Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Music
cover art

Various Artists

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Motion Picture Soundtrack

(Telarc; US: 12 Aug 2008; UK: 12 Aug 2008)

Location has always played a huge role in Woody Allen’s films, and nine out of ten times it’s been Manhattan. With Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the 72-year-old director took an unlikely detour to Spain and came back with his freshest film in years. Gone is the hyperkinetic ragtime-tinged jazz that scored classics Sleeper and Bananas. In its place we have an inspired compilation of Spanish guitar music, “reflecting the feeling of Spain or certainly Barcelona as I’ve portrayed it,” Allen writes.


Only two tracks feature vocals—“Barcelona” and “La Ley Del Retiro”, both by Giulia y los Tellari—and they are fabulous. The former becomes a sort of quirky theme song that builds to the most irresistible climax of wah-wah harmonica and Spanish chanting. Like the film, it captures both humor and sexuality. The latter is a sultry, instrumentally dense waltz that perfectly soundtracks the film’s most intense love scene. I don’t know Spanish, but the singer’s raspy moans are evocative enough. The rest of the album explores the gorgeously intimate flamenco solos that moved Rebecca Hall’s character in the film (“Granada”, “El Noi De La Mare”), as well as the bouncier Mexican jams that so richly captured this uniquely Spanish ambiance. That said, this soundtrack flows so freely on its own merit—seeing the film is no prerequisite.

Rating:

Zach Schonfeld is an associate editor for PopMatters and a reporter for Newsweek. Previously, he was an editorial fellow at The Atlantic Wire and graduated from Wesleyan University, birthplace of Das Racist, MGMT, and the nineteenth-century respiration calorimeter, where he served as the editor of Wesleying, a popular student-life blog. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting presidential birthplaces and teaching his dog to tweet. In addition to PopMatters, his writing has appeared online at Rolling Stone, TIME, Consequence of Sound, The Nation, USA Today College, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. He can be reached at zschonfeld(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @zzzzaaaacccchhh.


Media
Giulia y Los Tellarini - Barcelona
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.