I don’t hang out at gay bars, but I’m assuming most of this album is pumping through the PA system of every gay bar on the planet right now.
Ty Herndon, Jacob
I never want Ty Herndon to go through the hell that inspired this album ever again, but holy frak, this album is the most honest art he’s ever produced.
I really enjoyed the singles preceding the release of this album, and given that a lot of Perfume albums just collected those tracks into an album, I knew I would like PLASMA. Or perhaps this album is Future Pop: The Apology.
Don Caballero, Singles Breaking Up
Wait, hold up. This is a compilation of singles? Feels like a solid album to me.
Radio stations in Honolulu played the hit single from this album, “Toy Soldiers”, to death. So I never perceived much more of this album than that single. How unfortunate. The rest of this self-titled debut is quite the keeper.
Donna Summer, 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Donna Summer existed on the periphery of my musical upbringing. Yes, I heard her songs on the radio, and of course, I could recognize her voice anywhere. But I never felt much compulsion to explore her work. So this collection of hits reveals a big honking hole in that upbringing. And my 7-year-old self had no idea “Love to Love You Baby” was that naughty.
Missing Persons, Spring Session M
And here’s another hole in my musical upbringing, despite the fact I do like Warren Cuccurullo (and not just because he posed for a Brazilian gay magazine.)
easy life, Life’s a Beach
Who’s the music director for Kia car ads? It’s because of Kia that I own Black Sheep’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and now this album. I stopped short of LMFAO, though.
Omar Apollo, Ivory
Frank Ocean, WHERE YOU AT? Oh, I guess dating Omar Apollo?
Freedy Johnston, Back on the Road to You
I could never quite get into Freedy Johnston’s more boisterous work, but on this album, he’s borrowed just enough from his quieter works to make this rocker of an album quite appealing.
It’s nice to see international artists make their catalogs available through streaming services. I don’t think I’ve had to go to the Evil Sharing Networks for active Japanese artists in a while. I haven’t really followed LOVE PSYCHEDELICO lately, but at least now, I can listen to this new album on release day.
Björk, Fossora, Sept. 30
The singles released ahead of this album seem to indicate Björk has gone back to the kind of beats she was making on Volta. I’m digging this low winds sound.
Darren Hayes, Homosexual, Oct. 7
I like the frankness of this album title.
easy life, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE, Oct. 7
OK, I admit I got into this band because of the skeletons commercial for Kia. I’m ignoring the singles and waiting for release day to listen to the new material. I’m still enjoying the previous album, life’s a beach, way too much right now.
Robin Holcomb, One Way or Another, Vol. 1, Oct. 14
The last time Robin Holcomb recorded a singer-songwriter album was 20 years ago with her final Nonesuch album, The Big Time. This new album is just her and a piano.
Royal Wood, What Tomorrow Brings, Nov. 4
I can’t say I got into Royal Wood’s previous album, but the singles he’s released ahead of this album sound vastly different from what he’s done before. He’s gotten into beats and synths but in a way that enhances folk singer croon.
Luke Evans, A Song for You, Nov. 4
Luke Evans had some interesting song choices on his debut album. This follow-up doesn’t have many songs I immediately recognize, but given that he covers R.E.M., Donny Hathaway, Simon and Garfunkel and a traditional song in Welsh, he makes another set of bold choices. This album also contains two new songs Evans co-wrote.
Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25 Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion II (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25
Really, Use Your Illusion II is the album worth exploring, but I’m willing to throw in Use Your Illusion I out of due diligence.
Caitlin Cary, While You Weren’t Looking, Sept. 30
Any interest I had in Whiskeytown is all about Caitlin Cary and not one whit about Ryan Adams.
Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE, Oct. 7
I’m no acolyte of Beyoncé by any stretch of the imagination, but the queerness of this album is unmistakable.
Duran Duran, Medazzaland, Oct. 14
A loss of momentum on the heels of the highly successful The Wedding Album fated this album to obscurity. At the time, I thought the brilliance of this album would win out and prove the ambivalent mainstream audience wrong. I’m not so sure anymore. This album is so fiercely original that it may have been greeted with hostility than with a collective meh. A quarter century later, we get to revisit this album.
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Planet Folks, Oct. 26
How much did I not get into AKFG’s previous album Hometown? I didn’t bother to snap up the vinyl pressing before it went out of print. Planet Folks is not as good as World World World or Landmark, but I like it enough to place a preorder for this vinyl release.
Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now, Nov. 11 Duran Duran, Astronaut, Nov. 11 Duran Duran, Red Carpet Massacre, Nov. 11
In addition to CD reissues back in August, three albums from Duran Duran’s third decade get vinyl reissues under the RSD Essentials series. I’m sorry to see Pop Trash not included in this set. It’s better than Astronaut and Red Carpet Massacre but still not really the band’s best. To be honest, any album in this set other than All You Need Is Now is really stretching the “essentials” descriptor.
Duran Duran, FUTURE PAST (Complete Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25
The original vinyl release of FUTURE PAST had fewer tracks than the CD, so this reissue includes additional tracks and the non-album single “Five Years”, which is a David Bowie cover.
BONNIE PINK, Blue Jam, Nov. 3 BONNIE PINK, Heaven’s Kitchen, Nov. 3 BONNIE PINK, evil and flowers, Nov. 3 UA, Are U Romantic?, Nov. 3 Hajime Chitose, “Wadatsumi no Ki”, Dec. 3 Quruli, “WORLD’S END SUPERNOVA”, Dec. 3
To confuse matters, Japan has it’s own commercial holiday to celebrate vinyl called Record Day, which is not to be confused with Record Store Day Japan, the spring event with its own set of domestic reissues. Unlike RSD, Record Day doesn’t restrict availability to brick and mortar stores. The main event happens Nov. 3, with a spillover day on Dec. 3. I’m skipping the BONNIE PINK reissues, but I’ve already pre-ordered UA, Hajime Chitose and Quruli.