Monday, March 31, 2008

Videoclip "Sacudeme", Siddhartha

Un gran videoclip musical de lujo, ahora si que la canción le queda cortita. Siddhartha es una propuesta debutante de rock, un músico mexicano que esta empezando a hacer ruido. El video es un joya, y lo recomendamos aquí en Club Fonograma.




Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Planeta Kumbia, A.B. Quintanilla Presenta Kumbia All Starz

PLANETA KUMBIA, Kumbia All Starz
EMI TELEVISA MUSIC

by: Carlos Reyes

A.B. has officially lost it; the ultra ego that he had been carrying for years finally hit ground. His new album Planeta Kumbia, is by far the most uninspiring and self-destructive album of his discography. It can barely be called music; in fact there are only three tracks we could really talk about. The first single Por Ti Baby features a collaboration with Panama’s sensation Flex (aka Nigga), it is indeed a descent club shaker song that is unfortunately a misleading first single for such a tedious album. Are we asking for too much? No, but we must remember that Quintanilla Jr. had a delicious talent in manipulating his art in prior albums. It seems like the only thing he can offer now is an almost dried pile of smoothies that will probably disappoint his most loyal fans.

Can we call him a manipulator? Well, perhaps opportunistic will fit him better. See, it happens that in the past he could magically succeed with covers. They weren’t all awesome, but at least were well produced and managed somehow to connect with the album’s theme. There’s no such a thing here, perhaps is not ambitious enough to be taken seriously. Now he seems to be following the Duranguense genre and its addiction on taking past hits, mixing a little cumbia on it, and dropping a short urban phrase here and there. We can easily add Rica y Apretadita to the list of successful covers that although couldn’t be less creative, are nonetheless on popular demand.

We could also talk about a track that sums up Quintanilla’s current state of flair. Vuelve starts as a pathetic 90s boy band track, just when I was about to forward I heard an evangelic voice, my sense went from repulsion to optimism. Hearing the voice of Vicentico (Los Fabulosos Cadillac) in between all the crap was nothing but a true blessing, and the song even finds more strength with the company of La Mala Rodriguez. Both are gifted artists, both appeared in 2007’s best album, they should really start to be pickier with the artists they collaborate.

The rest of the album is an agonizing approach to boy-band R&B with a very dreadful choir of voices that have less vocal variability than a chicken in plain sex (WTF! indeed). Some will argue the album’s diversity of genres, but let's not mention cultural awarness, it touches eeverything from Vallenato to Ska, they never really bring sincerity or credibility to the songs. They only function as outfits. Here is hoping the producer and his unstable band manage to really bring it on upcoming productions.

Numeric Rating: 28/100

Key Tracks: Vuelve, Rica y Apretadita, Por Ti Baby

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MEDIOCRE by Ximena Sariñana



MEDIOCRE
Ximena Sariñana, 2008
WARNER MUSIC MEXICO



by: Carlos Reyes

Fortunately, mediocre is not the appropriate adjective for the actress’s much anticipated first album. Sariñana debuts with a clear vision that should emerge her career to international stardom. Comparisons have already arrived, influences by fellow Mexican singers Natalia Lafourcade and Julieta Venegas pop up here and there, but Ximena belongs to that new branch of Latin pop that is being produced in South America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay.

Half of the album was produced by Bajafondo Tango Club’s Juan Campodonico, who is the main producer of Uruguayan bohemia sensation Jorge Drexler and the much underrated El Cuarteto de Nos. The other half was mastered by Argentinean Tweety Gonzalez, who has touched most successful Latin American acts, from Soda Stereo, Libido, Fito Paez to Shakira. Both manage to blend a melancholic tone with Sariñana’s gifted voice, even if her jazz influences are dissolved, gone almost completely. Something quite disappointing considering how good she sounds in that genre as we could hear in the almost extinct EP she recorded a year ago with her band, Feliz No Cumpleaños.

The album opens with the album’s very best track Mediocre; the rock song also gives the album its title. “Me encanta escucharte hablar, que elegancia hacerte sentir mal”. A truly poetic song that stands out for its subtle and ironic approach on how life itself is a mediocre rollercoaster. Follows with the first single Vidas Paralelas, one of the few weak tracks if you asked me, it feels quite forced in its lousy intention of maintaining a high profile sound, while still possessing those elements of a hit pop commercial song. Perhaps I’m just pissed off they didn’t take the risk with the much superior Normal, which they are exposing to the virtual market as a non-official single for MySpace & YouTube. Un Error and No Vuelvo Mas follow generic Brazilian contemporary notes that would make Marisa Monte really happy.

The album also features a couple of covers, but don’t worry, they are not opportunistic remixes as we are used to hear lately. Gris is totally reminiscent of the early work by Andres Calamaro. From those covers, the most familiar song is Volovan’s Latin Grammy nominated song Monitor, the track that closes this remarkable debut. A classy and well condensed mixture of the current pop/alternative tendencies of the latin music industry. And it is indeed a hit locally; we shouldn’t have to wait too much for the international sales.

Numeric Rating: 92/100

Key tracks: Normal, Mediocre, Un Error

Best album of 2007: RESIDENTE O VISITANTE


RESIDENTE O VISITANTE
Calle 13
SONY BMG



by: Carlos Reyes

El dúo urbano que ha rescatado a todo un género, o según Daddy Yankee o Don Omar lo ha descompuesto. Algo Con Sentido resume la fresca y trascendental propuesta de Residente o Visitante. Se van de marineros a ‘fusilar el reggaeton’ en una canción explicita hacia la conquista del mundo. “Un chillido en el tímpano” provocado por un orquesta o tal vez por una loquera de tercer grado que le trae ideas para sus fechorías. A pesar de sentirse tan contemporánea es tan clásica que seria la opción perfecta para el theme song de un James Bond dirigida por Georgy Palfi. “Nadie me entiende ni yo mismo me entiendo toda esta gente de mi se esta riendo! Miren como están viendo!!!”, bipolarmente contestándose “no solo me siento confundido.” Y regresando al sonido en su oído, “estoy escuchando el mismo zumbido en mi oído para!!!” El plan maquiavélico terminara en las calles de Europa expresando su razonamiento de la forma más bella para Spencer Tunick y convertida en locura por grupos moralistas.

Calle 13 es lo mejor que le ha pasado a la música en mucho tiempo, son artesanos en pleno control de su arte. Residente calle 13, visitante calle 13 y la colaboración de la hermana PG13 es todo un movimiento, como dice Un Beso de Desayuno, “una pintura en movimiento.” El explicito contenido del álbum asusta a los consumidores convencionales. Para un cinéfilo como yo, me es imposible no vincular a la canción masturbadora Uiyi Guaye con The Holy Mountain de Jorodowsky. Imposible no pensar en El Norte de Gregory Nava o Madeinusa de Claudia Puenzo en Pa’l Norte, o el cine de Kaurismaki en Un Beso de Desayuno.

Cargado de conciencia social y política, pasando por la lucha Sandinista hasta la guarida un terrorista. El intro del álbum comienza con una opera “les prometemos que en este disco no usaremos malas palabras… cabron, cabron cabron.” que nos prepara a escuchar un álbum considerado majadero pero mas esperanzador que Amigo de Roberto Carlos. Otro track sobresaliente de el glorifico álbum es la colaboración con Mala Rodríguez en Mala Suerte, en el que una conversación entre una pareja se convierte en la fantasía sexual influenciada por Piérdeme el respeto de Paquita la del Barrio. Y así intentan usar el alfabeto completo en “esa búsqueda de mi demonio me tiene con insomnio.”

Criticados por sus colegas urbanos solo por ser college-educated y de familia acomodada, y no aprender en los barrios donde supuestamente se vive la vida dura. Visitante es un músico profesional que deja que el beat sobreasado de reggaeton sea el protagonista, le inyecta un tango, bossa nova, nu-wave, cumbia y sonidos ambientales. Residente, pintor, artista grafico y hasta estudiado en cine que es un poeta moderno. Juntos los medio-hermanos deberían callarle la boca a cualquiera que se atreva a decir que la buena música ha muerto. Es un proyecto de actitud, de estilo, desde las portadas de sus discos. En el primero unos labios apunto de gozar un cono de nieve en forma de pene, y en el segundo a la Virgen de Guadalupe con alas metálicas. Esta ultima no es ninguna burla es un acto de contemplación hacia la imagen. Al contrario de la mayoría de álbumes producidos este año, Residente o Visitante es brutalmente honesto y tardara décadas en envejecer y décadas también para apreciar su maestría.

Numeric Rating: 99/100

Key tracks: Algo Con Sentido, Llegale a mi Guarida, La Era de la Copiaera