Babel [Original Soundtrack]

Babel [Original Soundtrack]

by Gustavo Santaolalla

CD(Slip Sleeve)

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The soundtrack to Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's film Babel -- which takes place on two continents and in three countries -- is a whopping double disc of cues with original score cuts by the venerable -- and prolific -- Gustavo Santaolalla, with other material including beautiful folk songs by Chavela Vargas, ambient cuts by David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto, original compositions by the great oud master Hamza el Din, urban/soul/funk by Earth, Wind & Fire, house music by Fatboy Slim, Japanese pop by Susumu Yokata, and Mexican popular music by Los Tucanes de Tijuana, El Chapo, Nortec Collective, and others -- a truly international mixed bag. This said, other than the tune by Hamza, it was left to Santaolalla to capture many of the other Moroccan moods and themes in his cues -- he did a tremendous job. But this is also where the problem lies. These two discs are such a sprawling mass with moods and textures that compete and clash, without the storyline to tie them together, that they don't always work as a stand-alone soundtrack. Some will have no trouble with great leaps in style over two discs, and for the engaged listener, Babel's soundtrack is a true delight. A case must be made, however, for a separate recording of Santaolalla's haunting and deeply moving score, accomplished with a minimum of instrumentation, immediate and intimate production, and plenty of space. This takes nothing away from the rest of the music here; it's just that the original score comprises 19 different cues in a total of 36 and deserves to be heard as a complete piece. If there's any doubt, try recording his own cuts to your iPod and hearing the result for yourself. For those who have seen the film, it is true that this set does not carry or reflect the gut-tightening tension inherent within it -- and yes, that's a very good thing. It does serve as a pleasurable listen over one disc at a time. Cautiously recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/21/2006
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072301917
catalogNumber: 30191
Rank: 84337

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gustavo Santaolalla   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Hamza el Din   Composer
Mickey Hart   Producer
Maurice White   Composer
Tucanes de Tijuana   Producer
Eddie Curtis   Composer
Ahmet Ertegun   Composer
Anibal Kerpel   Engineer
Abdell Ghanni el Khalily   Composer
Ryuichi Sakamoto   Composer
Gustavo Santaolalla   Composer,Producer,Score
David Sylvian   Composer
Allee Willis   Composer
Shinichi Osawa   Remixing
Susumu Yokota   Composer,Producer
Fatboy Slim   Producer
Frank Domínguez   Composer
Gabriel Ramírez   Composer
Roberto Gallardo   Composer
D.A.R.   Composer
Daniel Luna   Composer
Mario Quintero Lara   Producer
Alejandro González Iñárritu   Liner Notes
Tommy February   Producer
John Baldi   Executive Producer
DJ Fumiya   Producer
Malibu Convertable   Producer
Tommy Couture   Producer

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Babel [Original Soundtrack] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BABEL will remain a remarkable achievement in filmmaking despite the fact that the Oscars practically ignored it. To place a story that connects Morocco with California with Japan with Mexico takes not only the ensemble effort of both the cast and the production crew, but it also takes a vision on the part of the director and his choices of cinematographers and musician to intertwine the scope of the film. Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has worked closely with Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla on successful films before but rarely has the challenge been so great as in BABEL. Santaolalla's intelligence and sensitivity as well as his musical creativity shine in this score for BABEL. This recording is 2 discs of music that offer the composer's own inimitable works that speak of solitude, isolation, loneliness and fear, yet it also incorporates music from Morocco - mystical and haunting - and from Tijuana that reflects the 'Norteño' music surrounding the wedding site - and from Japan where the wildest pop music of the clubs literally shakes the walls. It is a successful mélange that borrows where it can echo, mimics where it can disturb, and pulls at the heart whenever the peaks of agony arise. It is a fine achievement, well worth the awards. This is a film score that bears studying on many levels: it also is a film score that happens to be very fine listening on many levels. Grady Harp