Criminal Records is located off Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points. This Atlanta gem is not what it sounds like; the shop is not a boring office building that stores files on convicts. It is actually one of the only record shops left in the city, and in some people’s opinion, the one with the widest variety of products. Criminal Records sells an array of things: albums, CD’s, cassette tapes, books, comic books, posters, clothing, knick-knacks, and the list goes on. Not only is there so much to choose from, but also the space sets a certain mood that makes you want to spend hours searching.
The structure of the space is set up similar to a maze. When entering the store the first thing that meets the eye are the rows and rows of albums and CD’s. Going down each aisle is like entering a new section of the maze, each one is different. The products are stored on shelves, in bins, boxes, and crates. So much musical history in one room, this shop is definitely an easy one to get “lost” in.
Although this shop is a labyrinth of music and culture, the area is actually very spacious. It does not feel closed in or small. The aisles provide pathways to the back of the shop and it is easy to maneuver around. The lighting and colors have a lot to do with the mood of the store. Many of the walls are painted a pastel green color and the lighting is soft, which has to do with the large skylight windows located on the ceiling of the space. The ceiling of the shop is constructed out of beams of wood, which gives the space a homey feel. The shop is definitely catered to customers with an eclectic style, which matches the trend in Little Five Points. The walls are filled with funky art and posters of all different colors. The floor of the space is dirty, unfinished concrete. The store advertises its use with its bold sign, its hip window displays, and location. Music/art lovers and curious passerbys mostly visit the shop.
Overall, Criminal Records made me feel welcome and sparked my curiosity. I am a huge oldies fan so flipping through the albums of Queen, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones brought me joy and made me almost buy one! The space is filled with repetition, colors, and the aural sounds of albums being flipped through and alternative rock songs over the loud speakers. This site has an urban feel and will definitely broaden any visitor’s knowledge of art and music if they dig deep enough.