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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 March 2017
Yea Beautiful Music, varied and themed skills ... for people feeling the music, a selection for choice ... One of many good albums by Ry Cooder ... Skol,
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on 22 June 2004
Santo & Johnny had a big hit in the US in 1959 with their own composition, "Sleepwalking". It was a very pleasant, inoffensive instrumental that launched a wave of interest in latino music. "Mambo Sinuendo" is what Santo & Johnny would have put together today. It's simple, relaxing but engaging mood music, very evocative of sitting on a patio or hotel balcony in the summer sun, sipping rum and cola, reading a favourite book. It's also what you'd want on as background to making love. It's not cerebal but then it's not elevator music and, artistically, it's quite stunning. If you've been to Cuba this is what you'd listen to as reminder of your time there. Tasty.
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on 1 February 2003
Has any musician, dead or alive, appeared in a wider variety of musical settings than Ry Cooder? None comes to mind. The amazing thing about his cross-culturalism is how effectively he picks up the basic vibe of the music he's exploring while still putting his own stamp on the proceedings, all the while maintaining a deep (yet not slavish) respect as he playfully deconstructs and reassembles it.
His latest, Mambo Sinuendo, a dual project with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galabán, strikes me as the finest Cooder record to date. I've listened to this remarkable album many times, and each listen has revealed something new: Cooder's tuba-like sound on "Bodas de Oro"; the nimble acoustic bass of Orlando "Cachaíto" Lopez, always establishing the perfect rhythmic underpinning; the deep swing melded to relaxed yet intense interaction that suffuses the whole record; the tricky rhythmic shifts that relocate a piece from Latin America to the American Southwest to Hawaii. It's because Cooder has (seemingly effortlessly) acquired such a broad and deep musical vocabulary that he's able to musically jet, as it were, from country to country with such ease. This album is a must have.
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on 6 February 2003
I bought this purely on the strength of Buena Vista Social Club. It could be describes as "Lounge". Most of the tracks are instrumental, giving it a bit of a jazz feel. It is hard to clasift the sound, maybe a bit of a jazz/pop cross-over. The opening track "Dru me negrita" is beautiful it has one of the many catchy rhythms on the album. It is similar to "Buena Vista" with the addition of Coder's Slide Guitar. In fact at times, I was reminded of Brain Eno's "Deep Blue Day". This album improves at each listening, there is some great interplay between the guitarists. Lost a star as tend to skip a few tracks, as they just get a bit cheesy and are not to my taste.
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on 22 February 2004
This is something a little different, with the usual Ry Cooder style, that I will find myself listening to time and time again, and with more coming across with each visit. It is good to find some music that's imaginative whilst still being accessible and pleasing to the ear.
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on 8 February 2003
It's great to see Ry back centre stage, albeit sharing the limelight with the accomplished Manuel Galban. It might be seen as cashing in on the Buena Vista phenomenon, but there are nods here to the Hawaiian and Tex_Mex 'Chicken Skin'
excursions of years gone by. Anyway who cares if he is cashing in, Ry Cooder deserves some commercial success and he might get it with this. This is a wonderful, relaxing album with production seemingly reduced to a minimum, and all the better for it. Laid-back and sensual on the slower tracks, with a quite beautiful version of 'Secret Love', it brings to mind Hank Marvin and Duane Eddy at times ('Los Twangueros' indeed!). The up-tempo numbers, such as 'Monte Adentro' and the title track (a possible hit single!), are vibrant thanks to a great rhythm section. 'Patricia' conjures up memories of Edmundo Ros and the cha-cha section of 'Come Dancing' (in fact quite a few tracks wouldn't seem out of place there!). I can see this album appearing all-over the place in samples and background music. I defy you to listen to this and sit still or stop your feet tapping. I'm off to borrow a set of bongos so I can join in.
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on 18 September 2016
A good contender for the best sound since the dawn of creation, Ry Cooder revisits Cuba for a second time (after Buena Vista Social Club) to pair up with Manuel Galban to re-imagine, re-engineer and re-record classic 50s Cuban vibes, which at the time they were originally recorded were considered modern and futuristic (think of something like "Sleep Walk" by Santo & Johnny). This is the second copy of this album I have purchased from Amazon, this time for number one son, who loves it. Winner of "best pop instrumental" at the 46th Grammys, this album is so laid back its body language has subtitles. It's a bit like meditation, it definitely gets you in the zone. Thank God he never joined the Stones, this guy has a unique musical voice and is a legend. You may recognize the writing of Perez Prado, or you may notice the old classic of "once I had a secret love", but the thing that will overwhelm you is the stunning, mindblowingly brilliant musicianship and the amazing complex contra-rhythms of Cuba. Boy, would I like to win a trip there! Full marks or fail the rest of the class, I think this is Ry Cooder's greatest acheivement, his biggest contribution to World Culture and one of my top ten albums of all time, it might even make it to the desert island with me, simply awesome.
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on 8 January 2016
Rediscovering this a little at the moment, as like many other reviewers I was somewhat disappointed on initial listens.

It is very much an easy listening, almost Muzak album of Cuban and Tex-Mex style choons, lots of mid-spice rhythms and laid back riffs. Very summery, very disposable really. Best of the bunch are the early, fifties diner and Perdita style twang tracks, and the upbeat but over too quickly title track.

Agree with a number of reviewers that the sound quality is - strange, with rising and falling levels and a strange way of processing the guitars into a fuzzy backdrop.

Not Cooder's best, but still quite likeable if like me, you're sipping cheap wine in front of a fake fire on a cold and rainy night.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2008
Put on the obscenely patterned hawiian shirt, pour a margarita (or at least an ice cold beer), find a warm place to sit/lie/flop put on the shades and chill. As the man said ..the return of Santo and Johnny - Turbo version. If you don't like this record you must be dead or at least be on very strong medication. I'll say one word .... and that word is TWANG!

Now slam the CD on, throw us a lime and Tequilla and I'm gone. Solid gone.Good price by the way.

I commend this CD to the house.
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on 12 July 2003
Slide guitar virtuouso, singer-songwriter and all-round good bloke Ry Cooder has enjoyed a real renaissance in the last few years thanks largely to his groundbreaking work in bringing the music of Cuba to the western world in general - and a previously hostile United States in particular - following the success of his phenomenal Buena Vista Social Club project. Take a bunch of brilliant but ageing musicians, put them in a recording studio for the first time, sit back and watch the money roll in .... well, that's the cynical way of looking at it, but the art they gifted the world is truly breath-taking and I strongly recommend anyone check out the albums by these guys and also the movie of the same name if you want the true flavour of Cuba. This, on the other hand, is a bit of a disappointment. Cooder has obviously hanging out in Havana, smoking too many cigars (or maybe something else) as this is SO laid back it's falling over. There's nothing inherently wrong with the album, it's just a bit ponderous and compared to some of the great man's earlier output it seems like he's stuck in low gear throughout when you really want him to put his foot to the floor. It's a nice Sunday morning record, especially on a sunny day when the birds are singing and you just wanna chill for a bit ... but here's hoping the next one is altogether hotter.
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