Album Review

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done [coll] – [Winter & Winter]

Thurston Hunger   11/11/2012   CD, Soundtrack

So I bought this in early 2010, but thought I’d wait to review
it till I saw the movie. That took awhile, then I thought I’d
wait till I understood the movie…still working on that. My
latest guess is that while sometimes Hollywood makes films
that are inside jokes, this is Werner Herzog making a “inside
tragedy.” That being said, something about these pieces, even
the ones not composed by my hero Ernst Reijseger, sure do
summon some emotions. The bluesy ice-cream truck of “I’m
Born to Preach the Gospel” freezes my soul in the way that
it ignited Michael Shannon’s character. After that the
wailing of Sengalese singer Mola Sylla fills a grey sky with
tears. Is that good ol’ “Gunga” whipping around a tube to get
those hollowed out whistles, or is that Reijseger bowing
at the extreme of his cello? The next track is definitely
Ernst gulping arpeggios. Next up Sandip Bhattacharya in
what for some reason sounds to my neophyte ears like a
morning raga over some dour chamber music passages. It
feels oddly like being pulled in two directions, and then
launches a series of tracking numbers that lack the lifting
and lilting hope of Bhattacharya’s voice. Very tense until
the cocktail piano of “Mechanical Pianist.” More vocal
Sylla-gisms over a minimal Glass-like melody in “Heaven
on Earth” and then “Eyes of the World.” Also two corridas
con pistolas growled, spoken and sung by Chavela Vargas,
“Gabino Barrera” could almost be the sort of Cobra Verde it
seems??? Viva Herzog! Viva Ernst! Viva their collaborations!

-Thurston Hunger

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