Vinyl Me, Please bills itself as “The Best Damn Record Club Out There”.
Given the care that goes into every single package they send out, I’d be inclined to agree.
If you’re not aware, Vinyl Me, Please is one of many vinyl subscription services out there that offers delivery of a curated record for around 20 or 30 bucks a month. This begs the question:
Who in their right mind would want this? Who would pay between 23 and 27 dollars a month to get an album that somebody else chose for you, when you can walk down to Transistor Records and get one that you know you want for $20 or less? Who could possibly want that?
Well, me, for one.
For the purposes of this review, Vinyl Me, Please was kind enough to send over the records chosen for their August and September deliveries. From the box the records were shipped in to the hand-signed slipcovers that they’re covered with, it’s obvious that care goes into every step of the process here.
Inside each box, subscribers will find a hand-picked album, a custom 12”x12” art print inspired by the record, a short piece of prose, liner notes, and even a cocktail pairing created by the lushes over at Vinyl Me, Please with the goal of enhancing your listening experience.
If that still doesn’t seem worth the price tag, consider that each and every Vinyl Me, Please record is a pressing exclusive to VMP subscribers, meaning that these albums are pretty much one of a kind.
It’s understandable that some will still balk at the fact that somebody else is choosing your music for you. I won’t lie, I was kind of afraid I’d get, I don’t know, an LP of Limp Bizkit B-sides. Luckily, my fear was misplaced.
If the albums they sent us are any indication of what they send month-to-month, Vinyl Me, Please is interested in supplementing and filling out your existing vinyl collection with essentials that music lovers may not have, as well as albums yet to find a huge audience. You can follow this link to see their back catalog.
The past two Vinyl Me, Please boxes included two relatively well-known records, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to score any indie cred by showing them off. That said, both of the albums are unquestionably well-reviewed, interesting, and staples of their respective genres: a 20th anniversary pressing of the brilliant Wilco album A.M., as well as Four Tet’s 2012 album Pink. The Wilco LP was a beautiful clear-ish creamsicle color, while Pink was a 2 LP set complete with MP3 downloads.
The two records couldn’t be more different, and that speaks to Vinyl Me, Please’s sense of taste. Every album will be a surprise, yes, but this service really isn’t for people who care about that. It’s for people who want to be surprised, who want to
discover (or rediscover) an artist or album, for people who would be happy with experimental electronica one month and early ‘90s hip-hop the next.
The prose is beautiful. So is the art. So is the music. It’s completely understandable to not subscribe to this service if you’re on a tight budget, and don’t really want to risk getting an album you’re not into.
But honestly, if you want to start building a record collection or supplement an existing one, 23-to-27 bucks a month isn’t a whole lot to ask. And for me, as well as many of VMP’s subscribers, the surprise is part of the fun. It feels like those halcyon days of childhood, where you’d show up to school one day and an excited, music-loving friend would hand you a CD-R with “KAYNE WEST: COLEGE DROPOUT” scribbled on the front in blue sharpie, and you’d spend the next day talking about the music. Except now, you’re supporting the artists, and you’re getting the records from someone who can spell correctly.
And hey, worst case scenario, if you don’t like the album, you can always drown your sorrows with a stiff drink.
Have you tried Vinyl Me, Please? Click here to learn more and sign up!