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The Last Pale Light In The West

Ben NicholsAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2011 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2009 --  
Vinyl --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 20, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rebel Group
  • ASIN: B001MW0IWU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,830 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Last Pale Light In The West
2. The Kid
3. Davy Brown
4. Chambers
5. Tobin
6. Toadvine
7. The Judge

Editorial Reviews

The debut mini album by Lucero frontman Ben Nichols was inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel, "Blood Meridien". Recorded with Rick Steff (Cat Power, Lucero) and Todd Beane (Glossary). Features Nichols' signature gravelly voice accompanied by his acoustic guitar, complimented by Steff's piano and accordion, and Beane's subtle pedal steel guitar. RIYL: Tom Waits, "Nebraska"-era Bruce Springsteen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars faithful to text December 21, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I'm an English teacher who uses music in both lit and composition classes to spur student interest. I've listened to a great many musical adaptations of literature over the years. I've never come across any that captures the spirit of the work upon which it is based better than does Nichol's adaptation of McCarthy's Blood Meridian. He really nails it. I understand a film version of BM is in the works; the film-makers would do well to approach Mr. Nichols about writing the soundtrack.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you know "Blood Meridian" at all, you know that it depicts unvarnished violence in a very uncivilized West. I found it a shocking and fascinating read. Nichol's voice is as scratchy and gravely as the landscape McCarthy's band of killers inhabit. These songs have wonderful, evocative lyrics and sound. For example, "Davy Brown" is a hoe-down about a "cold-blooded killer" who "takes that shotgun and saws it on down" and who wears a "string of them ears" around his neck, trophies of indians and others killed by Davy and his brethren. I loved the book and couldn't stop listening to these songs, and My brother, who hasn't read the book, said he couldn't stop listening either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Perfect Complement to the Novel October 10, 2011
Format:Audio CD
This short album is a wonderful accompaniment to Cormac McCarthy's excellent novel. The album of songs is gritty, hard, and uncompromising. You don't have to be a fan of the novel to enjoy this music at all. I think you will like this work a lot. Definitely pick it up if you have a chance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you get tired of Lady Gaga and Robin Thicke... November 19, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Embarrassing to say, especially since I'm a big dan of indie/alternative country/folk, but I'd never even HEARD this song until last night's episode of "The Walking Dead" (Live Bait - Saeson 4, episode 6). However, once the song began, between the tune, the vocals, and the scenes of "The Governor" lost, on his own, his world demolished and his mindset just one step away from suicide, "The Last Pale Light In The West" morphed into one of the most powerful music video could've-beens ever! I literally ran to the pc, and downloaded it from the iTunes store, then played it on repeat for a good half hour. Moody, dysphoric, and powerful, it does have that Springsteen "Nebraska" lo-fi flavor, but Ben Nichols' vocals express just about the darkest part of humanity - far better than Bruce. It's a tune guaranteed to pierce your soul - and, the remainder of this EP doesn't disappoint even for a second. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this song gets a big resurgence, with radio airplay bringing it into their current playlists (as "Baby Blue" by Badfinger became a hit again, being played as the background for the series finale of "Breaking Bad", 40 years after IT'S initial chart run). Buy the entire EP - you simply cannot be disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just Walking Dead May 18, 2014
By T. Cue.
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
Everyone seems to be 5-starring the popular song (first track) and shunning the others, but I found all of the songs on here repeatedly listenable, and two of the others were just as good as the one from "Walking Dead."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and Haunting February 22, 2014
Format:Audio CD
If you're a Lucero or Cormac McCarthy fan, buy this record. The character sketches are thoughtful, the language (borrowed from the novel) poetic, and the Nichols's voice is perfect for such a bleak story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars New to me February 18, 2014
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Ben Nichols until I was curious about a song on the "Walking Dead" series. I really enjoy his voice so I found the audio CD and ordered it. The following day I got an email stating the CD was no longer available, my order cancelled and this version was ordered for me. hmmmm, I thought that was odd since I did not express wanting the MP3 version. Anyway, I like the whole CD and Ben Nichols voice is relaxing to me. Glad I'm a WD viewer or I still might not have known anything about this artist.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good music, but a misinterpretation January 23, 2014
By J D C
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
The music of this EP is delicate and earnest, and I like Nichols's seemingly unvarnished voice, with which he sounds like a heartier Andy Friedman. I say seemingly because I do think it's affected in a problematic way, however, and the warmth of the pieces is foreign to the book. Nichols's faded glory act evinces sympathy, even a sort of nostalgia, for the characters and their stories that is out of pitch with the almost faultless stoicism of Blood Meridian's narrator in the face of the violence the he describes (or she? either or both is possible, given his/her ultimate biocentricism). But that's Nichols's prerogative. If he's smitten with Tobin, Toadvine, and The Judge, then who am I to say he's wrong? As someone who is fairly familiar, and wildly impressed, with Blood Meridian and the scholarship on it, though, this EP's generosity with a group of opaque murderers is somewhat alienating.
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