13 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After decades of playing in bands and producing countless acclaimed Latin rock acts, Gustavo Santaolalla is best known these days as an Oscar-winning composer and the leader of Bajofondo. This second act was launched inadvertently after he released Ronroco in 1998—its track "Iguazu" was used at a pivotal moment in the 1999 film The Insider. Here, he follows that folkloric instrumental gem with another that again includes the ronroco but also a variety of guitars, stringed instruments, and light percussion. On this quiet and almost spiritual effort, the songs are short and varied, with plenty of lingering melody. “Alma” kicks things off with a plaintive melody and subtle ambient backing. The tempo picks up and becomes denser on the aptly named “Vamos” and “Cordon de Plata,” with arrangements that sound like his richly textured film work. Santaolalla also offers whispers of minimalism here on tunes like the spare “Requiem,” as well as the dissonant “The Maze.” “Seguir” comes near the end as the album’s pop tune, seemingly showing another of the endless possibilities that Santaolalla sees.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After decades of playing in bands and producing countless acclaimed Latin rock acts, Gustavo Santaolalla is best known these days as an Oscar-winning composer and the leader of Bajofondo. This second act was launched inadvertently after he released Ronroco in 1998—its track "Iguazu" was used at a pivotal moment in the 1999 film The Insider. Here, he follows that folkloric instrumental gem with another that again includes the ronroco but also a variety of guitars, stringed instruments, and light percussion. On this quiet and almost spiritual effort, the songs are short and varied, with plenty of lingering melody. “Alma” kicks things off with a plaintive melody and subtle ambient backing. The tempo picks up and becomes denser on the aptly named “Vamos” and “Cordon de Plata,” with arrangements that sound like his richly textured film work. Santaolalla also offers whispers of minimalism here on tunes like the spare “Requiem,” as well as the dissonant “The Maze.” “Seguir” comes near the end as the album’s pop tune, seemingly showing another of the endless possibilities that Santaolalla sees.

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