Archives

Looking ahead: September-November 2022

LOVE PSYCHEDELICO, A revolution, Sept. 28

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.

Vinyl

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.

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Looking ahead, August-September 2022

[Charlie Puth - CHARLIE]

Swing Out Sister, Blue Mood, Breakout and Beyond: The Early Years, Aug. 12

This 8-disc boxed set covers Swing Out Sister’s first three albums, supplementing them with B-sides, remixes and a live album. I like two of the three albums from that era — It’s Better to Travel and Kaleidoscope World — so I’m curious but not entirely tempted.

R.E.M., Chronic Town EP, Aug. 19

This 40th anniversary edition would be the first time the Chronic Town EP is released as its own separate CD. It was previously released as part of Dead Letter Office, a compilation of B-sides and rare tracks. I have to admit I didn’t find Dead Letter Office compelling, save for the Chronic Town tracks. So I welcome this reissue.

Madonna, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, Aug. 19

Madonna returns to Warner Bros., bringing along the albums she recorded during her time away from the label. This compilation of remixes marks the new business arrangement.

Blondie, Against the Odds: 1974-1982, Aug. 26

Blondie has always struck me as a band for which I am the target market, but I own only Parallel Lines and The Best of Blondie. This boxed set includes all six studio albums, plus a few extra discs of rarities. I’ve been on a boxed set kick lately, so … sure why not?

Santigold, Spirituals, Sept. 9

Santigold releases her first full album since 99 Cents, which was released in 2016, and I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, a mixed tape released in 2018. It’s also the first release of her own label, Little Jerk Records.

Death Cab for Cutie, Asphalt Meadows, Sept. 16

I passed on Death Cab’s previous album, Thank You for Today. Given the band’s Pacific Northwest roots, they’re still something of a big deal in the area, but I do find myself reacting to this album news similar to a non-Duranie learning about a new Duran Duran album.

Steve Reich, Runner / Music for Ensemble and Orchestra, Sept. 30

Runner would be the second Steve Reich release on Nonesuch in 2022. I can’t say Reich / Richter really grabbed my attention. Nonesuch hinted that a boxed set similar to John Adams’ Collected Works is in the works for Reich.

Charlie Puth, CHARLIE, Oct. 7

I still can’t believe a Subway commercial got me into Charlie Puth.

Christine and the Queens, Redcar les adorables etoiles, Oct. 28

TIL the translation of this album title is “Redcar the adorable star”, and Redcar is an alter ego of Christine.

Vinyl

David Bowie, Earthlng, Aug. 12

I hadn’t yet done a deep dive into the works of David Bowie when this album was reissued for Record Store Day. So yes, I missed out. But I bided my time. For a figure as large as Bowie, these things don’t stay out of print forever.

Moby, Everything Is Wrong, Aug. 12

Moby is reissuing a number of early albums on colored vinyl, and while I like Everything Is Wrong, I’m more of a fan of Animal Rights. So I was a bit surprised to see Animal Rights was left out. Then I visited Moby’s online store and discovered it still sold the 2016 reissue of Animal Rights. Yeah, I ordered it. And yeah, I’m probably going to pick this one up as well.

… And You Will Us Know By the Trail of Dead, IX, Sept. 9

Music on Vinyl reissues are always hit or miss when it comes to availability in the US.

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Looking ahead, June-July 2022

[The Linda Lindas - Growing Up]

UA, Are U Romantic?, May 27

This EP finds UA going back to a more pop sound, very reminiscent of HORIZON.

The Lindas Lindas, Growing Up, June 3

This album is already available on streaming services, and it’s a burner.

Patty Griffin, Tape, June 10

Patty Griffin’s debut album, Living With Ghosts, was pretty much her demo tape. I admit I haven’t followed Griffin since the mid-2000s, but I am curious to see more of her lo-fi side.

… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, XI: BLEED HERE NOW, July 15

… Trail of Dead was the last rock show to which I attended before SARS-CoV2 slammed the world shut. It feels like yesterday.

Ty Herndon, Jacob, July 15

Ty Herndon has been talking up this album since before writing and recording had finished. He’s a mainstream singer at heart, so I’m not expecting a makeover on the level of Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball. But he does seem to be swinging for the fences on this one.

Perfume, PLASMA, July 27

The pandemic has really messed up my sense of time. FUTURE POP was released in 2018, and I saw Perfume in concert the following year. Like the … Trail of Dead album, it doesn’t seem that long ago.

Vinyl

Cracker, Cracker, May 27

Cracker’s self-titled debut album turns 30 years old in 2022, and the album hasn’t see a vinyl reissue in all that time.

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Looking ahead, May-June 2022

[Soundtrack - Bubblegum Crisis]

MONO, My Story, Buraku Story, May 27

No doubt this documentary soundtrack is not going to depart greatly from MONO’s already cinematic sound.

Prince and the Revolution, Live, June 28

Is it awful for me to be more interested in the Revolution than Prince himself?

Steve Reich, Reich/Richter, June 10

Will we get a full effect of this score without the visual component that goes along with it?

John Adams, Collected Works, July 1

I already have Earbox. I shouldn’t need this boxed set, and yet …

Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Sept. 16

Who would have though an album rejected by one Warner label, then streamed on the Internet before being picked up by another Warner label, would necessitate a lavish boxed set 20 years later?

Vinyl

Soundtrack, Bubblegum Crisis, Vols. 1-8, June 29

Bubblegum Crisis was a pretty awesome cyberpunk series that set the bar for awesome anime theme songs, but the scores for these eight episodes were no slouch.

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Looking ahead, March-April 2022

[Cocco - Prom]

Cocco, Prom, March 23

Cocco released her debut album Bougainvillea in March 1997, and 2022 marks her 25th anniversary. So she’s commemorating that achievement with a new album.

ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Planet Folks, March 30

ASIAN KUNG-FU GENRATION return with their first new album in 4 years, one year longer than their usual gap. At this point, I’ll just blame SARS-CoV2 for the delay, even if it’s not the reason.

Vinyl

Utada Hikaru, First Love, March 23
Utada Hikaru, Distance, March 23
Utada Hikaru, DEEP RIVER, March 23
Utada Hikaru, Ultra Blue, April 27
Utada Hikaru, HEART STATION, April 27
Utada Hikaru, Fantôme, April 27
Utada Hikaru, Hatsukoi, April 27
Utada Hikaru, BAD Mode, April 27

OMG Ultra Blue on vinyl! But yeah, I’m getting them all, except Hatsukoi, which I already have. By the way, I’m really liking BAD Mode.

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Looking ahead, January-February 2022

[Midnight Oil - Resist]

Midnight Oil, Resist, Feb. 22

Billed as the final Midnight Oil, Resist finds the environmentally-conscious Australian band topical as ever. And it’s been four decades since they drew attention to these issues. How much progress have we made since?

Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point, Feb. 22

I saw a lot of people online express excitement over the return of Tears for Fears, and yet, I don’t remember that much attention being drawn to their last album, 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. I have to admit, that album is my least played of theirs.

Utada Hikaru, BAD Mode, Feb. 23

I can’t think of a more appropriate title to describe the zeitgeist of the early 2020s. A digital release on Jan. 19 precedes the physical release in February.

Vinyl

Enya, “May It Be”, Jan. 7

Enya has been around long enough for her albums to receive the deluxe reissue treatment, but I also get the sense she’s pretty ambivalent of such reissues. So this vinyl reissue seems more like the label trying to make sure people know Enya is still around. Jan. 7 is a US import release date. The single is already available in the UK.

Soundtrack, Lost in Translation, Jan. 7

This soundtrack gets occasional vinyl reissues that sell out quick and fetch exorbitant prices on Discogs. So yeah, I’m going to try to snag a copy.

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake, Jan. 28

I picked up this album and Rid of Me from the thrift store at the same time, and I like both albums. But Rid of Me monopolized more of my player time. I’ve still eagerly awaited this vinyl reissue, nonetheless.

The White Stripes, Elephant, March 25
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan, March 25
The White Stripes, Icky Thump, March 25

I’d say I’m more interested in the Elephant reissue over Get Behind Me Satan. I haven’t listened to Icky Thump.

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Looking ahead: October-November 2021

[sungazer - PERIHELION]

sungazer, PERIHELION, Oct. 11

YouTube musicians Adam Neely and Shawn Crowder finally unveil their debut album after a pair of EPs.

Olivia Newton-John, Physical (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 22

This album was wildly successful at the time, buoyed by a nascent promotional tool called the “music video.” The deluxe edition of Physical includes one of the first video albums produced by a pop artist. Sorry, Beyoncé fans.

Spice Girls, Spice (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29

In the UK, this deluxe edition of the Girls’ debut album is accompanied by five color vinyl reissues, each featuring a member the group. I’d probably opt for the Mel C one, but I already have this album on LP.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Georgia Blue, Nov. 26

Jason Isbell makes good on his promise to record a cover album of Georgia artists if the run-off election in January 2020 sent a pair of Democrats to the Senate.

Vinyl

Kylie Minogue, Fever, Oct, 15
Sinéad O’Connor, So Far … The Best of Sinéad O’Connor, Oct. 15

National Album Day in the UK looks like Record Store Day Lite from a distance, but this year’s focus on women artists has some nice reissues in the pipeline. Honestly, Fever should just be perpetually available on vinyl. Every special pressing sells out fast and fetches exorbitant prices on Discogs. I have So Far on CD from when it was first released, and it’s an excellent compilation.

Old 97s, Fight Songs, Oct. 29

I would have preferred a vinyl reissue of Satellite Rides, to be honest.

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Looking ahead: September-November 2021

[Tomosaka Rie - Cappuccino / Escalation]

Explosions in the Sky, Big Bend, Oct. 1

I haven’t really cottoned to Explosion in the Sky’s soundtrack work, but I’m hoping this release feels more like an album than a cue sheet.

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle, Oct. 8

At first, I thought this album was just a reissue of Live in Seattle, till I took a closer look at the title.

Renée Fleming, Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, Oct. 8

I wonder if John Green would be interested in reviewing this album.

The Replacements, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, Oct. 22

The Replacements had, at best, a periphery influence on my teenage listening habits, and yet I’ve bought just about every deluxe edition of their albums. Clearly, I’m making up for lost time.

R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29

I’m ambivalent about this album. I had sold it for cash a long time ago, but I picked it up again from the thrift shop. I don’t know if it holds up well.

ABBA, Voyage, Nov. 3

I can’t lie — I’m pretty damn excited about a new ABBA album in 40 years. The singles preceding the album sound like time hadn’t stopped for the quartet, and the world definitely came back around to them.

Sting, The Bridge, Nov. 19

I guess I still care because there is a part of me that fondly remembers a younger Sting in various forms of undress.

Vinyl

Robbie Williams, Life Thru a Lens, Sept. 24
Robbie Williams, I’ve Been Expecting You, Sept. 24

The Ego Has Landed was one of my most played CDs of 1999, and it collected the best bits of Robbie Williams’ first two albums. About 20 years later, I would find I’ve Been Expecting You at the thrift store. So I have to say I’m very much tempted to drop cash on these vinyl reissues, even though I haven’t heard Life Thru a Lens in its entirety.

AJICO, Fukamidori, Nov. 3
AJICO, AJICO SHOW, Nov. 3
AJICO, Setsuzoku, Nov. 3
Hatakeyama Miyuki, Diving into your mind, Nov. 3
Tomosaka Rie, “Cappuccino / Escalation”, Nov. 3

Japan actually has its own Record Store Day event that focuses on domestic releases, but it’s separate from Record Day, which happens annually in November. While Record Store Day focuses on independent retailers, Record Day in Japan looks similar to National Album Day in the UK, where larger retailers are involved with the festivities.

Past Record Days in Japan have included reissues of NUMBER GIRL, YEN TOWN BAND and a number of Studio Ghibli soundtracks. For me, AJICO is the biggest news coming out of this year’s crop, but I’m also immensely pleased to see Hatakeyama Miyuki’s Diving into your mind getting a reissue. The Tomosaka Rie 7-inch single pairs two of her biggest hits, “Cappuccino” and “Escalation”, the A-side written by Shiina Ringo.

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Looking ahead: August-October 2021

[Tokyo Jihen - Sports]

Craig Armstrong, Nocturnes: Music for Two Pianos, Sept. 3

Armstrong wrote and recorded this album during lockdown, as pretty much every other musician trying to make sense of this awful zeitgeist.

James Blake, Friends That Break Your Heart, Sept. 10

I really liked Assume Form, but man, I hate the cover of this album.

MONO, Pilgrimage of the Soul, Sept. 17

Takaakira Goto hints that this album might have the fastest tempi on a MONO album, which is a direction I didn’t expect but more than welcome.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (50th Anniversary), Sept. 17

Whatever you may think of Andrew Lloyd Webber now, back in the day, he was gutsy enough to make rock bands sound like Prokofiev, and that blur between electric guitars and dissonant harmonies has shaped my musical tastes ever since. So yeah, I’m all about an expanded version of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Perfume, Polygon Wave, Sept. 22

I find it cool that 20+ years into a storied pop career, Perfume releases their first ever EP. They have tons of singles and a lot of albums. But EPs? Nah.

BADBADNOTGOOD, Talk Memory, Oct. 8

My enthusiasm for this new album is based entirely on III, which means I have three other albums with which I can either enhance or temper that enthusiasm.

Vinyl

Garbage, Garbage, Aug. 27

A repressing of a 2015 reissue.

Tokyo Jihen, Education (Kyouiku), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Adult (Otona), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Variety (Goraku), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Sports, Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Discovery (Daihakken), Sept. 29
Tokyo Jihen, Music, (Ongaku), Sept. 29

You’re damn right I’m getting all 6 albums, even if I really only like two of the them.

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Looking ahead, July-September 2021

[Art of Noise - Noise in the City]

The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin Companion, July 21

The vinyl version of this early promotional compilation was released as part of Record Store Day Drops in June 2021.

Drive-By Truckers, Plan 9 Records, July 13, 2006, Aug. 6

This live set is a scorcher. The full performance was released as part of Record Store Day Black Friday 2020.

Art of Noise, Noise in the City: Live in Tokyo 1986, Aug. 13

When the Art of Noise visited Japan in 2017 for a series of concerts, they discovered a concert from 1986 had been recorded for a radio broadcast. That concert is getting a limited release on vinyl and CD.

Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert, Sept. 3

Unlike the shows recorded at the Ryman Auditorium, the set list for this lost concert consists mostly of Emmylou Harris’ long time hits.

Metallica, Metallica (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 10

For the longest time, the self-titled Metallica album was the only Metallica album I owned. While I have filled out my collection with the albums leading up to the black album, I have nothing beyond S&M.

Jeremy Denk, Mozart: Piano Concertos, Sept. 17

Sure, I’ll listen to Denk perform the K. 482, i.e. Concerto No. 22 in D Minor.

Sugababes, One Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 1

I’m not sure if the album on the whole is really that great, but “Overload” is one of the finest singles to come out of the early 2000s.

Vinyl

Enigma, MCMXC a.D., June 23

If you missed out on the colored vinyl reissues from 2018, Universal Music Germany is repressing this album and 7 others, remastered audio and all.

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