This album captures virtually the entire Joan Manuel Serrat and Joaquín Sabina show that filled countless stadiums all over Spain and Latino America in the second half of 2007. This was hardly surprising, considering that Serrat and Sabina are incontestably the two greatest and most popular Spanish songwriters of the last 40 years. Still, while Sabina and Serrat have been good friends for decades, they had never toured together. Some sort of collaboration had always seemed inevitable, yet the reasons why this finally came about were not exactly merry. Indeed, both singers experienced serious health problems in the early years of the new century that made them fear for their lives (both were pushing 60, and led a very intense -- and in Sabina's case, dissipated -- life). Back on their feet and in very good spirits, the two friends finally decided it was high time to settle all outstanding debts, chief among these to go on a tour together. A celebratory mood extended to all their concerts, shared by performers and audiences alike. Predictably, there was precious little room for surprises. Instead, Serrat and Sabina did exactly what they know best and what their audiences wanted: to perform a very generous list of timeless classics that the entire stadium would sing along to: "Penélope," "Princesa," "Tu Nombre Me Sabe a Hierba," "19 Días y 500 Noches," "Fiesta," "Calle Melancolía," the list could go on and on. In fact, Serrat and Sabina have written so many extraordinary songs that a two-hour concert could not fit them all, so they often included medleys of several tunes merged together. In order to add some variety to such a legendary repertoire, the singers would either sing together or trade places, one singing the other's songs, and the other way around. As customary, Serrat and Sabina chose to delegate main musical duties to their trusted arrangers Ricardo Miralles and Pancho Varona, in charge of an unobtrusive if perfectly oiled 12-man band. For all their efforts, none of the versions on this album hold a candle to the original studio recordings, when time had not taken its hefty toll on the singers' voices. Serrat and Sabina are perfectly aware of this, and with great panache they often joke or change the lines of their songs to humorously reflect on their new "old men" status. In fact, the unquestionable highlight of the show is their take on the Catalan rhumba "El Muerto," about a man who went missing from his home from a week and that his family gave for dead -- until it actually turned out he was partying the whole time. Indeed, it is hard to conceive a better corollary for all that the Dos Pájaros de un Tiro tour came to represent for both the artists and their millions of fans throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The release also includes a DVD of the concert.
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AllMusic Review by Mariano Prunes