Pistolera – El Desierto y La Ciudad
Reviewed by Sadie O., 7/20/11
“Latin-Alt Folklorico” from New York. Beautiful female vocals, real instruments. Quite a bit slower, darker and more depressed than previous releases (I guess the cover is a clue!), but there’s still a few nice cumbia rave-ups. All (but the last track) en Español. Apparently, there’s an A side (desert) and a B side (city) – it would appear that I’m a city girl…
1. 0:44 very gradual fade-in that sounds a bit backmasked. Not great for radio…
2. 4:12 *gradual fade-in to pretty acoustic guitar, wistful sounding, a bit indy-pop in the vocals. Builds to a downtempo ranchero with lots of minor key.
3. 3:30 **slow, dark, with a bluesy whammy-bar note, echo on the vocals.
4. 2:29 *starts with low storm noises, then organ chords, echo-laden vocals. very, very slow beat comes in halfway along. Depressing.
5. 3:10 ***acoustic guitar and accordion, slow, but with a nice syncopated back beat. Wistful, but in a relaxed, rootsy way. Fades to wind noises.
6. 3:10 ****finally, something midtempo and energetic! Solid norte-style rocker.
7. 3:54 *****fine midtempo swingy and strong cumbia with horn section. Nice.
8. 2:44 ****midtempo cumbia with horns, great dance syncopation.
9. 1:03 *soft, smooth jazzy, builds, but only for a bit. Leads into next track.
10. 2:47 ****fuzzy female hip hop en Español. Nice beat, and still some folklorico sounds. Lots of attitude and political fervor.
11. 3:04 ****very Lila Downs-y (that’s a good thing.) Lots of energy, midtempo.
12. 4:03 *very soft, slow, lyrics in English. Very pretty, alt-pop.