RUDO Y CURSI SOUNDTRACK
Nacional Records, México ****
By Carlos Reyes
We never wait for albums to get released in the states to review them; some take months but most of them stay back home without much attention from international press, so we go with the original release date. But for some reason, the Rudo y Cursi Soundtrack never got to my hands until early this year, and so I decided to wait for EMI to release it only to find Nacional Records taking charge of it, and we’re glad. Let me confess that I was on the very top of excitement when I read the tracklist, couldn’t believe someone out there had such good taste and the muscle to pull it out and actually release it, especially considering the movie had box-office success written all over it. Turns out Camilo Lara, from Mexican Institute of Sound was on charge, should’ve guessed it after his equally fantastic OST for Y Tu Mama Tambien. First time director Carlos Cuaron brought the idea of having these bands singing regional Mexican songs, and they do, from classic wounding rancheras and banda dusty anthems, to the foreign inclusion of Cheap Trick’s perfectly translated “I want you to want me.”
Gael Garcia Bernal’s voluntarily humorous norteno version of this song is a popular hit, and it was the key piece connecting the original 2-disc release that our friends down the border got to hear. Whether this piece of information takes away from the album’s colossal charm is uncertain to us, one thing is for sure, these set of songs are a before and after for both the artists and Mexico’s alternative scene. After all, these are the artists of an up-to-the-minute emblematic generation; they take a step into mainstream and get kids out of the cave. What better way to transition Gael’s quirky superstar momentum than to have the same song, in its original language performed by no other than Juan Son? Attach a solidly engaging band like Los Odio to duel his voice and build the scenery for a festivity of talented people that the general audience will see as discoveries and hopefully tell the world about it.
Juana Molina’s original track “Rudo y Cursi” shines with all glory into the narrative of the film, Niña Dioz proves again she’s Mexico’s best MC today, Quiero Club show up twice in their most versatile mode yet, Jovenes y Sexys reimagine a Los Tucanes de Tijuana song, while Los Latigos without knowing, made a Grupero song that sounds just like Alberto y Roberto or Los Temerarios. Other appearances by Devendra Banhart, Black Lips, MIS and Nortec are bringing the attention of people from Pitchfork and Steregum, we’ll see if they can make sense of it. While the movie itself isn’t as interesting as the soundtrack (or nowhere near the masterful Y Tu Mama Tambien), Cuaron and his all-star of Mexican cinema wants you to have fun with the movie and the music. This is the first of five movies from Cha Cha Cha, the outcome of many Oscar nominations by el negro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Alfi Cuaron and el gordo del Toro and their deal with Universal Pictures production deal. The film will hit theaters across the U.S. very soon via Sony Classics, I’ll leave this cute video I found on Youtube, a must-see, but beware, mom is directing, and she can be... obtrusive.