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Audio CD, July 3, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 3, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada World
  • ASIN: B00005LNE0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,456 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mi Corazon Me Recuerda
2. El Feo
3. Sale Sobrando
4. Corazoncito Tirano
5. La Nina
6. Hanal Weech
7. Medley: Pastures Of Plenty/This Land Is Your Land/Land
8. La Linea
9. El Bracero Fracasado
10. Transito
11. Smoke (Acteal)
12. La Martiniana
13. Soy Pescador
14. La Llorona
15. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Singer-songwriter Lila Downs uses these 15 compositions (both originals and covers) to explore the joys and sorrows experienced by Mexican immigrants who cross the border for a better life only to experience exploitation and racism in this country. A child of a Mixtec Indian mother and Anglo-American father, the talented Downs brings in a fresh perspective from two cultural worlds. She imbues the Mexican cumbia style--which is itself a variation on a Colombian form of dance music integrating Latin, Native American, and African styles--with blues, jazz, and even a little hip-hop as pre-Colombian and Mexican percussion nestles comfortably with strings and electric guitar, piano, and bass. Lila Downs is a wide-ranging singer who passionately expresses her melancholic subject matter without lapsing into melodrama, and with this album she crosses musical borders of her own. --Bryan Reesman

Customer Reviews

In all cases, Lila's able to capture the emotion of the lyrics and music.
Daniel J. Hamlow
The melange of styles of music range from Mex-Tex, Carribean, Cuban, and definitely Mexican with modern worldly influences.
Armando M. Mesa
Easily my favorite CD from the summer of 2001, this is one of those that can be played over and over.
Enrique Torres

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on November 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
OK, folks, listen up! It's been a few hours since I went to see Lila (pron. Lee-la) Downs in concert at San Juan College. Yes, in Farmington, NM(!), and the two months I've waited since I bought the ticket was worth it! Most of the songs was taken from La Linea (The Border), which thematically describes the immigrant experience of Mexicans into the US, and is dedicated to those who were killed trying to enter. I will admit, with the audio footage during the performance of migrant workers and women enslaved in the maquiladoras, I felt my leftist stirrings bubbling. She clearly came with an agenda, but using the language of music to entertain but also educate, standing on a stage and not wagging her finger on a soapbox. Here are the highlights.
"Sale Sobrando" (Good For Nothing) is a song about the indigenous experience, from the time of Cortes to the massacre in Chiapas, and the racism encountered: "your face is dark but you want to be white/but you really like your taco and tortillas." The title is explained in the last three lines: "Tourists and foreigners come here in vain/what do they worry for-human rights?/if justice here is good for nothing?"
She puts in her husky Billie Holliday-like emotion in Cuco Sanchez's "Corazoncito Tirano" (Little Tyrant Heart), whose instrumentation veers towards country. She asks, "whose mouth is erasing/the kisses I gave you, little tyrant heart?"
The mid-paced ballad "La Nina" (The Girl) is dedicated to the women workers, and tells the psychologically debilitating effects of a maquiladora worker, who only gets Sundays off. The song ends on a positive note of hope, that someday, those days will be over: "one day you will be equal to everyone.
Read more ›
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on September 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Add a star to this superb collection of songs, it's that good! The CD is organized around the theme of Mexican immigration from south of the border by people seeking a better life. Lila Downs is probably the best artist out there you may not have heard of. She sings a variety of styles and could be a giant in any genre if she chose. Instead she defies classifiation and tantalizes in various styles. If you've heard her distinct voice you'll never forget her. Without a doubt this is her finest release to date. Her vocal range is fantastic and defies the norm for "divas." This is also her most accessible CD with several songs in English. Easily my favorite CD from the summer of 2001, this is one of those that can be played over and over. Lila's voice flows seemingly effortlessly from husky baritone to soaring tenor into soprano with a range that is operatic reaching notes off the scale. Her voice is heartfelt and full of emotion that touches the listener and captivates one's soul. One of the highlights from this CD is the "Medley:Pastures of plenty/This land is your land," with Lila asking questions and posturing in defiance of a more traditonal arrangement of the Woody Guthrie classic. Lila's voice is unforgetable and strikes chords deep within one's soul. The themes chosen are a perfect avenue for her voice which wails with conviction and passion, sometimes playful but always serious. There are no personal faves, the whole CD is a conceptual masterpiece that supercedes individual songs. Each song has a unique quality that is befitting of a fave. The musicians chosen to be around her are all excellent and hail from different parts of the globe adding worldly textures to this masterpiece.Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill B Carlsen on July 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Listening to this CD is like watching a good movie or reading a good book. Every time it plays I am touched on a different level, hear something new, or put two previous images together for a brand new "ah hah! oh wow!" experience.
The musuical arrangements are well crafted, from lush to stark, as the lyrics appropriate. And the lyrics! Alone they would touch your heart with emotion and provoke thought. Likewise, the voice of Ms. Downs pierces your senses without needing to know what the words mean. She goes places and utilizes her voice like I have never heard before.
The songs are in Spanish, English, and in Indigenous Mexican dialects. To guide you through, the booklet includes bilingual translations of all the material (*some of the English lyrics do lack Spanish translation, though). And the booklet itself is so beautifully put together it seems to me to be as important a part of the album as the music. Almost every time I play this CD I end up with the booklet in my hands, studying the translations, following along in the Spanish and absorbing the art of the background art. I plan to buy a dozen more to give away to special people I know.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Armando M. Mesa on September 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Lila Downs is a very rare and gifted songstress that treads where many other artists may be afraid to go ! By that I mean this vocally gifted singer and songwriter combines the best of a lot of different worlds both musically and culturally. This Freida Kahlo (female Mexican painter) look- a-like remains true to her roots and ethnicity while bringing a new world music flavor to this potpourri of tracks. Born of a Caucasian American father and Mexican Indian mother she is able to maintain a rich balance musically on both sides of the border. She sings about the trials and tribulations of Mexican immigrants without slamming the country she was born in (United States).In fact, Border/La Linea could be the international immigrant anthem album for all races of the world...
Her voice is best described as silky, yet throaty, deep and rich in vocal range with a hint of female torch jazz singer quality! The melange of styles of music range from Mex-Tex, Carribean, Cuban, and definitely Mexican with modern worldly influences. The music maintains a certain pure and organic sound while touching on a hint of jazz, pop, and yes classical (the trained musical ear will know what I'm talking about) ! Each song is a story with heart and meaning but without turning into a campy or preachy homily. This artist's latest project is what Linda Ronstadt's Canciones de mi Padre did for the late 80's in the music world (though I will give Lila Downs a much higher rating for being genuine, natural, and innovative) !...This Lila Downs project is a definite find and keeper !
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