West Of Memphis: Voices For Justice (CD)


Various Artists

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Amoeba Review

01/14/2013

The West Memphis Three, three teenagers who were imprisoned for the murders of three children for more than 18 years and released amid new DNA evidence and revelations of misconduct during the investigation and trial, have been chronicled by several films and books. This latest documentary, produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (of the “Lord of the Rings” films) as well as Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three, further examines the trial and its aftermath, including the trio’s release from prison. For the soundtrack, musicians from the folk canon (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan) as well as a few from metal and hardcore  (Henry Rollins, Marilyn Manson) have gathered to offer a number of covers and originals, united by their somber tone and bittersweet taste, appropriate to one of the most notorious and disputed cases in modern history. Natlie Maines of the Dixie Chicks appears boldly with a clear-headed cover of Pink Floyd’s aching “Mother,” notable since Maines became involved with the case after she spoke against the Three’s conviction at a rally and one of the boys’ stepfather’s sued her for defamation (the suit was dismissed). The music on the West of Memphis soundtrack can be enjoyed without knowing the subject matter at hand, but doing so offers more involvement with the music, namely with Henry Rollins’ chilling reading of one of Echols’ letters while in solitary confinement. Over bluegrass drone created by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Rollins describes the experience in stark detail that puts the listener in the plight of the wrongly convicted Echols. However you feel about the case, with that image in mind, listening to the harrowing West of Memphis soundtrack makes you feel the experience of the West Memphis Three in a way that reading about the case never could.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 9
Henry Rollins 02:31
2.
Mother
Natalie Maines 05:50
3.
Joy
Lucinda Williams 04:40
4.
The Jean Genie
Camp Freddy 04:18
5.
Little Lion Man
Tonto's Giant Nuts 04:11
5.
You're So Vain
Marilyn Manson 04:01
6.
Dumpster World (Live)
Band of Horses 03:41
7.
DFW
Citizen Cope 02:44
8.
Satellite
Eddie Vedder 02:28
9.
Anything Made of Paper
Bill Carter 04:14
10.
House of Pain
The White Buffalo 04:30
11.
Ring Them Bells
Bob Dylan 02:59
12.
West of Memphis Score Suite
Nick Cave , Warren Ellis 04:59
13.
Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16
Tonto's Giant Nuts 03:24
14.
Wing (Recorded Live At Voices For Justice Benefit Concert - August 28, 2010) (Bonus Track)
Patti Smith 04:30

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