Not a Proper Introduction to Los Lobos
Rodney Underhill | San Diego, CA USA | 12/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Los Lobos contributions to this CD are noteworthy, but if you have been curious about Los Lobos, this is not the place to start. For your first Los Lobos CD, pick up Kiko, which is this East LA band's Sgt. Pepper. Interestingly enough, this CD *is* a good introduction to the band Tito & Tarantula. Another "latin" rock band, Tito & Tarantula are excellent and deserve a far bigger fan base than they currently have. If you are fully stocked on all the Los Lobos albums, this is a worthy but minor addition to your collection and Dire Strait's "Six Blade Knife" is a pleasant curio to have on this CD. If you are a major fan of the motion picture, then the sound track makes a very good memento. But if such is not the case, and you are interested in this because you are either a giant fan of Los Lobos OR curious about Los Lobos, then pick up a Los Lobos CD that you don't have or Cesar Rosas's solo album, Soul Disguise. If you have all the Los Lobos CDs and Cesar's solo CD, then while this CD won't be blowing you away like Kiko did the first time you heard it, it will provide a pleasant enough of a diversion. Soul Disguise"
Music may not make a movie, but it sure as hell helps.
Armando N. Roman | Hillsboro, OR | 07/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Desperado...the best action movie I've seen in my life. It had it all. Great characters, intense action scenes, a simple but rewarding plot, and of course, a flawless soundtrack. Most of the time when someone buys a soundtrack, they go on about how great it is...for a few weeks. And almost never listen to it again. That's not the case here. Sometimes, I'd watch the movie just to hear the music used in it. It's that good. Heck, even when it's shown on tv, I'll watch it for a quick fix for the music. Even if it's just the opening credits bit. Simply put, Robert Rodriguez out did himself with the movie, and the music. There's not a bad track on here. But there is one minor gripe- not all of the tracks from the movie are on the album. And one of them is a slower version of what's shown in the movie.
We start things out with Cancion Del Mariachi, one of my all-time favorite songs. It's sung by Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos. Antonio, surprisingly, does play the guitar bit on this track. He's a great musician as well as a great actor, and it's great that he contributed to the movie in more ways than just an actor. The song's about the mariachi life, check out the lyrics which are translated all over different sites. It's a short song, but it doesn't lose a bit of energy once. Six Blade Knife is the track that plays when Buscemi enters the bar and starts telling everyone about El and how he took out another bar single-handed. I like the bass riff here- it's simple, but captures the bar's lax (but tense) tone perfectly. The song's great too. Up next is Jack the Ripper, yet another one of the best tracks on the album. It's performed by Link Wray and His Ray Men, a band I'll definitely be checking out in the future. I'm telling you, the gritty guitar riff, quick bass and fast paced drums here make the bar shootout flashback scene what it is. When that guitar kicks in with the first chord, you know you're in for something. Manifold De Amour is the track that plays when El prepares in the morning. It has an almost depressing cello being plucked while a quiet violin plays in the back. Then it transitions into, well, I don't know how to describe how they sing the lyrics. It's not quite blues-ish, but not exactly upbeat either. It's still a good track. Unique to say the least. Forever Night Shade Mary, I honestly don't remember this being in the movie at all. Right now, I'm remembering every scene in the movie, and this track (which is playing this very moment) isn't ringing any bells. It has a very street tone to it, something you'd hear a street performer playing on the corner or in the marketplace. It's a good track, but doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the songs on the album. On Pass The Hatchet, we get Quentin's theme when he enters the bar with his goofy-looking friend. This one really gets your foot tapping along with the beat. Very catchy.
Bar Fight...I think we all know which track this is. If not, then you don't get what "bar fight" means, and shouldn't have anything to do with Desperado in any form. Full of energy, bar fight, once again, helped make the scene. It's good to have this on the soundtrack especially. I know a lot of people who watched the scene and were in awe over all the action that was going on, but didn't pay attention to the track. It's nice and loud in every way here (each instrument can be heard). I love Strange Face Of Love. When El starts walking away from the bar he just took out and Tavo's right behind him with two guns held out in front of him, this is what we hear. Just for added fun, remember Carolina walking down the street, causing an immediate car wreck with how great she looks, and one of the guys in the wreck seemingly not caring about what just happened. This one has a very classic-rock feel to it, and I should point out that this is by Tito & Tarantula, Tito Larriva's band. He's the guy who plays Tavo, and the cab driver in Once Upon A Time In Mexico...and the leader of the band in From Dusk Till Dawn. As you can tell, the guy's a great musician. Again, I'll be getting Tito & Tarantula's albums soon. I really like Bucho's Gracias/Navajas Attacks. It starts out sad and moving, with a slight bit of hope, and we hear the dialogue between El and Buscemi right before Buscemi is mercilessly killed. You gotta love the whistle going on as the track plays. Right after it's done, it goes straight to the music playing as Navajas attacks El and Bucho's men. This is a pretty angry track, full of heavy drums and powerful guitar notes (not to mention a nice solo). Bulletproof starts out somewhat strange. It's a bass (or even guitar) riff that has acoustics fading in along with chimes before getting into the more emotional part of the track. It threw me off slightly, but it was just a nice surprise in there. Bella by Santana...it's what we hear when El and Carolina are intimate. I'll leave it at that, though it's a beautiful guitar piece by classic Santana. No Matchbox 20 here bucko. QUEDATE AQUI IS ON HERE, SUNG BY SALMA HAYEK. God she sounds so sexy on this (more than usual). It still gives me goosebumps to hear it. This is the full, uninterrupted version, so no worries about there being anything other than her voice on the track. Up next is Rooftop Battle, another great on the soundtrack. This is the sped down version of a track I mentioned earlier. On the commentary for Desperado, Robert Rodriguez himself says that the one used in the movie is sped up a little bit to make it more exciting. I wish they would've had that one on here instead just to make things more authentic/as we heard them in the movie. It's still a cool bit of music, and you gotta love El going "you look great" to Carolina.
In the last few tracks, we get some of the more emotionally driven bits. Phone Call is very touching, and I always have this one set on repeat. Listen to this one when you're by yourself waiting for someone, or just driving through a barren area. White Train is it. "Campa...is Quino there?" is what we first hear, and you should all know this bit of music, as it leads to one of the most memorable scenes in movie history. It has 2 different bits of music playing at first- one for each group. El, Campa and Quino. El has a nice melodic acoustic bit, Campa and Quino have their rock bit, and it's all mixed together. It slows down to a quick acoustic riff with El going "Let's play". And then it's all business. This track is flawless except just a personal wish of mine- it would've been nice of the acoustic bit playing by the boy in yellow were on here. His riff kind of set everything up- giving the guys a brief calm minute before everything kicked into high gear. And of course, is the sad bit when Campa and Quino meet their demise. Tito & Tarantula perform this track as well as the next one: Back to the House that Love Built. "Carolina, did I thank you?" "No." "...I will". This track plays when El enters Cheech's bar in the beginning, and after he leaves the hospital at the end. The acoustic guitar here is wonderful, as is Tito's voice. Let Love Rain, by Los Lobos, is a pretty angry track, and I love it. It's another great intro to the band. And finally, we end everything with Mariachi Suite. Another slow and moving track, perfect for the ending credits, knowing that it's all over for now. It speeds up in the middle, and almost re-leads into Jack the Ripper (same gritty tone).
There we go. I know I kind of went into how much I like the movie more than the actual soundtrack and what instruments are on each track, but I mean, c'mon. If you've seen the movie, you know how good the music is already."