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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Pastels
The Last Great Wilderness
Domino Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Chances are, if you're reading this, you already love the Pastels. You knew about them before Nirvana name-dropped them, or you were curious after hearing Talulah Gosh's "Pastels Badge" and worked backwards from there.

The Last Great Wilderness is a soundtrack to a companion film of the same name. It is, in essence, a score of background music, of which only two tracks feature vocals. It is well done, and while a neophyte would benefit from a more fitting introduction, it shows that the band is able to aspire beyond their normal format while continuing along touching lines.

The two vocal tracks are a previously released cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Everybody is a Star" and a track entitled "I Picked a Flower," penned and performed by Pulp's Jarvis Cocker. These highlights are not, however, the sole reasons to explore an album that features cameos by such luminaries as John McEntire, Richard Hawley and Steve Mackey.
The instrumentals are solid and satisfying, full of the same heartbreaking affect and soul embodied in any other Pastels release.

The bookend "Wilderness Themes" are just breathtaking, lit from within by interwoven strings, horns and bells, and filled with a sense of lost childlike wonder that should thoroughly captivate audiences as the film rises and falls.

Various character sketches such as "Vincente's Theme", "Flora's Theme", and "Charlie's Theme" are as individual as they are moving. Without having seen the film, I could feel that Vincente is a thoughtful, somewhat nihilistic fellow on the verge of self-destruction; Flora's beauty has been covered by inescapable drama; and Charlie's swarthy motivations are far from trustworthy - all this without a single word or image attached.

Granted, these swirling and ambient sounds will have a far different meaning when latched to their intended cinematic display, but the varying moods captured by the Pastels show that they are capable of stirring the human condition in new and dynamic ways.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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