Bloodshot Records & Opinions on D'Angelo.

Jim and Greg look back at 20 years of the groundbreaking alt-country label Bloodshot Records. Plus a review of the long-awaited new album by soul artist D'Angelo.

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Just when Taylor Swift is shaking off Spotify, her friend and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is embracing it. In 2014, Sheeran was the most streamed artist on Spotify with over 860 million listens. He also sold more than 1 million copies of his album X in the UK alone, proving it is possible for an artist to have albums available to stream, while still selling physical copies. Sheeran says Spotify helps him do what he does best, and he is embarking on a world tour starting out at Wembley Stadium in July.

Bill Withers, Lou Reed and Joan Jett are just a few of the musicians about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. However one selection in particular has Jim and Greg scratching their heads: Green Day. The band becomes 1 of only 48 H.O.F. members who were admitted in their first year of eligibility. This feat is normally reserved for the Willie Mays-like musical figures, so this choice left our critics a little confused. Also, Greg and Jim note glaring omissions with the bands Chic, Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails.


Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller of Bloodshot Records

bloodshot20 Bloodshot Records is celebrating a big birthday this year: 20 years. The label has been home to some hugely influential and well-known artists: Neko Case, Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Jon Langford, The Old 97s and so many more. Founders Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw talk about how the label has survived two decades in the tumultuous independent record industry, how Ryan Adams's Heartbreaker changed its history forever and what Bloodshot albums meant the most to them.

reviewBlack MessiahBlack Messiah available on iTunes

D'Angelo Black Messiah

The enigmatic neo-soul revolutionary D'Angelo is back after 14 years underground with the surprise year-end release of Black Messiah, the follow-up to his triumphant 2000 album Voodoo. Greg couldn‘t be happier to utter the words“new D’Angelo album,”as the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter is truly an R&B visionary. Black Messiah sounds like no other music out there. D‘Angelo’s meticulously layered and sensuous grooves aren‘t afraid of a little dirt and grime, which fit the record’s two overarching themes of love and war perfectly. Jim credits D'Angelo for being able to connect the dots within, and across, musical genres bringing the past into the present and pushing the present state of R&B into the future. The only problem either critic has with the album is that it came out after they made their best albums of the year lists, because Black Messiah is easily a contender for number one. An absolute Buy It for both Jim and Greg.



“Lust to Love”The Go-Go's,The Go-Go's

While recently flipping through the stacks of his musical library, Jim came across Beauty and the Beat, the 1981 debut album from California's The Go-Go's. The all-female New Wave band is probably best known for their hit single "We Got the Beat," but Jim is a bigger fan of another Beauty and the Beat song, "Lust to Love." Written by two of the band's five members, guitarists Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey,“Lust to Love”turns the table on the tired trope of men being the only ones with sexual appetites and is emblematic of the band's underappreciated-at-the-time power pop songwriting talent.

Featured Songs

  1. Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud, X, Asylum and Atlantic Records, 2014
  2. Green Day, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Nimrod, Reprise, 1997
  3. Superchunk, Come Pick Me Up, While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records, Bloodshot Records, 2014
  4. Robbie Fulks, Cigarette State, Revenge!, Yep Roc, 2007
  5. Moonshine Willy, Way Out West, For a Life of Sin: A Compilation of Insurgent Chicago Country, Bloodshot Records, 1994
  6. Jon Langford and Sally Timms, Watching the Horizon, Jon Langford & Sally Timms: Songs of False Hope and High Values, Bloodshot Records, 2000
  7. Jon Langford, Sally Timms and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts, The Plans We Made, The Executioner's Last Songs, Bloodshot Records, 2002
  8. Ryan Adams, My Winding Wheel, Heartbreaker, Bloodshot Records, 2000
  9. Neko Case and her Boyfriends, Jettison, The Virginian, Bloodshot Records, 1997
  10. Neko Case and her Boyfriends, Porchlight, Furnace Room Lullaby, Bloodshot Records, 2000
  11. Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Stranger in My Country, Stranger in My Land, Bloodshot Records, 2013
  12. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, The Corner Man, Dig Thy Savage Soul, Bloodshot Records, 2013
  13. Justin Townes Earle, Nothing's Going to Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, Nothing's Going to Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, Bloodshot Records, 2012
  14. D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Sugah Daddy, Black Messiah, RCA, 2014
  15. D'Angelo and the Vanguard, The Charade, Black Messiah, RCA, 2014
  16. The Go-Go's, Lust to Love, Beauty and the Beat, I.R.S., 1981
  17. Cut Copy, Saturdays, Bright Like Neon Love, Modular Records, 2004
  18. Miranda Lambert, Automatic, Platinum, RCA Nashville, 2014
  19. Strand of Oaks, Shut In, HEAL, Dead Oceans, 2014
  20. Bob Dylan, Must Be Santa, Christmas in the Heart, Columbia, 2009
  21. Rotary Connection, Peace at Least, Peace, Chess, 1968

Footnotes Ed Sheeran credits Spotify Spotify's Most Streamed 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees Rock and Roll Hall of Fame New H.O.F. CEO Bloodshot Records Ryan Adams Jon Langford Lydia Loveless on Sound Opinions Alejandro Escovedo on Sound Opinions Neko Case on Sound Opinions Greg's D'Angelo review The Go-Go's