Casa de mi Padre

Composed By: Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the action comedy Casa de mi Padre, Will Ferrell is Armando Alvarez, a rancher who has lived on his father's ranch in Mexico his entire life.  When the ranch comes under financial difficulties, Armando's younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up with his fiancée Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) and promises to pay off the ranches debts as he has become a successful businessman.  Unfortunately, things begin to go south when Armando begins to fall for Sonia.  He soon discovers that Raul's business dealings are not exactly on the up and up and the family ends up at war with one of the most dangerous drug lords in all of Mexico.

            The Casa de mi Padre Soundtrack contains music by various artists, including Christina Aguilera, El Puma, Will Ferrell and Genesis Rodriguez, and musical score created by Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau.  Feltenstein and Nau met fourteen years ago when Feltenstein was recording some songs in the same studio in which Nau was recording a musical score.  The two hit it off immediately and decided to open their own studio in 2002.  They began working on commercials for large companies like Burger King, FedEx, BMW and Coca-Cola and eventually BudTV.  This work for BudTV would begin their working relationship with SNL writer Matt Piedmont, director of Casa de mi Padre.

            Casa de mi Padre is somewhat based on Mexican westerns of old, with melodramatic acting and music with a Mexican flare.  Thus, Feltenstein and Nau created a mixture moody, dramatic music score with an ethnic flare, featuring a philharmonic string section, period instruments (including a guitar fuzz pedal from the 60s and a vintage Vox Continental organ) and a full “Mayan Ghost” Choir.  Also included are classic rock songs sung in Spanish like Whiter Shade by El Puma and Fight for Love by Will Ferrell and Genesis Rodriguez.  They even wrote an original theme song featuring the deep, sultry vocals of Christina Aguilera. 

            But my favorite track on the album to my surprise is Yo No Se, performed by stars of the movie Will Ferrell, Efren Ramirez and Adrian Martinez.  The song begins with Armando explaining around a campfire with his friends that he is a simple rancher and doesn't know the ways of the world and of love: "Vivo mi vida en la tierra / la tierra es lo que sé / soy un ranchero y no sé nada / no sé nada / ¿Por qué brilla la luna *llena*? Yo no sé. / ¿Por qué toma el ave vuelo? Yo no sé. / ¿Por qué es lenta la tortuga? Yo no sé."  The more questions he asks the funnier the song becomes ("¿Por qué es la mujer tan caliente? / ¿Por qué está mi cama tan fría?") and I was quite surprised at Will Ferrell's vocal prowess and his Spanish-speaking abilities in this song.  I couldn't stop laughing and eventually began singing the hook along with Ferrell's campfire buddies. 

            I've listened to the Casa de mi Padre Soundtrack at least four times and each time I enjoy it that much more.  The musical score is cleverly composed (check out the tracks Fuzzorama where that fuzz pedal comes in to play, Car Burn with the spooky background vocals and Trip Out which sounds just like a psychedelic befuddled drug trip) and the songs are extremely well done.  Even if you never see the movie, you won't be disappointed in the Casa de mi Padre Soundtrack, an album that is great as an accompaniment to the visuals of the film, but perhaps even more enjoyable as a stand alone album.


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