Every week we will review albums that sound great on vinyl. They are judged by our ears, minds and quality, as subjective as that is. We collaborate with disk jockies at WUTK to ensure that our opinions are informed.
Woods - "Sun and Shade"
Everyone is fending off the sudden Ice Age that seems to have descended on the first day of fall this year, which is coincidentally what the band Woods is perfect for. A Brooklyn-based trio known for their purist "all analog everything" sound and ethereal vocals whispered through Blue condenser microphones, they invoke a kind of musical reality where Woods are forest spirits coming to tell you what the fuss of being alive is all about. Deciding which album to review was a tough choice because their less produced effort, "At Rear House," is phenomenal and has too many songs that never get out of your head, such as "Be Still," "Hunover" and "Picking up the Pieces." However, "Sun and Shade" was chosen because it was the first Woods album the reviewer bought cold, having never listened to any of it. After listening to all of their albums, it seems that the reason "Sun and Shade" is so good is because one can go in listening to it cold and be so blown away. "Who Do I Think I Am," "Pushing Onlys" and "Say Goodbye" will quickly become some of any listener's favorite songs, by any band.
Why Vinyl: Woods is another one of those we-produce-everything-ourselves bands, and considering they record everything with microphones usually used for harmonicas, it gives their music this airy, spaced out sound that reminds me of wandering through the mountains in Washington State.
Listen if: You suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Operational Defiant Disorder, or a myriad of other complications that make you wish you could lay in bed and listen to good music.
Peter Tosh - "Mystic Man"
"I'm a mystic man, such a mystic man/I man don't/I don't sniff them cocaine"
In case anyone wasn't aware, Peter Tosh's mystical qualities evolve from him doing a plethora of mystical things, which he outlines in detail in his songs. Some of these mystical things involve not eating animals, drinking champagne or injecting heroin or morphine. Big ups, Peter Tosh, your mysticism has landed you on this vinyl review. One of the reasons Peter Tosh was selected for this edition was because this album is exemplar of how many different genres reggae can fit into. There's funk, blues, ballad rock songs and straight bubbling organs all going on throughout the record, so if "Mystic Man" is anything, it's definitely not boring. It also has all the roots-Babylon-gonna-fall lyrics while not being afraid to venture out of the roots music mold. It probably doesn't need to be said that Peter Tosh doesn't care at all when it comes to experimenting. Plus, "Buk-In-Hamm Palace" rocks.
Why Vinyl: Reggae as a genre has produced almost more vinyl than any other genre, because CDs seem to have not caught on in Jamaica for a while. Owning a reggae vinyl is an essential addition to any vinyl collection.
Listen if: You anticipate the coming of the Ireator in the near future, or refer to Haile Selassie as His Imperial Majesty.