Babel (Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture)
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Director Alejandro González Iñárritu completes the disparate trilogy of interlocking fate he began with Amores Perros and 21 Grams here, offering musical collaborator Gustavo Santaolalla an even wider geographical canvas to work with. The Argentine composer/musician rises ably to the task, suffusing his fretboard meditations with a dedicated mastery of indigenous Middle Eastern string instruments and incorporating field recordings of Moroccan tribal music. Santaolalla's evocative original cues also serve as the axis for a dizzying array of world music and international pop. As the "music from and inspired by" subtitle suggests, not all of this latter music is used in the film, yet these selections contribute to a rich, pan-cultural musical tapestry that interweaves the composer's North African-rooted musings with tracks that literally range from Tijuana to Tokyo, including the brooding sonic aura of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Susumu Yolota, dollops of effusive Norteno that include Los Incomparables and Agua Caliente, the teen-pop of Takashi Fujii, and Shinichi Osawa 's smart Earth, Wind & Wire/Fatboy Slim mash-up.
Amazing film, amazing score
Babel is one of those rare movies that comes along once a year, and when you see it, it becomes part of your being. The score is no different. Throughout the film, there are many moments of quiet reflection, and the music serves as the driving force behind the narration. Imagine the most powerful film you've ever seen in your entire life, try to remember how moved and touched you were by the end of it. Now take that feeling, and increase it ten-fold. That's how incredible and powerful Babel is. Gustavo Santaolalla truly captures that power in every cue throughout the film. My only complaint is that many of the tracks on this album are a major stretch and somewhat divert the listener from the true nature of the score. I recommend the movie 10/10 and this album 9/10
Santaolalla still solid... disregard much of the others
I liked the movie, and while I think the impact of Santaolalla's music in films like 21 Grams, the Motorcycle Diaries, and Amores Perros is much stronger, this soundtrack is another notch on his belt when it comes to producing beautifully moving scores. It also shows his flexibility--while he went for a old Western feel in Brokeback Mountain, he taught himself to play the oud, an Arab lute, to get a Middle Eastern vibe for much of this score. However, I can't say I'm a huge fan of much of the other music. The material by Ryuichi Sakamoto (in particular, the unforgettablly emotional piano and strings arrangement heard going into the end credits in the movie) is also very nice, but the remainder of the soundtrack is mediocre.
This soundtrack is simply beautiful. You may be thinking that the price is rather steep, but just listen to simply the samples of this music and you will be amazed. Ryuichi Sakamoto has composed a very haunting song that helps narrate the story of the movie in Bibo No Aozora / 04. My personal favorite song on this soundtrack. Also, awesome movie. It is nominated for 7 Academy Awards including... Best Supporting Actress - Adriana Barazza Best Supporting Actress - Rinko Kikuchi Achievement in Directing - Alejandro González Iñárritu Original Screenplay Best Motion Picture Achievement in Music Achievement in Film Editing
Born: 1952 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs by Gustavo Santaolalla
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