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  • An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress) An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $29.99
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    An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress)

    As another definitive installment in the Billy Joel 180 Gram Audiophile Series, Friday Music announces the release of his 1983 classic An Innocent Man. Mastered from the original Columbia Records tapes by Joe Reagoso and Kevin Gray at AcousTech, and pressed by RTI, this album was perfectly recorded for the audiophile in all of us. Joel's masterwork includes a ton of # 1's like Uptown Girl, Tell Her About It and Leave A Tender Moment Alone, and it rode the charts for well over two years from 1983 through 1985. Limited Edition with gatefold cover.
    1. Easy Money
    2. An Innocent Man
    3. The Longest Time
    4. This Night
    5. Tell Her About It
    6. Uptown Girl
    7. Careless Talk
    8. Christie Lee
    9. Leave A Tender Moment Alone
    10. Keeping The Faith
    Billy Joel
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress) An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $49.99
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    An Innocent Man (Awaiting Repress)

    An Innocent Man on Numbered Limited Edition 180 Gram 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity


    Infectious Doo-Wop, Carefree Soul, Harmonious Pop a Testament to Music of Joel's Childhood


    Album Sounded Mediocre For the Longest Time-No Longer: Mobile Fidelity Reissue Allows You to Hear This Pleasing Set With Fresh Ears


    Another Joel Blockbuster: Seven-Times Platinum 1983 Affair Includes "Uptown Girl," "For the Longest Time," "An Innocent Man," "Tell Her About It"


    After making The Nylon Curtain, Billy Joel felt the need to exhale and get back to the carefree music of his childhood. He also met supermodel Christie Brinkley, who brought serious degrees of levity and romance to his world. In love, relaxed, and out to have fun, the singer crafted An Innocent Man, arguably the most easygoing and pleasing album of his career. Featuring four Top 40 pop singles and the same number of Top 5 Adult Contemporary hits to grace the Billboard charts, the record remains a commercial staple.


    An essential title in Mobile Fidelity's Billy Joel catalog restoration series, An Innocent Man is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180 gram LP at RTI. The resulting presentation effortlessly outshines that heard on all previous editions of this 1983 set. Particularly, the effervescent harmonies now possess an airiness and extension that lends to realistic tonal decay. Instruments are balanced and placed on a wider, deeper soundstage, contributing improved to improved imaging and spaciousness. Joel's voice, too, comes across with tremendous clarity, presence, and body. These songs have never sounded so contagious.


    Per usual, Joel proves a melodic jukebox. The vocalist's grasp on structure, hooks, and delivery help make this batch of songs among his most beloved, easy to hum, and impossible to ignore. Much of the appeal resides in Joel's understanding of the early rock and roll, doo-wop, and soul that he grew up hearing in New York, and the manners in which the popular songwriters favored simplicity over complexity, good-natured vibes over seriousness, and romantic charm over introspective sadness.


    Whether floating on a cloud on the giddy "Uptown Girl" (check out his falsetto), doubling as both the lead and background vocalist on the reminiscent-themed "The Longest Time," or tapping gospel undercurrents on the tribute "Keeping the Faith," Joel revels in 50s and 60s pop constructs, turning out amiable refrains and unforgettable moods. Love perfumes the air, and Joel can't get enough, and it's a feeling he passes on to his listeners.


    As the calm before stormier periods in his life, and a timeless connection to America's finest pop music traditions, An Innocent Man is indeed innocent-a guiltless pleasure that keeps on giving.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Easy Money
    2. An Innocent Man
    3. The Longest Time
    4. This Night
    5. Tell Her About It
    6. Uptown Girl
    7. Careless Talk
    8. Christie Lee
    9. Leave a Tender Moment Alone
    10. Keeping the Faith
    Billy Joel
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • An Innocent Man (Colored Vinyl) An Innocent Man (Colored Vinyl) Quick View

    $32.99
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    An Innocent Man (Colored Vinyl)


    First Time 180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Blue Vinyl


    Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso - Manufactured At R.T.I.


    Features # 1 Hits: Tell Her About It, An Innocent Man, Uptown Girl & Leave A Tender Moment Alone


    As another definitive installment in the Billy Joel 180 Gram Audiophile Series, Friday Music is very excited to announce the release of his 1983 classic An Innocent Man for the first time on 180 Gram Translucent Blue Vinyl.


    Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music and & pressed by R.T.I., this masterpiece album was perfectly made for the audiophile in all of us. His chart topping # 1 LP included a ton of number one singles like Uptown Girl, Tell Her About It, and Leave A Tender Moment Alone.


    As Billy Joel's An Innocent Man rode the top of the music charts well over two years from 1983 thru 1985, his popularity grew thanks to the clever videos and exceptional concert tours that followed.


    For this limited translucent blue vinyl edition release, a stunning exclusive gatefold cover is also enclosed, which includes the lyrics and photos from the original release.


    On tour throughout 2016, Billy Joel's An Innocent Man will truly be a audiophile dream release now for the first time on 180 Gram Translucent Blue Vinyl.....Only from your friends at Friday Music.


    Tell Her About It.......

    1. Easy Money
    2. An Innocent Man
    3. The Longest Time
    4. This Night
    5. Tell Her About It
    6. Uptown Girl
    7. Careless Talk
    8. Christie Lee
    9. Leave A Tender Moment Alone
    10. Keeping The Faith
    Billy Joel
    $32.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Quick View

    $18.99
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    Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers

    When Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.


    "I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."


    The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.


    But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.


    Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.


    In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."


    Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."


    "12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.


    With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis

    1. Carson's Blues
    2. New York Is My Destination
    3. Instant of the Hour After
    4. We of Me
    5. Annemarie
    6. 12 Mortal Men
    7. Harper Lee
    8. Lover, Beloved
    9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
    10. Carson's Last Supper
    Suzanne Vega
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Bridge The Bridge Quick View

    $31.99
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    The Bridge


    The Billy Joel/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Continues


    His 1986 Multi Platinum Smash Limited Edition 180 Gram Blue Vinyl


    Mastered By Joe Reagoso At Friday Music & Manufactured At R.T.I.


    Featuring Ray Charles & Cyndi Lauper


    Billy Joel's smash LP The Bridge will always be revered as one of the finest classic albums from this superstar singer/songwriter. Released in 1986, Billy had already racked up a ton of multi-platinum successes with The Nylon Curtain, An Innocent Man, Glass Houses as he took to the road vigorously to help promote the amazing album to his huge record buying audience.


    The Bridge shows this New Yorker's skills in the studio, his stellar vocals, songwriting and amazing piano artistry. Forty years later these tunes still resonate with his fans as Billy Joel is currently embarking on a very successful 2016 worldwide concert tour, and Friday Music is proud to be a part of the celebration with his 1986 masterpiece The Bridge.


    As another installment in our exclusive Billy Joel/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series, this first time impeccably mastered audiophile translucent blue vinyl Lp is now pressed at R.T.I., featuring some of his greatest songs like the brilliant opener Running On Ice, his smash hit singles This Is The Time, A Matter Of Trust and Modern Woman.


    The masterwork contains even more of his most loved classics like the stunning Baby Grand featuring the late great Ray Charles.


    For a very limited time, we are also enhancing your listening enjoyment with a first time gatefold cover artwork presentation, which features the original LP sized cover art not seen in years, as well as lyrics to all of these great Billy Joel songs, making this a keepsake for years to come.


    Impeccably mastered by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and Capitol Mastering, Billy Joel's The Bridge will be one of the more anticipated classic rock releases in the audiophile vinyl domain this year.


    Billy Joel .The Bridge .Celebrate 4 Decades of the voice, the songs, the musicianship and the memories .1st Time Audiophile Translucent BLUE Vinyl .An exclusive .Only from your friends at Friday Music.


    This Is The Time ..

    1. Running On Ice
    2. This Is The Time
    3. A Matter Of Trust
    4. Modern Woman
    5. Baby Grand w/ Ray Charles
    6. Big Man On Mulberry Street
    7. Temptation
    8. Code Of Silence
    9. Getting Closer
    Billy Joel
    $31.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Supreme Rarities: Motown Lost & Found (1960-1969) (Box Set) Supreme Rarities: Motown Lost & Found (1960-1969) (Box Set) Quick View

    $59.99
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    Supreme Rarities: Motown Lost & Found (1960-1969) (Box Set)

    4x 180-Gram Box Set


    Includes 45 Unreleased-On-Vinyl Tracks


    All Sleeves Are Stoughton Tip-On With Amazing Full Color Restored Photos And Notes


    As the hometown girls who conquered the world, Diana Ross and the Supremes are inarguably the most successful, highest selling girl group of all time. From their inauspicious start as the long-forgotten Primettes, to their ascension past the moniker of ''no-hit Supremes'' through the ranks of Motown's rank-and-file to globe-trotting superstars, this group is as pure and quintessential Detroit Motor City as you can get.


    Originally released on 2xCD in in 2008, the Supremes ''Supreme Rarities'' from the Motown Lost & Found Series collects from the depths of the label archives to showcase the rarities, the outtakes and the incomparable live recordings from this inimitable group of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Listen to the story unfold from the innocent teenaged doo-wop of ''You Can Depend On Me'' from 1960 all the way through the slick, socially-conscious refinement of ''I'm Livin' in Shame'' from 1969. Aside a handful of forgotten vinyl releases decades ago, the majority of this material has not been released on vinyl. Until now.


    Third Man, in a unique partnership with Universal Music, has taken this double-CD and turned it into a glorious 4xLP collection housed in an impeccably-designed slipcase, all watercolor pastel vibrant photos highlight how absolutely impeccable this group is.


    Of particular interest is that ''Supreme Rarities'' are the first Motown records EVER pressed in the city of Detroit. Diana Ross attended high school at Cass Tech, a mere mile away from Third Man Pressing where these this title was lovingly pressed, which is also just a mile away from the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects where Ross and fellow Supremes Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard all grew up.


    The 48 tracks included here include the earliest Primettes tracks, invigorating covers of The Rolling Stones ''Satisfaction'' and the Beatles ''I Saw Her Standing There'', along with renditions of hits for OTHER Motown artists like ''Mickey's Monkey'' and ''Uptight (Everything's Alright)'' in addition to alternate vocal takes of stone cold certified smashes like ''You Can't Hurry Love'' and ''Someday We'll Be Together.'' And if you want the hits medley, ''Come See About Me'', ''Baby Love'' and ''Stop! In the Name of Love'' will wonderfully whet your appetite.


    180-gram vinyl. All sleeves are Stoughton tip-on with amazing full color restored photos and notes.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    LP1
    1. You Can Depend On Me
    2. Tears Of Sorrow (Motown Version)
    3. Because I Love Him
    4. Hey Baby (Version 1)
    5. Too Hot (Version 4)
    6. You're Gonna Come To Me (Version 1)
    7. You're Gonna Come To Me (Version 2)
    8. It Makes No Difference Now (Alternate Version)
    9. Come On Boy (Alternate Version)
    10. Just Call Me (Stereo Mix)
    11. I Saw Him Standing There
    12. Not Fade Away
    13. Ooowee Baby (Alternate Mix)


    LP2
    1. It's All Your Fault (Version 1)
    2. Hits Medley: Come See About Me / Baby Love / Stop! In The Name Of Love
    3. Cupid (Alternate Extended Mix)
    4. Take Me Where You Go (Version 3)
    5. Back In My Arms Again (Alternate Vocal)
    6. You Can't Hurry Love (Alternate Vocal)
    7. Mickey's Monkey
    8. Uptight (Everything's Alright) (Alternate Vocal)
    9. It's Not Unusual
    10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
    11. Come And Get These Memories (Alternate Mix)
    12. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) (Alternate Mix)
    13. Let The Music Play (Alternate Vocal)


    LP3
    1. Don't Let True Love Die (Extended Version)
    2. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
    3. Every Time I Feel The Spirit
    4. Believe In Me
    5. The Beginning Of The End Of Love (Stereo Mix)
    6. People (Unedited Version)
    7. Over The Rainbow
    8. Wish I Knew
    9. I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You
    10. I'll Set You Free (Alternate Vocal)
    11. Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone
    12. In The Evening Of Our Love


    LP4
    1. Love Child (Alternate Vocal)
    2. Those Precious Memories
    3. I'm Livin' In Shame (Version 1)
    4. MacArthur Park
    5. You're Gonna Hear From Me
    6. Canadian Sunset
    7. Autumn Leaves
    8. The Look Of Love
    9. Someday We'll Be Together (Alternate Vocal)
    10. Bonus: Scott Regan Radio Promos

    Diana Ross & The Supremes
    $59.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Soul Christmas Soul Christmas Quick View

    $24.99
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    Soul Christmas

    Considered One Of The Best Rock N Roll Holiday Records Of All Time And Includes A Roster Of Legendary Soul Artists From Atlantic Records' Halcyon Years Of 1960s Soul


    Mastered From The Original Stereo Source With Lacquers Cut At Sam Phillips Recording Service In Memphis


    180g Vinyl Housed In A Single Pocket Tip-On Stoughton Paper-Wrapped UV-Gloss Sleeve


    Pressed On Colored Vinyl


    Originally released as an Atlantic holiday compilation in 1968 and long out of print on vinyl, Soul Christmas is an 11 track collection of songs featuring Soul legends such as Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Clarence Carter, William Bell, King Curtis, and Booker T & The MGs. Apart from nods to classics like White Christmas done by Otis, Booker T's Jingle Bells, and the R&B favorite What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (featuring Sax man King Curtis along with a guitar solo by Duane Allman), the songs are tailor-made originals that fit the style of the respective artists. Carter's Back Door Santa is a hilariously salacious cut; Tex gives us a preacher-like I'll Make Everyday Christmas; and Thomas is at her most cute and innocent with Gee Whiz, It's Christmas. Redding's version of Merry Christmas Baby is an obvious standout, while Bell's Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday is the only bona fide charted single. The album is ranked #9 on Rolling Stone's 25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time list.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Back Door Santa - Clarence Carter
    2. The Christmas Song - King Curtis
    3. White Christmas - Otis Redding
    4. I'll Make Every Day Christmas (For My Woman) - Joe Tex
    5. Silver Bells - Booker T & The MGs
    6. Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas
    7. Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding
    8. Presents For Christmas - Solomon Burke
    9. Jingle Bells - Booker T & The MGs
    10. Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday - William Bell
    11. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - King Curtis
    Various Artists
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Babel Babel Quick View

    $16.99
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    Babel


    Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.


    Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!



    There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.

    So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.


    Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.


    The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.


    While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.


    Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.


    There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.


    Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.


    1. Babel
    2. Whispers In The Dark
    3. I Will Wait
    4. Holland Road
    5. Ghosts That We Knew
    6. Lover Of The Light
    7. Lovers' Eyes
    8. Reminder
    9. Hopeless Wanderer
    10. Broken Crown
    11. Below My Feet
    12. Not With Haste
    Mumford And Sons
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Generation Generation Quick View

    $20.99
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    Generation

    Joyrides atop a walloping disco beat and furious percussive guitars, headed somewhere between the Rapture, Chic, and Talking Heads, but with a cartoonish giddiness that takes me back to the heyday of Junior Senior and Scissor Sisters. - Stereogum


    Rising stars - DJ Mag


    On their full-length 2014 debut Voyage, L.A duo De Lux learned how to
    take their influences and create a sound all their own-a beyond-their-years
    synthesis of post-punk, disco, funk and of course synthesizer wizardry,
    drawing inspiration from the same combination of agitation and exhilaration
    that helped LCD Soundsystem and Talking Heads deliver some of the most
    danceable social commentary ever. And now that they've found their sound,
    De Lux are creating a story to go with it on their new album Generation: "All
    of these things that they put us through," sings co-founder and multi-instrumentalist
    Sean Guerin, "I'm writing it down / I'm writing it down."


    They first started writing Generation in the kind of uncommitted
    instances that happen so rarely once a new band puts out its first album. Once
    Voyage was released, De Lux found themselves playing and interviewing and
    touring and remixing-"All fun!" says Sean-but they had to fight to find time
    to write. A random Instagram of work-in-progress song "It's A Combination"
    was the tipping point, when Sean and co-founder Isaac Franco realized they'd
    been rough-drafting for a year: "Let's finish it now," they decided, and that's
    the exact moment when Generation officially started.


    They returned to the L.A. practice space where they wrote and recorded
    Voyage, this time with new instruments-like the little-known but sought-after
    synthesizer guitar beloved of King Crimson's Adrian Belew-and new inspirations,
    chief among them punk peformance artist Karen Finley, whose 1987
    debut album Sean discovered at a Seattle record store simply because it
    looked promising. Her infamously uncensored lyrics made him realize there
    was more he could sing about, too: "You admire the ambition behind her
    saying whatever she wants," he says.


    So if Generation is a darker album than Voyage-and it's inherited plenty
    of the modern urban anxiety of David Byrne-that's because it's a fearlessly
    honest and candid album, too. In fact, call it a millennial documentary. In
    Generation's eleven songs, De Lux chart the distance between childhood and
    adulthood, nostalgia and aspiration and dream and reality, all with unflinching
    autobiographical detail. (And with a secret nod to the Pokemon theme, too.)
    Says Sean: "When I write lyrics, I try and be as specific as possible. We think
    about if someone listens to us in 30 years: 'Oh, that's what was going on at
    that time.'"


    The result is a sort of Less Than Zero for the post-Social Network era.
    Think of it as a nighttime freeway drive that starts with the propulsive "L.A.
    Threshold" and rides the borderline between feel-good rhythm and artfully
    sophisticated sentiment. "There's dark moments, but it's still fun," explains
    Sean. "The first album was just more innocent." There's new space in De Lux's
    sense of rhythm and groove, says Isaac, for Sean to say what he needs to say:
    "The song gives him the freedom to be himself."


    And so Generation is an album about high highs, low lows and the vast
    space in between. "Center of L.U.B" is a roller-skate jam that starts with a
    Can-style guitar riff before spinning into an examination of one utility company
    employee's ennui-you knew this wasn't going to be a love song,
    right?-while "It's A Combination" is a brooding Italo disco track and
    unexpected piano piece "Conditions" is like Harry Nilsson or John Lennon
    suddenly transplanted to Rough Trade Records. Then there's the alternately
    hilarious and harrowing "Oh Man The Future"-a satirical reading on the shape
    of things to come, propelled by a bass-and-drum rhythm right off one of ESG's
    first EPs-to the desolate-yet-funky "When Your Life Feels Like A Loss," where
    De Lux dissect just what happens when "you think you're special/no, you're
    not special/you're just an average guy."


    In other words, Generation isn't a departure. This is De Lux going
    deeper, not farther away, and the result is surely the most anthropologically
    daring dancefloor album of the year. That might seem difficult to pull off, but
    that's why they did it, explains Sean: "At some point we realized creativity is
    just limitless," he says. "You can do anything. There might be certain people
    who think, 'Oh, you can't do that.' That's when you say, 'Well-I'm doing it!'"

    1. LA Threshold
    2. 30
    3. Living In An Open Place
    4. Center of L.U.B.
    5. Simba Simba Simba
    6. No One Really Cares Who You Are
    7. Oh Man The Future
    8. Conditions
    9. When Your Life Feels Like A Loss
    10. It's A Combination
    11. Someday Now
    De Lux
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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