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Wiped Out!Wiped Out! is LA-based band The Neighbourhood's 2nd album via Columbia Records. The record includes the hit single "RIP 2 My Youth."
The 2015 album and single are sure to give the band's first record, I Love You, and groundbreaking single "Sweater Weather", a run for their money with the critics and fans alike.
The Neighborhood, who consists of Jesse Rutherford, Jeremy Freedman, Zach Abels, Mikey Margott, and Brandon Fried, was the first band to give The 1975 their first set of tour dates and Travis Scott his first chance before he blew up.LP 1
1. A Moment of Silence
3. Cry Baby
4. Wiped Out!
5. The Beach
1. Daddy Issues
2. Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines
3. Greetings From Califournia
6. R.I.P. 2 My Youth$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Jack The Ripper (Awaiting Repress)When the Surfaris' monumental Wipe Out blitzed the charts in the summer of '63, the L.A. combo was rushed back into the studio to cut a full album of foam-flecked classics. Inexplicably that LP was never released, but 40 years later, here are two previously unheard monsters from that Holy Grail of surf sessions: early workouts on Jack The Ripper and I'm A Hog For You--both undeniable evidence that great things are worth waiting for! Boss pic sleeve and kandy-kolored vinyl inkluded!!!1. Jack The Ripper
2. I'm A Hog For You$9.997 Vinyl Single LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Fun Fun FunColored Vinyl
The first wave of the surf music explosion spawned countless short-lived bands and one-shot studio projects. Many of those projects were quickly forgotten, but a handful have continued to inspire hushed reverence among surf aficionados. The latter category includes the Catalinas lone album, originally released in 1964 and out of print for more than four decades.
An all-star studio supergroup featuring legendary producer Terry Melcher, future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and fabled Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine, Jerry Cole, Steve Douglas, Leon Russell, Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco, the Catalinas lived up to their impressive pedigree. In addition to rarely-heard tunes penned by Bobby Darin and a pre-Byrds Roger McGuinn, the album features potent versions of such surf and hot rod classics as Surfin U.S.A., Wipe Out, Banzai Washout, I Get Around and Summer Means Fun.
Long a rare collectors item, Fun Fun Fun is now back in its original vinyl format, remastered from the original analog tapes and pressed on high-definition vinyl, with complete original cover art.1. Surfin' U.S.A.
2. Beach Ball
3. Surfer Boy
4. Wipe Out
5. Beach Walkin'
6. Banzai Washout
7. Hot Rod U.S.A.
8. Queen of the Hot Rods
9. I Get Around
10. Boss Barracuda
11. Run Little
13. Summer Means Fun$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-UNI-4768xKiss / Ace Frehley
180g Audiophile Vinyl Reissue
Remastered To High Definition 192kHz/24-bit Audio For Maximum Fidelity
Celebrating four decades of decibels, KISS, Mercury Records and UMe proudly announce reissuing the legendary KISS albums on 180g audiophile vinyl. Remastered to high definition 192kHz/24-bit audio for maximum fidelity, these albums have never sounded so amazing and now
vinyl collectors will get what they've been demanding. All posters, sleeve art, stickers, etc that appeared in the original LP release where applicable have
been faithfully reproduced for the KISS Army.
Of the four Kiss solo albums released simultaneously in 1978, the best of the bunch is guitarist Ace Frehley's. Similar in approach to Paul Stanley's album, Frehley did not stray far from the expected heavy Kiss sound (like Gene Simmons and Peter Criss did with their releases), but Ace was equipped with better compositions than Stanley. With future Late Night with David Letterman drummer Anton Fig helping out (as well as Letterman bassist Will Lee on three tracks), Frehley proved once and for all that he was not simply a backup musician to Kiss head honchos Simmons and Stanley. All of the tracks are strong, such as the venomous opener, Rip It Out, as well as a few tracks that confirm how Frehley was indulging in alcohol and drugs a bit too much by the late '70s (Snow Blind, Ozone, and Wiped Out). You'll also find many underrated compositions (Speedin' Back to My Baby, What's on Your Mind?, I'm in Need of Love), a gorgeous instrumental (Fractured Mirror), and the Top 20 hit single New York Groove. Unfortunately, when Ace left Kiss in 1982 (eventually forming Frehley's Comet), he never came close to topping this solid and inspired 1978 solo outing.
- Greg Prato (All Music Guide)1. Rip It Out
2. Speedin' Back To My Baby
3. Snow Blind
5. What's On Your Mind?
6. New York Groove
7. I'm In The Need Of Love
9. Fractured Mirror$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Library Catalog Music Series: Music For Troubled MachineryWhat started out as a total bummer--musical sketches and ideas hindered by
a conked out machine--actually turned into an album. What you are hearing
on Music for Troubled Machinery is the slow and unruly death of Leb Laze's
core production tool..the MPC 2000 (R.I.P). When this device begins to die
it randomly freezes at any given moment, often times wiping out anything
that has been created within its path. What is interesting though is when
an MPC freezes it begins to uncontrollably spit out all of the sounds that
are loaded within it in their raw and unedited form..over and over and
over. This occurrence is like nothing I have ever heard. The machine
begins to have a mind of its own.
Leb Laze began to record and embrace these freakouts, using them as a
basis for the majority of the songs on this album..adding to them,
enhancing them and/or sculpting around them. Two shorter pieces,
Revelations and Dial In/Dial Out were actually created entirely from these
freakouts. Think of this record and, most importantly, these two tracks,
as my MPC's last words--a testament to the idea that the nonliving world
is actually very much alive.1. Simple Systems Mantra - 2:32
2. Complex Rising - 2:01
3. Keep Rising - 0:36
4. Voltage Power Barrio - 1:05
5. Hushhhhhhh Maing - 2:04
6. Duck Duck Flow - 1:34
7. Static Radiates (Underwater Meditation) - 2:25
8. We Found Answers - 3:02
9. In Love (Vocoded Freak Testimonials) - 3:11
10. This Means to Clarify - 3:08
11. Nature Meets Static - 4:02
12. Swerve Transmissions - 0:54
13. Toxic Knock (A) - 2:11
14. Toxic Knock (B) - 2:10
15. Revelations... - 1:41
16. Uncaged - 4:28
17. Dial In / Dial Out - 0:37$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ParasitePressed On Sea Green Vinyl
Limited To 2000 Copies
One-Sided 12" w/ B-Side Etching (No Music)
When The Coathangers first stormed on the scene over a decade ago, their power resided in their ability to craft a crooked hook out of a grimy guitar line, a delightfully crass chorus, or an enticingly ham-fisted drum-and-bass groove. With each successive album, the Atlanta garage punk ensemble has increasingly tempered their brash charm with sharp-witted pop. Not that the band ever fully excised the primal howl of The Gories or the sparse strut of ESG, but with the trio's latest EP, Parasite, The Coathangers explore the space between their initial unbridled expressionism and their recent nuanced song craft. "I'd like to think the EP takes you on a journey through the band's existence," says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel of the sequencing of the five songs on their latest offering.
Parasite kicks off with the title track, a rowdy throwback to a younger, angrier incarnation of the band. Crafted in the wake of the election and during a tumultuous period in the band members'private lives, "Parasite" is pure catharsis. "During the making of our last album, I didn't want to scream anymore, I just wanted to sing and focus on melody. When we came to this recording, Ijust wanted to scream and curse." If the EP is meant as a journey through the various stages of the band's career, it certainly storms out of the gate with the same kind of piss-and-vinegar of their eponymous debut. And while "Wipe Out" is another rowdy venture, with bassist Meredith Franco taking over the lead vocal duties over a steady barrage of pointed power-chords, it also showcases the rousing choruses that elevated the trio from underground heroines to an internationally renowned garage act. Despite the adverse times, The Coathangers' mastery of pop cannot be contained forever, as is evident in the EP's single "Captain's Dead", with its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. The journey through The Coathangers' musical evolution leads to a revamped version of "Down Down" off 2016's Nosebleed Weekend LP and the smoky twang of "Drifter", in which drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke demonstrates her knack for solid Dusty Springfield-style ballads.1. Parasite
2. Wipe Out
3. Captain's Dead
4. Down Down (alt version)
5. Drifter$15.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tea For The Tillerman (200g)Ranked 206/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
When word got out that we were beginning a pressing plant, customers began to call with questions. And the most common and full-of-anticipation question was inevitably: What will be the first title that you press? Well, we couldn't possibly imagine hitting a bigger home run than to open Quality Record Pressings (QRP) with one of the all-time most classic audiophile records, Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman from 1970.
There are so many things perfect about this release. First and foremost, it's a masterpiece of a record. It's that rare record that couples breathtaking sound with hit after hit after hit. In fact, to list the hits would be to list the entire song list. We couldn't pick a better vehicle for which to show off what we're so confident will be the highest quality records ever pressed.
But here's something else that's cool: We scored the absolute original analog masters, and the tapes were in impeccable condition. It took an unbelievable amount of digging and research - and luck - to get this project done to the standards of Analogue Productions. But, wow, was it ever worth it! The tapes were last used in December 1999 when Ted Jensen at Sterling, along with producer Paul Samwell-Smith, remastered the Cat Stevens catalog for CD.
In 1970, Lee Hulko at Sterling Sound cut Tea For The Tillerman for A&M Records in the U.S. and Island Records in the UK using a Telefunken M10 tape machine and a Neumann VMS 66 lathe with a Neumann SX68 cutterhead. Hulko started Sterling in 1968 and was its original mastering engineer. He's considered among the first engineers to advance mastering from just transferring music from tape to lacquer to an art where attention is paid to all the details that result in better sound. We actually found Hulko's original mastering notes from more than 40 years ago. It's incredible, but Sterling still has all of their notes filed away.
So, it was originally cut at Sterling - as were all of the early original Cat Stevens albums - and the tapes were last used at Sterling. How appropriate then that we should go back to Sterling for this monumental reissue. Using the original tapes, George Marino handled the mastering this time. He used an Ampex ATR-102 tape machine, another significant point of interest. While Ampex has long been revered for their sound, they had never made a preview version so that a mastering engineer could cut a lacquer from an Ampex machine. Mike Spitz at ATR Services made a unique preview modification for Sterling so that they could cut this record using an Ampex. Marino then used a Neumann VMS 80 lathe with a Neumann SX 74 cutterhead.
I think we've gotten something quite a bit better than what was originally issued, Marino says. I think this version is much more representative of what was on the tape. And that's not a criticism of what was originally done.
Marino points out that since the original issue, there have been advancements in cutting lathe technology that make the improvements of this reissue possible.
You didn't have the same number of options that you have in the new Neumann electronics, Marino says. With the new one, they give you more variations to work with. Let's say there's a nice kind of present sounding acoustic guitar on the left channel and then all of the sudden there's a drum peak with cymbal crashes and stuff and that stuff happens to be on the left channel. Being the vocal is down the center, you can drive the high frequency limiter from the right channel. So you can set a threshold on the right channel and grab the vocal without wiping out some of the musical peaks on the left channel. This is what I talk about when I say that we have technical advantages that they didn't have.
Marino also chose to use a wide-track stereo head for this project, which he said allows for better signal-to-noise than the normal stereo head.
And he also decided against using tube electronics, as would have been used originally, because he says that while the tubes allowed for more warmth, they also made the sound duller.
You wind up wanting to put a little top-end EQ or something to get a little something back (when using tubes), Marino explains of his decision.
Marino says that he is very pleased with the results.
A great record. A classic, he says. And those tapes were in excellent, excellent condition. Musically, I think we've got something that sounds richer and more natural. It sounds more correct. I had to do very, very little to the tape regarding EQ processing or anything.
To package this reissue, we've decided to do a facsimile of the original British Island gatefold jacket rather than the non-gatefold U.S. version. This British jacket also has a textured paper stock on the inside and is glossy on the outside. Additionally, we're using the original pink Island label.
So there you have it. Quality Record Pressings is off and pressing in a big, big way! Finally, we're ready to unveil the innovations in record pressing that we've been working on for more than a year. Among those innovations are the installations of microprocessors on the presses so that all of the presses functions are performed with absolute precision. For example, we've developed a dye with an imbedded temperature sensor that we can use to cycle the presses. Rather than having the presses close and open based on time - as it's been to date - these presses will close and open based on temperature, the far more accurate indicator of when the record is ready. We also have a plating department in Quality Record Pressings, run by the best plating man in the business, Gary Salstrom.
Still to come from Analogue Productions pressed at Quality Record Pressings will be the Cat Stevens classics Teaser and the Firecat and Catch Bull at Four.
Tea For The Tillerman is one of Cat Stevens' finest albums and a gem in the crown of early 1970s singer/songwriterdom. Stevens manages to have his cake and eat it too, simultaneously achieving pop accessibility and artistic relevance. The feel is decidedly gentle and spare. Apart from the occasional string section, Stevens is accompanied only by a three-piece band as he sings his introspective lyrics with appreciable favor.1. Where Do The Children Play?
2. Hard Headed Woman
3. Wild World
4. Sad Lisa
5. Miles From Nowhere
6. But I Might Die Tonight
7. Longer Boats
8. Into White
9. On The Road To Find Out
10. Father And Son
11. Tea For The Tillerman$49.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
In GlendaleFor the last decade, Tim Heidecker (along with his comedy partner Eric Wareheim) has proven to be one of our cult-comedy greats with his Adult Swim series Tim & Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job! and Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories. He's starred in indie films and played sold out stand-up sets around the world.
But who is Tim Heidecker? Is he a real man with all the regular feels? Well, yes, of course he is. He resides on a hill in Glendale, CA, up to his armpits in diapers, bills, his mortgage, in the workaday life of a writer. It's this pedestrian side of his life from which Heidecker pulls the fodder for the aptly titled In Glendale, his first earnest collection of songwriting under his full name.
In Glendale shows Heidecker shifting deftly from the mundane to the idiosyncratic; from the sentimental to the caustic; from the earnest to the humorous. His knack for crafting catchy tunes amid curious subject matter pops up in spades across In Glendale. Ghost In My Bed is a lovely little number about cutting off someone's head, sticking it in a plastic bag and burying it beneath the Hollywood sign.
After an album's worth of songs about Hollywood murder fantasies, diaper changes and even a cameo from director David Gordon Green, you're left desperately trying to wipe the smile off your face.1. In Glendale
2. Cleaning Up The Dog Shit
3. Work From Home
4. Ghost In My Bed
5. Good Looking Babies
6. When The Cash Runs Out
7. I Dare You To Watch Me Sleep
8. Central Air
9. I Saw Nicolas Cage
10. Ocean's Too Cold$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Gardens & VillaIn the year of the saxophone, Santa Barbaras Gardens & Villa give us the flute. And along the way, G&V effectively wipe clear the vaseline from the murky bedroom funk of recent days. G&V bang out instant classics, each crystal clear and immaculate, but no less sweeping or languid. Their debut is a youthful exploration of just how opulent and pop starkness can go. It also leaves an impression of California in the way that Richard Diebekorns Ocean Park series or the pool party scene from The Graduate both do, always sensed more than stated outright.
Gardens & Villa channel all the taut pop precisions of '90s Britpop of bands like Blur, and send it through an '80s synth filter both undeniably coastal and modern. Its Spoons Kill The Moonlight lost in a daydream, but with that same hungry energy. Gardens & Villa may simultaneously pull from Gary Numan, The Kinks and odder prog within one composition. And like a fine sweet tea, its made just that right kind of sugary, though even the most upbeat tunes have an undercurrent of the bittersweet and the lost at heart.
In 2010, Gardens & Villa traveled to Oregon to record their debut with visionary, vibemaster and labelmate Richard Swift. Together, they put some sand in the sheets of new wave (Black Hills) and pop some translucent funk (Orange Blossom). Theres also a level of effortless class maintained across the whole set. Each and every lush little gem explores the wonderful mystery between intuition and proficiency, between tension and repose. Gardens & Villa are Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman.1. Black Hills
2. Cruise Ship
3. Thorn Castles
4. Orange Blossom
7. Star Fire Power
8. Sunday Morning
9. Carrizo Plain
10. Neon Dove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-SUN-5817xThe Pleasure Seekers
What A Way To DieThe archetype for the '60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock & roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.
The Quatro girls had been brought up in a musically-minded family, nurtured with classical piano and vocal lessons. As Patti recalls, "By 1964, I had been taking guitar lessons, hanging with musicians in the local music scene. We had seen a Beatles concert, and I was quite dazed and focused at the event, watching the audience cry and scream out of control. It was my epiphany moment, and I was determined to start an all-girl band."
Shortly thereafter, the first lineup of the Pleasure Seekers fell into place with Patti Quatro (lead guitar), Marylou Ball (rhythm guitar), Suzi Quatro (bass), Diane Baker (keyboards), Nan Ball (drums) and vocal duties shared by all. Around the fall of 1965 the girls dared local teen club manager Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular Hideout Club, claiming they were better than most of the other live bands there. "You're on," responded Leone, "in two weeks. Three songs!"
The Pleasure Seekers were soon a popular feature at the club, honing their skills alongside the likes of the Rationals, the Amboy Dukes and Bob Seger & the Last Heard. "In the beginning, there was a lot of skepticism," remembers Patti, "especially the first night. The boys crowded the stage, the girlfriends pulled them away with laughter, as if 'Girls playing?! Yeah, right!' It was always satisfying to see them be silenced quickly when we began playing. We grew used to seeing slack jaws open in surprise." Next they were asked by Leone to record and release a single on his Hideout label.
That March 1966 release is now regarded as the greatest "girl garage" single of the era: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" b/w "What a Way to Die." "Dave brought lyrics, and we put the songs together quickly," remembers Patti. "We felt very legit in making this record at a small local studio. Nan was the sexy voice on 'Never Thought You'd Leave Me,' and there was lots of laughter as Marylou added the screams on 'What a Way to Die.'" Suzi Quatro remembers the recording as "very important and memorable."
The Pleasure Seekers were soon in demand in the region, playing teen clubs, parties, colleges and local TV shows. After a series of lineup changes, the band brought in older Quatro sister Arlene (keyboards) and Darline Arnone (drums), the first female drummer sponsored by Slingerland Drums. A short time later, Pami Benford joined-up on guitar and bass (that lineup lasting through most of 1968). "It was a very versatile group," remembers Patti, "with Pami and Suzi sharing bass, and Pami and I sharing lead and rhythm guitars."
"The gender bias was my hot button," recalls Arlene, "along with confidence in our musical abilities. With women musicians dismissed as a novelty, I delighted in watching the audience go from skepticism/ridicule, to shock/cheers." For Suzi, though, this period was where she learned her craft: "I considered myself a musician, and didn't really think about gender too much." Two tracks recorded in 1967, but unissued at the time, "Elevator Express" and "Gotta Get Away," highlight the band's growing musical maturity since their Hideout debut. "Detroit was the best learning ground in the world for musicians," recalls Suzi, "with an amazing energy and creativity that is in every successful artist that has come out of the city." "We were actually one of the earliest Detroit bands traveling the country," adds Patti. "Everyone wanted this unusual all girl band who rocked an entire Motown revue (changing instruments and singers throughout) and an entire Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour revue, as well as covering English bands, acid rock and everything in between."
Signing up with Associated Booking Corporation, the group began making the transition from local to national act. Producer Dick Corby caught the Pleasure Seekers at Trude Heller's in New York's Greenwich Village and signed them to a Mercury Records deal in early 1968. To keep rein on their finances in NYC, Patti recalls, "We booked Arthur's nightclub for a month, staying at the infamous rock Gorham Hotel, recording by day-playing by night." Also in residence were the Who, the Blues Magoos and an assortment of other bands. "Hitting NYC as young teens, it was exciting, scary, fun-all emotions churning," she continues. "We felt we had hit the big time, going from the tiny local Hideout session to the huge Mercury professional studio facility, complete with session people adding strings and other elements."
A single pairing "Good Kind of Hurt" and "Light of Love" was released in April 1968, while a third song, "Locked in Your Love," remained in the can. The group then headed out to the Northwest for a lengthy tour. "The Northwest tour was awesome," remembers Patti. "We were billed with Canned Heat, Boyce & Hart and Merilee Rush, and were held over six weeks to tour with Eric Burdon and the Animals. The Mercury single was out, momentum was surging." Both sides of the single were getting airplay, but ultimately it failed to gain any traction. "Really neither song reflected our own sound," admits Patti. "We rearranged 'Light of Love' for live performance, feeling disconnected to the record, yet realizing we had to play ball with the executives to keep us rolling."
Ultimately Mercury's vision for the Pleasure Seekers clashed rather sharply with the band's vision. "The suits wanted tits and ass," recalls Darline, "wowing Vegas crowds, playing tinkly tunes in lavish costumes." "In that male-dominated music era, we were strictly a novelty, and a high-risk endeavor," adds Patti. "The record executives felt women musicians would fall in love or get pregnant so were not worth investing the time and money. We had to kick down many doors. We were serious musicians, and in it for the right reasons. In the end, we were not happy with a forced direction that Mercury Records had in mind, and ended up leaving the label to rock our music in our own fashion."
After a memorable 1968 Far East tour, playing for wounded returning American soldiers from Vietnam, the Pleasure Seekers (with new drummer Nancy Rogers) returned to a Detroit that was now, in Patti's words, "exploding with heavier sounds. That sparked us to change direction with new ideas we had been exploring. Arlene left the band and we brought in our youngest sister Nancy (vocals). With Suzi's Joplinesque vocals combined with Nancy's wailing 'female Robert Plant' style, we enjoyed a harder edged, 'double-punch' effect."
The last four songs on the album, "White Pig Blues," "Brain Confusion," "Where Have You Gone?" and the atmospheric psychedelic mover "Mr. Power," all date from this 1968-69 period when the Pleasure Seekers were playing the Grande Ballroom alongside the MC5, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes and SRC. With this change in musical direction and the departure of Arlene and Pami, the band forged on as Cradle. Suzi Quatro departed for England in 1971, launching a successful solo career. Patti and Nancy continued with Cradle until 1973 when Patti joined another pioneering female rock group, Fanny.
The Pleasure Seekers reunited recently in April 2012 (minus Suzi) for a well-received show in their hometown, where they were inducted into Detroit's Hall of Fame. "I think all of us Quatro girls are extremely proud of our pioneering days" reflects Patti. "In a renaissance-era of music, we kicked down doors for women to rock heavy. There were key times in our lives of making decisions that may have turned us towards larger fame, but less happiness-depending on your philosophy of such things. The Pleasure Seekers could have been a Las Vegas show act bringing in buckets of money or on Motown, turned very formulaic girlie-soul. But we stayed true to our goals, and I don't think any of us have any regrets of staying our course and playing the music that moved us. It's all been a thrilling ride with great memories."
- Mike & Anja Stax (Ugly Things magazine)1. Intro By DJ The Lord
2. Gotta Get Away
3. Never Thought You'd Leave Me
4. Light Of Love
5. Good Kind Of Hurt
6. What A Way To Die
7. Elevator Express
8. Locked In Your Love
9. White Pig Blues
10. Brain Confusion
11. Where Have You Gone
12. Mr. Power$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
No More Shall We Part (Out Of Stock)No More Shall We Part ends a four-year silence from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. A best-of was issued in 2000, but no new material has appeared since 1997's landmark album, The Boatman's Call. With that record Cave had finally delivered what everyone knew he was capable of: an entire album of deeply tragic and beautiful love songs without irony, sarcasm, or violent resolution. It appears that The Boatman's Call has altered the manner in which Cave writes songs, and the Bad Seeds illustrate them. Two musical directors -- the ubiquitous Mick Harvey and Dirty Three violinist Warren Ellis -- craft a sonic atmosphere whose textures deepen and widen Cave's most profound and beautiful lyrics to date. The ballads have the wide, spacious, sobering ambience one has come to expect from the Bad Seeds. There is an ethereal change in sound in the up-tempo numbers, which are, for lack of better terminology, musical novellas. They plumb the depths of blues, yet contain glissando and crescendos from the orchestral music of composers such as Fartein Valen and Olivier Messiaen. There are places, such as in Oh My Lord, where rock & roll is evoked as a device, but this isn't rock music. A listen to As I Sat Sadly By Her Side, Hallelujah, and the aforementioned track (the most rock song here) will attest that it is merely one color on a musical palette that is more expansive now than at any time in the band's history. Also in the band's musical treasure trove is the addition of the McGarrigle sisters on backing vocals - nowhere is their contribution more poignant than on the tenderly daunting, haunted house that is Love Letter. Lyrically, and as a vocalist, Cave has undergone a startling, profound metamorphosis. Gone is the angry, humorous cynic whose venom and bile touched even his lighter moments. His deep taunting ambivalence about Jesus Christ and Christianity in general is gone, vanished into a maturity that ponders spiritual things contemplatively. Humor that pokes fun churchianity remains, but not as a source of its inspiration. Over these 12 tracks, Cave has taken the broken heart--so openly exhibited on The Boatman's Call--and elevated it to the place where he has learned to live with, and speak from it as both an artist and a human being. Leonard Cohen stated in the song Anthem, that, there is a crack in everything/that's where the light gets in.No More Shall We Part is a mosaic of those cracks. If this album is about anything, it is about love's ability to survive in the world. It is examined concretely and abstractly; to the point where it meditates on this theme even cinematically. His methodology for the listener is, even though these are intimate conversations, the effect is illustrated in widescreen. In this way, Cave touches the heart in the same way Andrei Tarkovsky's films Stalker and The Sacrifice and Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire do. There is powerful emotion here, spiritual, psychological and romantic, without a hint of the sentimentality that would make it false. As both a singer and a songwriter, his work has been transformed into something so full of depth, color, and dimension, that there is simply no one except his mentors working on this level in popular music. In the opening moments of As I Sat Sadly By Her Side, a tenderly, softly sung vocal delivers: Then she drew the curtains down/And said when will you ever learn/That what happens there beyond the glass/Is simply none of your concern/God has given you but one heart/You are not a home but the hearts of your brothers/God don't care for your benevolence anymore/But he cares for the lack of it in others/Nor does he care for you to sit at/Windows in judgement of the world he created/While sorrows pile up around you/Ugly, useless and over-inflated/At which she turned her head away/Great tears leapin' from her eyes/I could not wipe a smile from my face/As I sat sadly by her side. The title track is a ballad that could have been lifted from The Boatman's Call, except it lacks the reaching tragedy. And Cave sings in a tenor no one thought him capable of -- And all the birds will sing to your beautiful heart/Up on the bell/And no more shall we part. The chaos of earlier Bad Seeds outings does kick up on The Sorrowful Wife, where violins and Blixa Bargeld's guitars duel with Jim Sclavunos's drums for domination of the sonic torrent. The record closes with two of Cave's most beautiful songs, a near country gospel waltz called Gates to the Garden with the McGarrigles sweetening an already lovely tome to redemptive love. Finally, Darker With the Day, illustrated by Harvey's striking pianistic ballad framework touched by Bill Evans' technique, is as strikingly autobiographical as Cave has ever been, highlighting the extremes of good and evils that inform and torment the protagonist's inner emotional life within in a single day. There is loss and the seeking of deliverance and, in a statement not so much of recognition that this is simply fate, he also acknowledges hope: All these streets are frozen now/I come and go/Full of a longing for something I do not know. As he calls to a lover gone seemingly forever, he comes to the conclusion that for him, redemption is in love itself, whether divine or profane; the only hope is that love, between two people or between an individual and her or his creator, depends on one's openness to receiving it. Who can argue with him? No More Shall We Part leaves listeners in awe, full of complex emotions, and pondering the notion that they've been in the presence of great redemptive art--which Henry James calls, the thing that can never be repeated.
- Thom Jurek (All Music)1. As I Sat Sadly by Her Side
2. And No More Shall We Part
4. Love Letter
5. Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow
6. God Is in the House
7. Oh My Lord
8. Sweetheart Come
9. The Sorrowful Wife
10. We Came Along This Road
11. Gates to the Garden
12. Darker with the Day$22.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock