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West Indian Girl


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Audio CD, August 24, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B0002MHELY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,023 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Trip
2. What Are You Afraid Of
3. Hollywood
4. Miles From Monterey
5. Dream
6. Northern Sky
7. Visions
8. Still Lost
9. Leave Tonight
10. Green
11. Lay Down

Editorial Reviews

In 1963, renowned chemists Bear Owsley & Nick Sands developed a strain of designer LSD which had a reputation for inducing tribal hallucinations. This strain of acid was called "west indian girl." Flash forward forty-some years & however many psychedelic revolutions later to find the Los Angeles duo of Robert James & Francis Ten deciding to call their musical collaboration "West Indian Girl." West Indian Girl's luminous debut release is a perfect slice of sun-soaked California dreampop, filtering the hazy shoegazing sounds of yesteryear through a distinctly west coast sensibility. Songs like "Hollywood" & "What Are You Afraid Of" gently flourish like the doves & the Stone Roses by way of Laurel Canyon.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Give the Flaming Lips a sunny California sound, and pump them full of tranquilizers. That pretty much describes West Indian Girl's self-titled debut, a swirling mix of psychedelica and acoustic pop. In short, it sounds like a summer night without clouds.

Not surprisingly, "West Indian Girl" is a particular type of LSD that supposedly gave you "tribal" hallucinations, whatever those are. You can hear the psychedelic sounds in the opener, the aptly named "Trip," a mix of the acoustic and electronic. Other songs like "What Are You Afraid Of?" make you think of a beach at sunset, with the gently undulating melody, while "Hollywood" is a percussion/trip-hop ode to... well, Hollywood.

The acoustic/electronic sound continues through the album, to the point where they're hard to unmingle -- sometimes you can pick out the piano, drums and guitar, but often you can't. I tried to untwist the layers of the ethereal "Dream," and only succeeded in spacing out. Other songs like the fast-throbbing "Vision" or the shimmering, hymnlike "Leave Tonight" are almost like drugs in themselves -- they practically lift you off the ground.

West Indian Girl definitely have an upbeat sound, even in the downbeat songs. Even "Hollywood" has that innocent, wide-eyed sound -- in this song, it's not a multibillion movie industry, but a magical city. The swirling, dreamy sound only accentuates the feeling that you've entered a parallel world, where things are prettier and a little kiner.

Murmuring male singing is in of the songs. The exception is "Leave Tonight," which is full of distant, childlike vocals singing "Time is wandering fast." It's either really pretty or really creepy. The songwriting isn't exactly Shakespeare, but its simple sentiments are appealing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By . on October 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is indeed a great album, and refreshingly left field (in a musical sense) for 2004. The other reviews here used all the correct adjectives to describe this record, so I won't bother rehashing. At any rate all the tracks here are first-rate.

What's strange is that nowhere in West Indian Girl's bio is there mention of the fact that these 2 guys were one half of the band WIG, who released 2 incredible, genre-busting records on Island in the 1990's. "Deliverance" in 1994 and "Wireland" in 1997. Back then, they were known as Robert Schurgin (now James) and Fran Falls (now Ten). Is there some legality that prevents James and Ten from mentioning their roots in their old band? Maybe they're ashamed of their past?

Anyway I guess that's not relevant here. West Indian Girl is a fantastic, gorgeous album, and I'm anxious to hear more from Robert and Frances. Highly recommended!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dice on April 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a pretty good album actually. Good to just put on and have playing in the background. Good Summer music.

But it totally sounds like it would've been released 10 or 15 years ago. It makes me think of Perry Farrel singing for that band Lush with a little bit of Sigur Ros thrown in the background here and there....
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By alexander laurence on October 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There was a time when Stone Roses and Primal Scream were seen as the coolest bands. They were stoned and sexy. They inspired the shoegazer movement. West Indian Girl are a duo that named themselves after a strain of LSD. They are like One Dove. But this album is totally modern. They are akin to some LA bands of today that are spiking their drinks with something: like The Shore and Run Run Run. When I heard this record I thought they were an English band like The Delays. Apparently the guys in West Indian Girl were inspired by rave culture. They actually sound like a band from 1989 place in now. As if the whole grunge, neo-punk, and alternative generation never happened. They make music that sonically advanced and that is introspective. Their music re-imagines a space where music conjures up imagination and mystery.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hillary on November 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
West Indian Girl is incredible... somehow they've captured a bit of retro Cure, the whimsy of Cocteau Twins and the ethereal club sounds of The Shore & Joseph Arthur. This CD makes me very happy - happy that I can listen to a CD from start to finish and feel great all the way through. Thanks guys!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on December 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
i can't remember where i first heard of this band, but i am glad i did.. so i checked the band's site out,and saw they were on AstralWerks..( with AIR.. nice!) much later, i bought the cd, and was not disappointed ( well. mainly because i had already heard most of the songs by then, but that's a moot point )

stand out tracks, for me:

2.what are you afraid of?.... seems to be one of their better known tracks.. 8/10

3.Hollywood... 9/10

4.miles from monterrey.. intoxicating melody and arrangement. well produced, and i love the hook 10/10

5.dream. another great track 9/10

the others range between 'ho-hum' and 'interesting'

.. which in itself is not bad.. probably 3.5 stars is a better rating for the cd. but they won't allow that ( and it's much better than '3 stars', in my opinion)

to be quite honest, i was surprised at HOW much i liked the disc, and on first play to a lot of my friends ( with diverse musical taste), they were asking , 'who's that?'

pick it up, give it a spin..
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