South of Heaven, West of Hell

South of Heaven, West of Hell

5.0 1
by Dwight Yoakam
     
 

The companion soundtrack to a movie directed and co-written by Dwight Yoakam, South of Heaven, West of Hell is also one of the country star's most stirring albums, minus the nine snippets of film dialogue interspersed throughout. His hard country approach fits perfectly with this revisionist western, in which Yoakam also stars, along with See more details below

Overview

The companion soundtrack to a movie directed and co-written by Dwight Yoakam, South of Heaven, West of Hell is also one of the country star's most stirring albums, minus the nine snippets of film dialogue interspersed throughout. His hard country approach fits perfectly with this revisionist western, in which Yoakam also stars, along with Billy Bob Thornton, Vince Vaughn, and Bridget Fonda. Yoakam's distinctive sound signature bristles through the rocking "The First Thing Smokin' " (co-written with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons) and the quintessential honky-tonk tearjerker "What's Left of Me" (co-written with Mick Jagger), but when he and his longtime collaborator Pete Anderson push the envelope a bit, the results are breathtaking. The dense atmosphere, twangy guitar, ominous kettle drums, and soaring, Billy Rose-style strings of "Somewhere" come out of Bakersfield by way of Phil Spector, stamping this as an instant Yoakam classic. Epitomizing the album's spiritual content, the stomping duet "Who at the Door Is Standing" is elevated by Bekka Bramlett's scorching, blue-eyed soul testimony, and the celebratory "The Darkest Hours" is fleshed out by Memphis-style horns and a Booker T.-like organ. Yoakam saves the best for last with a spare rendition of the traditional spiritual "It Is Well with My Soul," which he tears from his innermost being, delivering a stunning vocal performance pulled right out of the old country church in his native Kentucky. South of Heaven, West of Hell is prime-time Dwight Yoakam, who honors tradition even as he advances it and remembers always to speak directly to his listeners' hearts. At the very least, mark this as one of the year's best. But it's so much more.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Dwight Yoakam's soundtrack for the gritty Western South of Heaven, West of Hell will only partially satisfy his fans. Although the album is nearly an hour long, half of the tracks are spoken segments from the film, and while this tactic has worked well for Quentin Tarantino's pop culture-brimming soundtracks, South of Heaven only serves to lose the listener with its ill-placed breaks and uninteresting dialogue. Aside from that rather major flaw, there are a handful of really good Yoakam tunes on hand including the loose, ambling opening track "Words" and a soulful version of "The Darkest Hour." The album also features a duet with Bekka Bramlett (Bekka & Billy), as well as the bluesy "The First Thing Smokin'" co-written with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and the pleading "What's Left of Me" co-written with Mick Jagger. While the album certainly has its strong points, it is no substitute for a complete Dwight Yoakam record. With the film release of South of Heaven, West of Hell, Yoakam has proven himself to be a fine actor and a fair director, but there are legions of country fans who will be happier when he steps out from behind the camera and back into the studio.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2001
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624801221
catalogNumber:
48012

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dwight Yoakam   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Vocals
John Acosta   Cello
Pete Anderson   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Bekka Bramlett   Background Vocals
Jonathan Clark   Background Vocals
Skip Edwards   Keyboards
Tim Goodwin   Classical Guitar
Scott Joss   Fiddle
Gary Morse   Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Taras Prodaniuk   Bass
David Woodford   Saxophone
Jim Christie   Drums
Lee Thornberg   Trombone,Trumpet
Chris Bleth   Violin,Bass Clarinet,Oboe
Billy Bob Thornton   Track Performer
John Noreyko   Tuba

Technical Credits

Dwight Yoakam   Composer,Art Direction
Pete Anderson   Arranger,Producer
Sally Browder   Engineer
Jim Latham   String Arrangements
Steve Moore   Guitar Techician
Kim Biggs   Art Direction

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