Gran City Pop, Paulina Rubio

Universal Music Group, México
Rating: 40
By Carlos Reyes

Paulina is everything Thalia isn’t, a pop star. And I know this description will upset many of you, and I’m no closet fan at all but there are things that I find amazing about her, like the way she carries herself around, like a hippy in the fancy pop city she aims to create, a challenge and obstacle for many of us that have been caving channels for alternative music to spread out, but we’re reaching a state of mind that thinks pop is a lesser form of entertainment when it continues to be the backbone of it. Gran City Pop is not a good album, but I want to make sure people understand that we’re not escaping from the artists Univision, Televisa and Los 40 Principales bombard us with. Also, to let you know that Paulina’s latest is better than the new material from Volovan, Love of Lesbian or Fangoria, and a lot of other mediocrities that are supposedly edgy and therefore better, Paulina at least is self-aware and realizes her conventions within a classicist pop where she has no problem letting her producers, songwriters and engineers manufacture the sound she will help visualize. She has an ounce of an author, and yet manages to build an empire of glamour, and that’s admirable (unless you’re a purist that considers superstars as murderers of ‘good music’, which I don’t, I blame Don Francisco).

This is of course, not as alluring as the good pop of Belanova, Shakira, Naty Botero or Miranda! And miles away from pop’s advancers Natalia Lafourcade, Quiero Club and Javiera Mena, what I’m trying to get to without much success is that if something like “Umbrella” by Rihanna would’ve been made in Latin America, chances are it would’ve been beaten by most music critics from this region, when it’s a perfect song, I’m afraid one of these days one of Paulina’s laborers will make a perfect song and it will be neglected. It surely is a passionate debate, I once argued “Empezar Desde Cero” by RBD was a good song and got myself a mailbox full of hate messaging, but I believe critics, DJs, radio hosts etc should exercise what people call suspension of disbelief, you’ll get surprised. Back to Paulina, search through my iPod and you’ll find “Y yo sigo aqui” in there, along with “Sera Entre Tu y Yo” which is grandeur if you asked me. As you can see, this is not exactly a review but an excuse to let some words out of my system, Paulina even provokes discussion.

I wish I could defend my arguments with a better, perhaps good album, but ‘la chica dorada’ is some kind of emblem, that image of a popstar that attracts all kinds of people, like Carlos Reygadas who is Latin America's best filmmaker and wished Paulina was the protagonist of the highly explicit and acclaimed Batalla en el Cielo, she accepted, but not her label. Don’t expect anything as good as Paulina, this is even more cold and unexciting as Paulatina, but production-wise is glossy as usual. It either abuses violins (“Melodia de tu Alma”) or sounds too cabaret to scratch any surface (“La Danza del Escorpion”), this last song has a cool title doesn’t it? Wish it was something in the likes of Rayito Colombiano and their animalistic cumbias. “Causa y Efecto” is an appropriate, passable single, written by today’s hot songwriter Mario Domm, she also recruits Estefano, Aleks Syntec, Coti, Los Rabanes and Jeremias. Not a very enchanting city, but it’s got mayor with plenty of personality to win the popular vote.


  1. Bravo, it's one of the best things you've written, ever.

  2. oh and yeah, let's blame Don Francisco.

  3. i think natalia lafourcade once was a pop advancer, maybe in "suelo" of casa and other cool songs, but not now. Maybe the pop advancers are people who no one see. Then, when others see them just copy all they´ve advanced. Those are real pop advancers. Album from monterrey is one of those underground pop advancers and pushing the limit they make easy for anothers (quiero club) to, maybe, lose the fear of advance pop to.
    Animal collective is the perfect example of what im talkin about (the influence goes from sigur ros to natalia) and my favorite mexican band of all time -blueshit-is a good local example.

    saludos :)

  4. es un disco que merece estar nominado al grammy latino! yo le dare mi voto!

  5. AMEN. aunque no me parece tenga tanta personalidad como dices, pero el odiar asi el pop, nada mas, o lo pop, es lo que hace que tanto morrito rechase protestas cool pop y asi en el Vive!

  6. prefiero que cuando piensen en mexico piensen en la Sariñoña que saco un buen disco con Omar de los Mars Volta, o en Natalia Laforucade que compone su propia música que en Thalia o Paulina, ni una ni otra vive en México, ni una ni ora canta, ni una ni otra parecen mexicanas, de hecho...creo que son de las dos mejores epxortaciones que hemos hecho, no las dejen regresar por favor!!! saludos!

  7. What i like about Paulina is that she hasn't given up. My guess is that she loves to be in the spotlight and i give her props for that! And same thing if you search my iPod you'll find a couple of good Paulina songs and that, my friend, i'm not ashamed to listen to.

  8. I hate Don Francisco ^_^

  9. i love pop music.

    this was a well written essay (while a super-brief album review heheh)...

    paulina rubio has no grace nor interesting talent nor brilliance (unless you can call ambition, money and fame talents)...

    i think her best songs (it's a little funny to call them "her" songs but anyway) are only enjoyable if you're brutally drunk and willing to have fun by freaky dancing to a dumb and ridiculous tune... they're really great for that.


  10. Sola la salvo por "Lo haré por ti"...

  11. no puedo creer que este post haya causado tantos comments, y caigo yo en la bolsa. paulina, pues que se hace! ya esta viejita ojala se muera pronto y le hagan una despedida a lo michael. de la sariñoña jajajaja buen intento con su disco, y de natalia no he escuchado su nuevo cd pero la apoyo incondicionalmente, hasta que salga poniendole el culo en la entrepierna a un rapero, eso si es tetrico de imaginarselo.
    me gusta el pop! a la mierda los prejuicios musicales, a veces rock, cumbia, reggae, lo que sea mientras cree buenos ambientes y tenga contenido!