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West of Rome [CASSETTE]

Vic Chesnutt Audio Cassette
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (9 Feb 1994)
  • Label: Texas Hotel
  • ASIN: B000001HQO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

1. Latent/Blatant
2. Bug
3. Withering
4. Sponge
5. Where Were You
6. Lucinda Williams
7. Florida
8. Stupid Preoccupations
9. Panic Pure
10. Miss Mary
11. Steve Willoughby
12. West of Rome
13. Big Huge Valley
14. Soggy Tongues

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIP 3 Mar 2010
By Sporus
Format:Audio CD
I've already written a review for this, but Amazon keeps asking me to do another one. At least I can lament the suicide last Christmas (2009) of Vic Chesnutt. His gain, our loss. If I had to keep one CD from this paragon of acerbic songsters, it would be this - his second (I always thought it was his first... but I've been corrected!). He went on to make better music, but the lyrics on West of Rome and the melodic variety remain quintessential. Buy it and try it. See what you missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of vics greatest 8 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Its a real shame that there are not more reviews on vic chesnutts releases here on amazon
i first got into vic after hearing the excellent tribute cd SWEET RELIEF 2 which contains covers of his songs by many great artists such as REM/SPARKLEHORSE/SMASHING PUMPKINS/KRISTIN HERSH ETC. highly recommended !! actually sweet relief also got mre into Sparklehorse and Kristin Hersh in a big way also.
I went on to get his 'classic' albums west of rome, drunk and is the actor happy, which are all superb, as is Ghetto Bells
i have since bought all of vics albums including the rather hard to obtain german film soundtrack. Of his other albums I think North Star is one of his most polished and enjoyable albums
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album 5 April 2012
Format:Audio CD
This is one of Vic Chesnutt's finest albums. I would highly recommend it!
This along with 'Is The Actor Happy is the best way to get to know this man's music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the poet laureate of the south 6 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Vic Chesnutt may well be the greatest popular music lyricist of his time. Awash with brilliant wordplay and allusion, his sad, funny songs reveal the complexities of individual consciousness to an extent that no other writer has done. After hours of listening to this album, you'll finally begin to realize his grasp of self, how fully he realizes the absurdity of life. "West of Rome" is his first masterpiece,a kind of folk tour through Athens, Georgia, that bohemian enclave in the heart of the rural South. Vic fights through the social gnats of "Soggy Tongues" while attempting to understand himself ("Stupid Preoccupations"), and the culture which he was raised in ("Bug"). Along the way, he notes in exquisite detail characters and situations that would "make a whale of a movie", a poignant, realistic one. Endlessy clever and inventive in rhyme, always sincere in emotion, "West of Rome" functions as the musical successor of Faulkner and O'Connor, and is a work of genius.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Wonderful 22 July 2004
By E. Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is my very first Vic Chesnutt album so I am not going to compare it to any of his others - I can't even compare it to any other album that I own (and I own many). Why? Well, Vic is a very unique singer/songwriter. The closest comparison I can make is to Bob Dylan mixed with REM (which makes sense when you consider Michael Stipe produced this album). Two musicians I love, but would not necessarily put together in my CD player. Somehow though, it works (and works well).

Standout tracks include...

#1 Bug - the song makes me laugh and the chorus gets stuck in my head, but in a good way.

#6 Florida - such a pretty sounding song that says some not so nice things...I swear Michael Stipe sings a bit on this one too, but no credit is given to him for vocals.

#7 Stupid Preoccupations - a catchy self-deprecating song.

#10 Steve Willoughby - again with the self-deprecating, but this one pokes funs at others too.

#13 Soggy Tongues - I absolutely love the music, the words are a pleasant bonus.

#15 Nathan - haunting...I feel like you could make a movie based on this song. Bonus Track

#16 Where's the Clock - My favorite song on the album. Poetic and lyrical. Bonus Track

#18 Flying - Not much music, it's more of a sing-talk thing. Very melancholy. Bonus Track

#21 Confusion - There is a beautiful symmetry to this song with the lyrics and the instrumental. Bonus Track

#22 Shipping Out - Vic's voice isn't what you would call pretty, but it sounds very sweet on this one. A great album ender. Bonus Track (can you tell I liked the bonus tracks?)

In general the 22 songs on West of Rome are witty and melancholy. I am hopelessly and completely addicted and have filled my wish list with the rest of Vic?s recordings. Highly recommended album.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Like A Squirrel? 30 Sep 2004
By K. H. Orton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"When the bug hits, that's the time to scratch it"...

That's the opening sentiment of this record. In terms of WEST OF ROME, that's good advice. Vic Chesnutt's world is one where front porches are "filled with greasy, greasy grannies". Where Florida is "The Redneck Riviera". Not to mention the perfect place to "retire from life".

3 songs in, he's singing about the world being a spronge. & Chesnutt pretty much writes like one. Soaking up all the eccentricities of the world around him & then wringing out every last drop for your entertainment. Without a doubt, he is one of the most original & compelling songwriters to come out of the 90's Indy revolution. The same era that spawned the likes of Will Oldham & Elliott Smith.

If "Bruce" sings for the working man & Tom Waits is the poet laureate of the gutter, well then, I'll go far as to say Chesnutt's the small Southern town equivalent. Fans of REM, who miss the quirky Southern charms of their early work, can find more than a few fables of the Reconstruction here. One listen & you'll not be surprised to hear Mr. Stipe produced this gem.

WEST OF ROME is without a doubt, considered a heavy contender among Chestnutt admirers. And the bonus tracks alone are going to be enough to rope them in again. Especially "Flying", "Dying Young" & "Shipping Out". For those just getting their feet wet, this is probably THE best place to start. The perfect introduction.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World According to Vic 7 Dec 1999
By Thomas Mathew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Vic's self described "Sophomore Squirt," West of Rome, is a strange collection of smart, quirky, beautiful songs, produced by the loving hands of Mr. Mikey Stipe. Though there seems to have been some friction between the two (judging from some rather odd liner notes), the results are stunning. Vic is NOT your run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter type, and this might cause some to snap the CD in two upon first listen. But for some (me included), Vic's bizzaro lyrics and simple melodies sink their teeth into you--and the teeth stay sunk. Try this on for size: "feathers are falling and I can't dodge them / the tar is oozing from my little noggin / it's ugly, ancient residue / now there ain't no mistaking who's been accused." Well, sounds kinda awful in cold print. But for my money, Vic is a gem, and this album is his best.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vic's `second squirt`, his `Ask The Dust`, his masterpiece 26 April 2003
By Stanley B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is the early raw Chestnutt, when accompaniment was minimal, predominantly acoustic and when he was desperate to wrestle every lyrical jewel into every little space. The title reference to the great American writer John Fante, is a key to this, Chestnutt's `second squirt`, his `sophomore slough`, his `Ask The Dust`, his masterpiece. Like prime Fante, this free-wheels with fevered flights of imagery, suffused with playful and surreal comedy and `stupid preoccupations` with waylaid terms (`puny ingratiations`, `croaker sacks`, `tectonic panache`...) that Vic stretches, rolls and spits with unmistakable relish (`pee-yew-nee in-gray-shee-aa-shuns`), but is ultimately steeped in tragedy (`Florida` concerns the suicide of a friend). These are broad comparisons, Chestnutt, straddling the high-wires of lazy `alt country` classifications, is a unique, unrivalled figure in modern American music, as typified by champions as diverse as Mary Margeret O'Hara, R.E.M. (Stipe produced this record and offers some funked-up clavinet), Garbage and even Madonna. Like Fante Chesnutt is undervalued, and demands your immediate attention, and this is the record to begin the crusade.
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