These trips to the record store are really getting out of control. I try to sell stuff, but I still inevitably wind up draining the checking account or padding the ol' credit card debt. Well, I guess it's a safer addiction than heroin. Or cigarettes, for that matter, which I gave up just over two weeks ago.

The Abyssinians, Forward Unto Zion. I've been listening to a lot of reggae. This might be my favorite of the reggae albums I own. Deeply melancholy, profoundly spiritual, and really beautiful. The combination of sweet harmonies and dark rhythms here is about as good as it gets.

Burning Spear, Hail H.I.M.. The tail-end of a series of classic albums (1980). Raw, dark, furious, political. The album art is gorgeous, too.

Roberta Flack, Killing Me Softly. Everyone knows the gorgeous title track of this album, of course, but this whole album is a classic collection of urbane, deeply felt, intelligently arranged soul. Of particular note for this listener is her cover of "Jesse," a deeply romantic song of yearning that I've always loved (I've always considered myself lucky to have such a nice song about me), written by Janis Ian (and also covered by Joan Baez). Flack also does Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne."

Orange Juice, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever. The sunny, fey debut recording from this great '80s underground pop band from Scotland.

Prince, 1999 and Paisley Park. Nothing Compares 2 the Funky One. My, he's racy sometimes. Gotta get me some Purple Rain to go with these two.

Haiku D'Etat, Haiku D'Etat. From 2000. Aceyalone and Mikah 9 of the Freestyle Fellowship and Abstract Rude. A trio of MCs at the top of their game. Intelligent, organic hip hop with lots of funk and reggae thrown into the mix. I've never been a huge listener of hip hop (though I have been a fan of Aceyalone and Freestyle Fellowship both for some time), but after I heard this album for the first time I had to have it. Incredibly smart, engaging, & listenable.