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Chavez Ravine Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The guitarist's latest is a concept album about the residents of 1940's Chavez Ravine, a Mexican-American community near downtown Los Angeles that was famously bulldozed to make way for Dodger Stadium.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Chávez Ravine works because, ultimately, it isn't a history lesson or museum piece. It's the sound of musicians, now on the periphery, playing and singing the music they love.
  2. What makes the album so amazing is its ability to balance poignancy and fun.
  3. A masterwork of insight and delight.
  4. Though it might not be as rewarding a listening experience as Cooder's Cuban albums, this is still a set that demands repeated hearing, and I doubt there'll be another record as lovingly crafted as this all year.
  5. Q Magazine
    80
    A self-contained gem. [Jul 2005, p.112]
  6. Chávez Ravine never romanticizes its subject. It simply makes it seem unnatural that any place where people lived, dreamed, died, and formed a neighborhood could be made to disappear.
  7. Cooder has delivered a remarkable song cycle that tells the story -- a sort of brilliant and flavorful film-noir history lesson that samples the past freely.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. BillW
    Feb 28, 2007
    10
    Cooder does not disappoint.....great music and a great story.....one of the best "unknown" guitar composer and picker going
  2. TasoV
    Sep 5, 2005
    10
    One of the best albums of the past decade. Ry shows the all skills he's acquired from a lifetime in music. In one album he's One of the best albums of the past decade. Ry shows the all skills he's acquired from a lifetime in music. In one album he's created an indispensible record of Mexican migrant culture in the 1950's with a background of mainstream American fears, prejudices and style. Atomospheric, evocative and some of the tastiest guitar in quite a while. Expand
  3. HarryN
    Jun 19, 2005
    10
    What a hilarious experience. Without any doubts, one of the best albums in many many years. Getting better and better after every listening.
  4. ArmandoGF
    Mar 26, 2006
    10
    You got to acknowledge that Mr. Cooder came home to his roots of Los Angeles. Not just for himself, but for all of us growing up here in Los You got to acknowledge that Mr. Cooder came home to his roots of Los Angeles. Not just for himself, but for all of us growing up here in Los Angeles and in the latino community. The mixture of of styles in the music is what the average latino listened to. I was not born at the time of these political crimes till 1961, I did grow up here in Los Angeles in the middle of a city with different nationalities listening to all different styles of music. Me especially because I was into music because on my mother and father. But I went further listening to Blues,Rock,Jazz,Swing,Classical,the different Latinos styles,acoustic and electric. Latinos in Los Angeles listened to all styles of music. So the mixture on the recordings for that time period is appropriate for the subject matter. I'm regular joe who grew up in Los Angeles at the end of the old and the beginning of the most ugly changes to our communities. Expand
  5. mikef
    Jun 20, 2005
    9
    Cooder is unique in being both a folklorist and a musician. Somehow he's crafted a concept album that features a story not unllike the Cooder is unique in being both a folklorist and a musician. Somehow he's crafted a concept album that features a story not unllike the Palestinians! Songs in Spanish and English, which even features Hawaiian musicians. Expand
  6. RichP
    Jul 5, 2005
    9
    I bought this on a bluesy whim. Fool. This is a wonderful album like nothing I normally listen to, and for the first time in five years, I I bought this on a bluesy whim. Fool. This is a wonderful album like nothing I normally listen to, and for the first time in five years, I feel like I have to spread the word. I normally go for miserebilia, heh, I think I have the cure, Expand
  7. DanielG
    Apr 12, 2006
    4
    I'm interested to know what this sudden interest in Chavez Ravine (the place) came from, not that this story doesn't deserve the I'm interested to know what this sudden interest in Chavez Ravine (the place) came from, not that this story doesn't deserve the attention it's getting. First the photo book published by Chronicle Books, then the play by Culture Clash and now, the album by Ry Cooder. I was impressed with the collection of talent used for the production of this album, but hugely dissappointed when I bought it and took a listen, it's an overrated album and downright obnoxious sometimes. I agree with David M, the worst tracks are his compostions. Good intentions, bad music... Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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