Though I haven’t had a vinyl splurge in a while, I’ve been steadily adding to my collection over the last month and a half. I’m always torn between buying new releases from my favorite current artists and swooping up old classic albums I feel I should have in my crate by now. As usual, my recent trips to the record shop resulted in a solid balance of the two. My latest purchases include some Tom Petty, Angel Olsen and more. Read below!
Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
Tom Petty’s solo debut Full Moon Fever is as essential as rock ‘n’ roll comes. From the opening strums of “Free Fallin’”, to the gritty groove of “I Won’t Back Down”, to the charming Byrds cover “Feel A Whole Lot Better”, this album is full of gems that are instantly recognizable to just about anyone who’s heard a guitar before. “Runnin’ Down A Dream” might be my favorite song to hit the fast lane to. After Petty’s passing, I wasted no time in trying to find an album of his to add to my collection. Unfortunately, the shop I went to had a pretty limited selection. Sure enough, they were restocked the next weekend and guess which one was in front?
Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
Often called the leader of modern jazz, Kamasi Washington’s music feels as giant as the large-figured saxophonist himself, not only in size of sound but rather in grand mastery of composition. His new record Harmony of Difference isn’t as beastly as his last, but it’s just as smooth and detailed. If you don’t have a lot of experience listening to jazz, Kamasi is a great artist to start with to bridge the gap between today and the more complex avenues of perhaps the richest genre (historically) in all of music.
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Angel Olsen’s feature on “Stranger’s Kiss”, a track from the new Alex Cameron album literally made me go buy this record. I knew Angel. I liked her name and I liked her voice, but this feature made me do it. I’ve instantly fallen in love with every aspect of this album; the raw psych-folk instrumentation, the deep heartfelt lyrics and of course, Angel’s enchanting vocals. Not only is her voice great, but her singing is pretty bold in the risks she takes. It pays off every cent, with some interest.
The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
Odds are if you don’t know these guys, you probably won’t take their name very seriously, let alone take them seriously as a band. The Flying Burrito Brothers were anything but a joke. Under the leadership of the legendary Gram Parsons and ex-Byrd Chris Hillman, the Burritos crafted one of the finest records of the late 1960s. Simply put, The Gilded Palace of Sin is the blueprint to country-rock and easily one of my favorite albums of its kind. It’s country no doubt, full of sweet melodies about loneliness and existential crisis. This record is not just a staple in this specific genre, but it truly shows how revolutionary a figure Parsons was in his short career.
Anita Baker – Giving You the Best That I Got
Giving You The Best That I Got is one of Anita Baker’s most compelling works. One of the most prominent voices in soul-jazz during the 1980s, Anita Baker is a frequent name-drop among a lot of contemporary rappers when it comes to throwback influences. This album is a staple in the R&B category from this time. I found this particular record used and up for only $5. My soul collection still has a ways to go, so copping this album was a no brainer; not to mention, Anita’s voice is enough to win over anybody with sensible ears.