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The Black Light

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

Price: £9.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic of Music
  • ASIN: B002JJ14RI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,166 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you have never heard Calexico, don't worry: you *will* love them. Because how could anybody not? They encompass such a wide range of styles and always manage to produce songs that are both melodically beautiful, rhythmically stunning and generally quite amazing.

They do this on The Black Light. There are several story themes running through this album about two lovers (one of the lovers dies) and the album takes you on an adventure following through highs and lows, cities and mountains and the outbacks of America. If you want to relax in the warm evening sun, or to dance late into the night, or to take a drive somewhere in the rain, this album can, should and will be your soundtrack.
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Format: Audio CD
I heard this CD as background music when I was round at a friend's house and was just enchanted by it. Are there a posse of bands out there in the wilderness making music like Calexico? I don't know, but this is a great album.
It's Ry Cooder meets Tom Waits meets a wandering band of mariachis in the desert, but the blend changes throughout the album: the dark guitar opens beautifully on "Gypsy's Curse" till the melody's taken on and up by the dreamy acordian; "Minas de Cobre" is pure mariachi brilliance, the chorusing trumpets blending with guitars and fabulous strings in music that should have been in a Sergio Leone film. The lyrics are dark and brooding - the chilling and desperate "Bloodflow", the empty waste of "The Ride (pt II)".
In fact the whole thing is cinematic in its evocativeness. Not to be missed.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the great Americana CDs of all time and probably the most underrated. The mood relates to the name of the band - California mixed with Mexico. Put it on and imagine you are out in a border town with a Mariachi band playing in a small bar and you get the feel of the record. Beautifully played with a mix of strings, horns and pedal steel and the tight rhythmn section of Convertino and Burns (Giant Sand. You will love it. Give it a try!!
KGB
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Format: Audio CD
Calexico's second album is a sprawling, doom-laden and cinematic work that draws heavily on latin jazz, mariachi, country and gypsy folk. Typically rich in the kind of malevolent desert imagery and border country narratives that suggest the novels of Cormac McCarthy, `Black Light' explores territory that is more fully realised in their later work, particularly `Feat of Wire'. Another widescreen production, Calexico are seemingly the natural heirs to Ennio Morricone's wild west atmospherics (check out `Minas De Cobre').

From the opener `Gypsy's Curse', `Black Light' is heavy on nocturnal ambience, rendered in sometimes lengthy instrumental passages, but is lighter on songwriting. Calexico have never been great songwriters, partly because their thematic concerns seem more theatrical than heartfelt. Joey Burns also has a rather mild voice that sometimes undermines, rather than strengthens the credibility of their image-rich soundscapes. That's not to say none of the vocal tracks work - not at all, `Where Water Flows' features a nice interplay between Burns' verses and a creepy plucked guitar melody augmented with xylophone. However, it is worth noting for newcomers to Calexico that Feast of Wire is their most fully realised work in terms of both songcraft and sonic experimentation.

`Black Light' suffers a bit when listened to as a whole as it's mood is so relentlessly stark; even dirge-like and funereal. From the whispered vocals and spidery formlessness of the title track, the middle section sags and causes the listener's attention to wander. While it is all quite cohesive, it rather lacks the surprises and jolting shifts of mood of later albums.
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Format: Audio CD
Calexico's second album is a sprawling, doom-laden and cinematic work that draws heavily on latin jazz, mariachi, country and gypsy folk. Typically rich in the kind of malevolent desert imagery and border country narratives that suggest the novels of Cormac McCarthy, `Black Light' explores territory that is more fully realised in their later work, particularly `Feat of Wire'. Another widescreen production, Calexico are seemingly the natural heirs to Ennio Morricone's wild west atmospherics (check out `Minas De Cobre').

From the opener `Gypsy's Curse', `Black Light' is heavy on nocturnal ambience, rendered in sometimes lengthy instrumental passages, but is lighter on songwriting. Calexico have never been great songwriters, partly because their thematic concerns seem more theatrical than heartfelt. Joey Burns also has a rather mild voice that sometimes undermines, rather than strengthens the credibility of their image-rich soundscapes. That's not to say none of the vocal tracks work - not at all, `Where Water Flows' features a nice interplay between Burns' verses and a creepy plucked guitar melody augmented with xylophone. However, it is worth noting for newcomers to Calexico that Feast of Wire is their most fully realised work in terms of both songcraft and sonic experimentation.

`Black Light' suffers a bit when listened to as a whole as it's mood is so relentlessly stark; even dirge-like and funereal. From the whispered vocals and spidery formlessness of the title track, the middle section sags and causes the listener's attention to wander. While it is all quite cohesive, it rather lacks the surprises and jolting shifts of mood of later albums.
Read more ›
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