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Babel (Slip)
Various Artists
Babel (Slip)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #2

As its title suggests, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's film revolves around the transcultural difficulties of human communication. But the linguistic dysfunction that drives the film's characters towards cau...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Babel (Slip)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Concord Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 11/21/2006
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 888072301917

As its title suggests, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's film revolves around the transcultural difficulties of human communication. But the linguistic dysfunction that drives the film's characters towards causal connection and inevitable tragedy has paradoxically inspired just the opposite on this adventurous musical mélange of a soundtrack. The meditative, often hypnotic fretboard inventions of Iñárritu's previous soundtrack collaborator, Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla (a 2005 Oscar winner for Brokeback Mountain), serve as the restless soul of interlocking plots in the film, the final chapter of a fatalistic trilogy that also includes the Santaolalla-scored Amores Perros and 21 Grams. But on this expanded, double-disc collection, the South American composer's culture-bending film cues (including mastery of indigenous Arab stringed instruments and incorporating field recordings of Moroccan tribal music) also serve as artistic axes, reflective anchor points for a pop collection that's as ambitious and far-ranging as the film itself. While the "music from and inspired by" tag often indicates cynical record company marketing schemes, here it's an invitation to transcultural musical adventure that links Santaolalla's North African musical conjuring with the contemporary styles of Japan (the atmospherics of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Susumu Yolota, Shinichi Osawa's sly Earth, Wind & Fire/Fatboy Slim mashup, the teen pop of Takashi Fujii's "Oh My Juliet") and Tijuana (a generous sampling of effusive Norteño that includes Los Incomparables, Daniel Luna, and Agua Caliente). --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

Ryuichi and Santaolalla
Alan Gee | City of Lean, TX USA | 01/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, I bought this CD for one song only and that is Ryuichi Sakamoto's Bibo No Aozora. When I heard it on the film, I knew I was going to get the soundtrack. It's such a simple song, but the cellos are undeniable! But along with Ryuichi's song, I also fell in love with Santaolalla's Deportation (which I am sure is the main theme of the movie). I listen to that song a lot more than Bibo. Although this is not a very good review because I mainly got it for two tracks, I recommend the album for it's diversity. 'Tu Me Acostumbraste' is so beautiful. You would not be upset. Santaolalla delivers in his originals, and the diverse styles has something for everyone I am sure."
Worlds collide--harmoniously
A. Reed | Santa Cruz, CA USA | 04/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was busy and distracted the first time I listened to this music, and my first impression was Gee, I wish they'd done a better job of editing. (I confess I still feel that way about the bonus CD, but it doesn't matter. Read on.) Three days later, however, I listened again--mindfully--and GOT IT. Disc one perfectly encapsulates Babel's theme: the Global Village's seemingly diverse tribes (be they North African Tuareg or Japanese haute bourgeoisie) are, just under the surface, inextricably linked and what's more--startlingly related. As I paid attention I was captivated by the duh-obvious connections between desert tablas, Tokyo House, and Cumbia. Then fell in love with all three of those arts, none of which I'd been exposed to before seeing the movie (mainly because I'm probably old enough to be your grandmother). Now I want MORE. This CD sent me running to the 'net in search of more Celso Peña (an "overnight" hit at 48, after decades of tune crafting), more Shinichi Osawa remixes, and more Rip Slyme. The latter is a hard-to-describe but way cool Japanese DJ/tech/mod group whose name is a play on Japlish for "lips rhyme." Apart from all that, I'm also cherishing details like the perfect audio portrait of upperclass ennui ("Bibo no Aozora" by Ryuichi Sakamoto; think Phillip Glass in Japanese, but don't let that put you off), and the utterly stark beauty of Moroccan scenery ("Desert Bus Ride" by Gustavo Santaolalla, who wrote Babel's Academy Award-nominated score and whose plaintive oud may haunt you for the rest of your life. FYI, Santaolalla learned to play that traditional instrument specifically for this commission. Wow.) But the last word belongs to Babel's creator and soundtrack producer, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu: "I conceive a film as a symphony: the structure and textures are determined by the silences and spaces between them. During the entire process, I keep listening to and researching music that could be of great inspiration during the development of the script. That way, I can go forward triggering images in my mind, assimilating and filming my scenes by beats and internal rythms... I only hope that when you listen to these CDs that combine the songs of this great internal and external journey, you can also feel the distant winds and the planet caressing your skin as it spins around."
Worth it for one song alone....
Eric Harker | Vancouver, WA USA | 01/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Great soundtrack, but there is one song that I keep listening to that is "Bibo No Aozora / 04". It haunts me, and nearly brings me to tears. I really fills you up with a simple yet gorgeous piano progression and the almost menacing cellos. Just incredible!"