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Five Spanish Songs

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 25, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Dan Bejar writes: It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that's about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I've been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affairs, his strange words, his melodies that have always felt so natural (this is important), his bitter songs about painting the light. Something about them, I knew I could do it...

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Maria de las nieves
  2. Del monton
  3. El rito
  4. Babieca
  5. Bye bye


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 25, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00FLDG55A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,298 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm glad my favorite modern songwriter (whom I'm going to see live this friday) has decided to record an album of songs in Spanish, but I'm boggled by how uninspired the EP sounds. First of all, to nitpick, he didn't include one of my favorite, and one of the best, Sr. Chinarro tracks, Solo Shakespeare. Secondly, Bejar's true hermano in Spain is Nacho Vegas, one of the great indie songwriters in the world, almost a Spanish Dylan, from whom Bejar could put together a full box set of covers. Third, the last song is the cheesy 'Bye Bye', and I know whenever I put the disc in, I have to finish with that.

Most importantly, in terms of criticism, not a lot has been added to the original tracks, if anything. He brought some exposure to a good songwriter from Spain, but there is not much else to recommend that someone buy this album over the originals, which are mostly pretty good.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fans of Dan Bejar/Destroyer will find this a must for their collections. In fact, any fan of indie-rock that combines idiosyncratic lyrics and layered electric/acoustic guitars needs to listen to this collection of songs.

The language used in this record is Spanish, but it goes well, weeeeeeell beyond your SPAN 101 classes. So, unless you have had a Ph.D in Spanish Literature, I don't think you will fully understand what is going on here. Lyrics and music were exquisitely composed by Antonio Luque, the driving force behind Sevillian rock band Sr. Chinarro. Obscure poetry in "Bye Bye" reaches heartbreaking proportions, while "Babieca" is the best song you will ever hear about legendary Castilian medieval champion "El Cid", main character of the first ever Spanish epic poem (Babieca is the name of El Cid's horse, but also means "stupid" in Spanish).

Destroyer does an outstanding job re-interpreting Sr. Chinarro's songs. They are not mere copies of the originals. The instrumentation is either richer or more sparse that in the originals. "Babieca" uses congas to create a fast pulse to what originally was a mid-tempo that reflected a dream-like state. The results are amazing in this cover. "Del Montón", a flamenco infused original, becomes a warm electro-acoustic effort aided by light rattling percussion. The biggest change takes place in "El Rito", which goes from being a "sevillana" inspired rock to a glam hymn filled with electric guitars and female backing vocals.

Overall, a truly marvelous effort from one of the strongest musicians currently writing in pop-rock music. The only problem is that 5 songs are just too few. We can only hope that Dan Bejar goes back to Sr. Chinarro/Antonio Luque songbook for more songs. Oh, and Bejar pronunciation in Spanish is truly remarkable.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The songs don't mesh well. Sadly modern musicians have little idea how to maintain continuity between more than a couple of songs.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't speak Spanish, but I still enjoyed this record. Dan's voice is still as distinctive as ever, and the delivery of the lines is so good that you wonder if sometimes contemplating the words doesn't get in the way-at least sometimes.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Great cover album
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