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Nothing But the Truth

Ruben BladesAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $17.36 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2009 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2007 $17.36  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Hit 5:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Can't Say 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Hopes On Hold 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Miranda Syndrome 4:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Letters To The Vatican 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Calm Before The Storm 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. In Salvador 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Letter 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Chameleons 5:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Ollie's Doo-Wop 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Shamed Into Love 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • ASIN: B000V1MMJ0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Reuben Blades is one of the most successful vocalists in the history of Panamanian music. He has often been referred to as the 'Latin Bruce Springsteen'. Nothing But The Truth is one of his rare English speaking albums and features songs written by Elvis Costello, Lou Reed and Sting. It was originally issued on 1988 on Elektra Records and reached # 156 on the Billboard charts. Wounded Bird. 2007.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the best ... February 8, 2008
Format:Audio CD
First appearing in the late 80s, this album still represents one of the best 'crossover' works ever produced. Apparently not liked by the man behind the music, it features a number of collaborations with the likes of Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Sting. The colours and images are vivid and the 'translated' Spanish sometimes jars, but gets the points across, often contrasting humour and horror in the same songs.

I'm delighted the record's been re-released - and you should be too, since it brings back to life some of the most meaningful and powerful music we've heard. It's not the Ruben Blades of Pedro Navaja or even the more mellow campaigner of Tiempos, but someone comfortable with a range of styles. Highlights are the opener, The Hit, In Salvador and the joyfully surreal Miranda Syndrome, which I guess few Costello fans will have heard.

It's a pity that Blades isn't more recognised in the UK (where we are), and perhaps another journey into English lyrics might just make that breakthrough. On the strength of Nothing But The Truth, he's capable of reaching the heights.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In Restrospect It's Quite Good January 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ruben Blades is on record as not liking this album. I know that he tries to stay ahead of the commercial curve and exerts considerable effort towards staying true to his Panamanian and Latin roots. There were people who thought this project was a sell out.

It wasn't. Overall the things that work on this record far outshine the shortcomings. Although mostly sung in English, this record's idealistically charged political and personal songs work even better now than they did in 1988. "Chameleons" (Cameleones) is a simply terrific song, and yes, the background singers (including James Ingram) sound absolutely terrific on it. "Ollie's Doo-Wop" is a hilarious and rascally terrific send-up of Reagan-era meddling in Latin America. The Lou Reed collaborations are gritty and the Elvis Costello collaborations are lightheartedly serious. Even the reggae-beated political anthem "In Salvador" isn't all THAT bad.....sort of.

I do not think that Ruben lost much street-cred with this project, although I know that could be a minority position. He stretches out on this thing, which is what an artist is supposed to do. There is still something to be said for the production of uncompromised and uncompromising Latin American music sung in English.

I really do hope that some American kid in the U.S. Heartland listens to this music and takes the time to understand what true Pan-Americanism can sound like. There are very few projects of this nature anywhere and far fewer than need or ought be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grossly underrated February 20, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Around the time Ruben Blades was living in New York and was in the cover of many magazines this crossover effort was launched and very few noticed. You had to be bilingual and bi-cultural to catch the nuances of the lyrics, since they sounded foreign to Latins who did not speak English, and foreign to Anglos who were not aware of Latin American politics and history. It is a great album. All the songs have a hook, both aural and lyrical. I particularly liked The Hit; Letter to the Vatican, and The Miranda Syndrome. The production is superb, on par with any production of Lou Reed or Elvis Costello discs. I highly recommend it. I found it ironic that the disc flopped along the same fault lines predicted by Ruben's movie Crossover Dreams. A few years after the disc came out Ruben went back to Panama and began an experiment with intellectual salsa, collaborating with classical music ensembles and introducing new instruments, like Scottish bagpipes. The results were interesting; like watching a circumcision or a knee operation, but not satisfying. I miss his days as a hard core salsa singer. He should go back to his roots and to the basics. His forays into new sounds should allow him to truly bring new blood into the traditional salsa sound. For now, if you want to know about this disc, buy it. It's absolutely great.
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