- Bacilos - "Sangre Americana"
- Obie Bermudez - "4:30 AM"
- Yemaya - "En America"
- Johnny Ventura / Willy Chirino - "Alla Se Quedo"
- Nino Bravo - "America, America"
- Ramon Ayala - "Ahi Viene La Migra"
- Alvaro Torres w/Barrio Boyz - "Reencuentro"
- Los Terribles del Norte - "El Emigrante"
- Banda Gorda w/Sergio Vargas - "Yo No Te Olvido"
- Pablo Milanes - "Exido"
- Kumbia Kings - "Mi Gente"
- Andy Andy, Aventura, Carlos Ponce, Ivy Queen, Kalimba, La Autoridad de la Sierra, Olga Tanon, Rayito, Voz a Voz, Wyclef Jean - "Nuestro Himno"
- Andy Andy, Aventura, Carlos Ponce, Ivy Queen, Kalimba, La Autoridad de la Sierra, Olga Tanon, Rayito, Voz a Voz, Wyclef Jean - "Nuestro Himno" (Remix)
- "Nuestro Himno" (Instrumental)
The Immigrant Experience
Each of the songs on this album deal with some form of the immigrant experience. Starting off with two pop tracks that have gotten lots of airplay: Bacilos' "Sangre Americana" (American Blood)from his Silverguenza album and Obie Bermudez' "4:30 AM", the album moves to a little salsa with Dominican merengue legend Johnny Ventura and Cuban Willie Chirino grooving through a great version of "Alla Se Quedo".
Nino Bravo's "America, America" has an anthem sound all its own and Dominican La Banda Gorda merengues through "Yo Ne Te Olvido".
Next, tejano and norteno bands are represented with Ramon Ayala, Los Terribles del Norte, the Barrio Boyz and Los Kumbia Kings taking their turn at the nationalistic plate.
Finally, a change of pace with Cuban singer / guitar player Pablo Milanes performing a beautiful version of "Exodo".
Of course the culmination of the album is "Nuestro Himno", with an all-star cast and three different versions back-to-back.
I have to admit that I was surprised hearing "Nuestro Himno" for the first time. It sounds like the national anthem. It has the solemn bearing of the national anthem. It's actually a much lovelier version than some I've heard sung on television preceeding ball games. So - what's all the fuss about? Oh wait - it's not in English.
So I looked up the lyrics. And again, what's all the fuss about? They're respectful. They're pretty darned close to the original (and easier to understand). In fact, the only controversial lines I could see are the two asides "(My people keep fighting)" and "(Now is the time to break the chains)". But all in all, in the context of the battle raging during the time that the anthem was written, I don't think Francis Scott Key would object.
After hearing the album, I have to ask the question: would I spend the $10 again?
While there are really no bad tracks on the album, they're not necessarily the best work of any of the great artists that perform on it. As pure music. I'd rather spend more and get Willie Chirino's Cubanisimo or Los Kumbia Kings Live album.
But as a souvenir of one of our country's great (and ongoing) debates, it's worth it.