar blues feel. Both versions are sensational.

The full album was premiered via USA Today and is still available for a limited time.

He’s on a handful of tour dates through mid-August before joining up with Pokey LaFarge on the Central Time Tour as a special guest and master of ceremonies, which is sure to be a fantastic time for those who are into the American roots music scene.

With Prospect Hill, Flemons proves that his professed American Songster title is well-earned. The genre couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson, from the standpoint of an artist who is well-versed on its history and one that is well-equipped to keep carrying its torch.