Like a "jungle" blend between Daniel Lanois and Ry Cooder
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 09/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Santaolalla, a legendary producer in the Latin Rock world, pulls together his third soundtrack in "The Motorcycle Diaries", stepping into more eclectic terrain than with "Amores Perros" or "21 Grams", both of which borrowed much musically from his first solo album, "Ronroco".
Though "Motorcycle Diaries" doesn't escape the influence of that pivotal album in his career (it contains one track from it, the very appropriate and mellow "De Ushuaia a la Quiaca"), it does experiment with elements that are new to his solo work, such as electric guitars... this may not sound as much to those new to Santaolalla's music, but having heard mostly traditional string instruments and background keyboards in all his previous solo work, and the use of the bandoneon as well in the OST for "21 Grams", this struck me a bit. But it worked beautifully.
If you want to imagine how this album sounds, blend the sound of Daniel Lanois and Ry Cooder while thinking what songs they'd be moved to compose while riding down a South American river, or chopping through the thickness of a forest in Peru or Bolivia, and you are there! The final production value and the ability of the music to take you to the South American spaces where the story for "The Motorcycle Diaries" unfolds is simply incredible. Very deserving of five stars."
Evocative Soundtrack Brings You Back to an Amazing Movie
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've read the book. I've seen the movie. Now I've heard the soundtrack. "The Motorcycle Diaries" could very well become a cottage industry. Luckily, this disc turns out to be a lovely evocation of the roundabout trek that Ernesto (Che) Guevara took with his best buddy Alberto Granado from their native Buenos Aires to Caracas in 1952, well before he became an icon for Communist revolutionaries in underdeveloped countries.
Argentinean composer Gustavo Santaolalla (who also scored "Amores Perros") has perfectly captured their impassioned spirits on the open road as they experience the elements and meet the people that change their lives. Santaolalla's beautiful score is seamlessly dream-like and rugged, the perfect background travel music as it draws on a variety of flavors in Latin music. Though mainly guitar-led instrumentals, the recording also has jazz and rock elements driven by African drums and Latin rhythms. I agree with the consensus that says his music sounds a bit like Ry Cooder, and I'd also add Earl Klugh and the Buena Vista Social Club for good measure. There are a couple of memorable vocal numbers such as the charming "Chipi Chipi" (where Guevara and Granado dance with the Chilean locals who think they are celebrity doctors) and the melancholy last track, "Al Otro Lado del Río", sung by Jorge Drexler. This fusion of traditional and contemporary sounds is flawlessly mastered by the composer and works for the listener whether you have seen the film or not. But of course if you have seen the film by Walter Salles, you will certainly have the benefit of being taken back to the images of that mesmerizing cinematic work. Speaking of which, there is a nice booklet of diary quotes and photos from the film included with the CD. It would have been nice to have a little more variety among the tracks and also been helpful to tell us where each track plays specifically in the film, but these are minor quibbles. This is quite a poetic soundtrack."
Sountrack for South America
Ducky | California | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just recently went to Peru and Bolivia for a month, and this soundtrack was on my iPod. I'm so happy it was on there. On the breath-taking bus ride to Machu Picchu, the tourists next to me kept yammering on about shampoo. I turned on this soundtrack to drown them out, and the spiritual experience was salvaged.This is the first time I've every truly felt indebted to a CD. While some of the music I heard while travelling was truly amazing, at the same time there is only so many times you can hear "El Condor Pasa" before you want to stuff cotton in your ears. This gorgeous soundtrack was a great relief. It takes the traditional sounds of South American music and makes them sound modern. Occasionally minimalist, occasionally wild, but always very polished and haunting. Don't go to South America without it."
Gustavo did it again!
Antonio Cunha Silva | Stb, Portugal | 12/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I went to the Cinema to see this movie I wasn't sure if I really want to go... But then I was thrilled by this fantastic journey! And so was the soundtrack - Fabulous! After the excellent 21 Grams soundtrack this one is much better! It's quiet with subtle guitar chords! Atmospheric like the magnific landscapes! Touching! Beautiful! Great!"
The Motorcycle Diaries - Soundtrack
The Boondock Saint | Queensland, Australia | 01/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was initially impressed by the number of tracks on the CD, however on further inspection I noticed this was achieved due to the length (or lack thereof) of tracks and an appropriate "Ah Ha!" response was emitted.
To use the old addage "It's not quantity, it's quality" in this case would be an understatement.
The talent of the various artists, variety and complexity of the music, and the authenticity created an imaginitive atmosphere that had me sitting in an Argentinian (or Peruvian) bar drinking organic coffee whilst patting a llama, after a hard day spent on the back of a Norton 500. (You get the idea anyhow).
It is equally enjoyable played loudly enough to share with a city block, so you can hear it while mowing the lawn, or quietly as background music (watching someone else mow your lawn).
An excellent soundtrack, to accompany an excellent film, is money well spent."