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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

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Pedro Almodóvar
VIVA LA TRISTEZA!
Milan

By DEREK BERES

Published May 5, 2006

The subtitle—Songs I Listened To While Making Talk To Her—lets you know you’re in for a sad, brutally sad, rip-your-heart-out-and-parade-it-around-hell sad listening experience. With that, it’s simply beautiful. Giving further life to this classic 2002 cinematic monster, this unique soundtrack (not songs in, but inspiring the film) features a roster equally prolific. Shirley Horn opens with the mournful “Once I Loved,” followed by Jimmy Scott’s lounged-jazzed-smoked-out almost acappella rendering of ##@@!’s (that is, Prince’s) “Nothing Compares 2 U” (remember, Sinead wasn’t the originator). Armenian duduk player/vocalist Djivan Gasparyan shows why his work with Michael Brook hit hard on “Dark Soul,” and the recently departed Queen herself, Nina Simone, does it “My Way” (sorry Frankie, can’t touch this one). Caetano Veloso’s cover of “Cucurrucucú Paloma,” which was in Talk To Her (in fact, a live performance from the Brazilian maestro was a highlight), keeps the memory alive, and the covers keep coming via Gregory Isaacs’ rendition of “House Of The Rising Sun.”  If you haven’t seen the Spanish director’s opus, you have a DVD to rent first. If you have, grab that box of tissues and reminisce, reflect, and bask in the indescribable misery of love lost.

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