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Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Music by Alberto Iglesias
Varese Sarabande VSD 6929 (EU)
21 Tracks 58:23 mins

Steven Soderbergh's portrait of the legendary Argentinian revolutionary came in at some four-and-a-half hours and so the powers that be have deemed it should be released in two parts. Part one is in cinemas now, with the second part to follow next month.
The film stars Benicio del Toro in the title role and Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias was selected for the score. Now, I must admit to not being at all familiar with his work, although he has been quite prolific in his homeland and is now receiving international acclaim for his work on the likes of The Constant Gardener and The Kite Runner.
I can only assume that the soundtrack album features highlights of Igelsias' score for both parts of Che, the disc opening with the rather spare guitar track "Ese Hombre es el Che Guevara." The ominous "Ten Years Earlier" follows and then the often tense and somewhat threatening "Sierra Maestra," which in turn is followed by the desolate "Landscape;" a mood continued in "I Want to take the Revolution to Latin America." More desolation follows in "New York, December 1964," then more tension in "Across Mount Turquino."
After all this pretty uninteresting music, the purposeful "March" at last brings something worth listening to, though even this is given in fits and starts. Regrettably, there's little of interest to follow, save for the rhythmic "Camino a la Habana," which is quite stirring.
Ordinarily I would be critical of the two songs, by Mercedes Sosa and Silvio Rodriguez that round off the album, but at least they provide some melody after the largely unmelodious and frankly boring score tracks that precede it. On the evidence of his music for Che, I certainly won't be rushing out to listen to more of the composer's work.


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