Robert Ealey is no spring chicken. After singing in local Texas bands for years, he finally started recording in the '90s – I Like Music When I Party was the fourth album he cut after starting his recording career. Like the others, it's a greasy colleciton of Texas blues, spiked with a bit of soul. Ealey's voice may be gravelly with age, but it's by no means gone, and with the support of his youthful backing band, he can really bring it home. There's nothing deep here – just party music, played good and simple. Sometimes, that's enough.
Since The Big Chill, too often directors and film producers have taken the easy way out in creating soundtracks for their big-budget Hollywood movies by licensing a couple handfuls of hits either from the catalog of yesteryear's pop giants or from hungry up-and-comers. It's a formula almost. Thankfully there are still film scores, though they all seem to be written by the same five men. Both of these poles sees to lie in stark contrast to Robert Rodriguez's approach to creating an audio environment both to accompany and stand apart from his films. On Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Rodriquez took matters into his own hands and procured a series of rather obscure existing tracks that viscerally underscore defined themes in his movie – such as Juno Reactor's "Pistolero," Brian Setzer's ass-kicking "Malagueña," and Manu Chao's "Me Gustas Tu." He also commissioned several tracks to actors and wrote others for his players. Thus Tito Larriva's haunting "Flor de Mal," or Johnny Depp and friends under the moniker Tonto's Giant Nuts offer "Sands Theme," while Rubén Blades and Antonio Banderas helped to flesh out their own character's themes musically as well as dramatically.