Decca Records, 2001
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/02/2001
One of the biggest complaints I can have with a soundtrack is that the musical selections drag on for long past the point where they're welcomed. Maybe the selections also aren't that interesting, or they take a particular musical theme and bludgeon it to death by repeating it ad nauseam.
This might sound like a weird thing to say, but Silvestri's compositions have enough charm on their own, but with most clocking in at around the one to two-minute range, it often feels like an idea is being stifled before it really had time to mature into something special. It's not that these short snippets are bad; it's just that I wanted to hear more.
At times, Silvestri paints a picture of a film that could well have been a classic Western movie ("Blame Shifting," "10% Clint"), yet he keeps the flavor of the movie's theme ("Oye," "Oye, Oye," Esquivel's "El Cable"). The flow of these tracks and musical themes is as natural as a running stream, and Silvestri is able to tie these together well with even some more modern-sounding selections ("Frank's Dead," "The Mexican," "Airport").
Here's where not seeing the movie hurts my judgment of the soundtrack. With all of these wonderful mood-setting pieces, what is the purpose of including songs which, on the surface, don't feel like they belong? Maybe I need to see the film in order to understand how Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," War's "Why Can't We Be Friends," Men Without Hats's "The Safety Dance" and Dean Martin's "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" fit into the grand scheme of things. That all said, it's nice to hear some of these tracks again (namely War and Men Without Hats).
One quick side note: My vote for "Best Song Title Of The Year" - "A Good F'ing Reason". 'Nuff said.
If The Mexican is missing anything, I do wish some more of a vocal presence, as on "Oye" and "Oye, Oye," was included in this music. It might have distracted from the action on the screen, but sometimes, it feels like the music is calling for this one little addition to the mix.
Silvestri does succeed with The Mexican, even if I don't understand some song placement and I find myself wishing that he had stretched out many of these selections into some grandiose pieces. But this disc proves to be quite the entertaining listen, and is well worth your time.