Club Fonograma's Best Songs of the Decade 00-09. Part Three: 50-26

050. El Gran Silencio. “Chuntaro Style”
Chuntaros Radio Poder
I can’t even imagine how many jukeboxes were torn to pieces by this explosive juicy shaker. Apparently, there isn’t enough volume for it; its excess of everything is what makes it so attractive and undeniably, a crowd-pleaser. A celebration of its very own pedestrian vibe, so many market shops, tianguis, malls and weddings dancing to this very heavy voltage of chuntaro folklore. CR

049. Pedropiedra. “Inteligencia Dormida”
I love it. A warm, timeless sound. Vocals that are impeccable, real & soulful. Plus a delightful, genius, arrangement: sparkling pianos, funky & spacey keyboards, upbeat guitars, solid rock steady drums, a big fat bass, yummy & groovy percussion, etc. (most of these played by Pedro himself!). It’s just an awesome production overall. I also hadn’t heard songwriting offering such intricate intelligence & sense of humor in a long time. JMT

048. Niña. “Hollywood”
Punk Robot
Welcome to the new generation of adolescent lovers, “maquinas adolescentes llenas de amor, no dejes que nada muera.” It’s more than the teenage sound bags it carries; it’s a possible threat to what love may evolve into. Monterrey’s blissful Niña pleads to a new generation of technology and its subsequent ideals to stay human. Pop structured on flashy gorgeousness, a generational gem, it’s to drool for. CR

047. Jóvenes y Sexys. “El Reloj”
Bruno EP
Here’s a young band that overflows with talent and promise. This is the perfect example of a “feel good” song. You want to listen to it while walking on the beach, driving on the highway, thinking about your loved one at sunset, etc. Its anthropomorphization of a clock is both childlike and mysterious. Loo’s voice is magic, and I love how they fit a million tiny melodies in there joyfully. JMT

046. Tego Calderón. “Métele Sazón”
Más Flow
“Oye métele sazón, batería y reggaeton, que lo demás lo pone Calderón”, I get emotional just getting to write about Tego. One of the most unique individuals around and the main reason why we hesitate to ignore reggaeton as a major genre, while he’s around it would be disrespectful to do so. Musically, this might not be Tego’s most complex track but it discloses his qualities as an artist and a great entertainer. CR

045. Chikita Violenta. “Laydown”
The stars and suns sessions
A pulsating rock song that turns into a handclapped piece that asks for gatherings, breaks and other duties our rock stars go through to make it to another season. Although criticized for their international centeredness, Chikita Violenta is one of those few bands with the skill to excel their influences and leave a signature behind. “Laydown” is one thrilling meticulous achievement, let’s blaze it. JSB

044. Los Amparito. “Las miradas de Magaly”
Fonogramaticos Vol.4
A wonderful take on Andres Landero’s classic, it’s an ambler’s collision with his surrounding and a pair of beautiful eyes. This sounds like an orgy of layers, but there are no layers here, they’re ziggy-zag interactive bites trying to force their way into a cumbia. Bound to become an important act in the years to come, Los Amparito are Carlos Pesina’s most precious moments as a tech stylist and musician. CR

043. The Mars Volta. “L’Via L’Viaquez”
Frances the Mute
Listening to “L’Via L’Viaquez” is like hiking a really long trail—not everyone’s gonna like doing it, but the more you try to enjoy it, the more you take out of it. Acoustic guitars mesh with metal riffs, which then mix with prog instrumentation, which then lead into Latin-inspired soundscapes…and there’s still 8 minutes left. This may not be everyone’s preferred type of music, but greatness knows no genre. AC

042. Calle 13 feat. Orishas “Pal Norte”
Residente o Visitante
As Orishas delivers a chorus worthy of Bolshevik-propaganda amidst Visitante’s touching Spanish guitar melodic line and, of course, that standard dem-bow reggaetón beat, Residente rails in anger against the immigration policies of Pan-America. “Pal Norte” isn’t anti-American; it isn’t about genocide; it isn’t about socialism; it’s about the crushing of the human spirit. One of the finest protests songs of this young century. AC

041. Javiera Mena. “Sol de Invierno”
Esquemas Juveniles
This love song is somehow both unbelievably nostalgic and a powerhouse. It begins with a piano that takes you to the territory of classic ballads, Javiera’s voice comes in with that melodic mastery of hers and then it explodes with drums and bass throbbing like the beat of a heart. Gepe’s ‘duet’ collaboration adds beautifully to the story and the epic, windy atmosphere of the vocals. It’s huge, dreamlike and mesmerizing. JMT

040. Anntona feat. La Bien Querida. “Tu hueles mejor”
En la cama con Anntona
Somewhere along the lines of Beauty & the Beast, this collaboration turns into a divine reggaetonesque moment for Spain’s indie. Anntona proves he can write beautiful lyrics and La Bien Querida demonstrates why she is one of our most precious voices. An effortless installment that works the reggaeton beat and breaks its conventions, it goes down (hasta abajo) and it’s beautiful! “que me recuerda que por bien que huela algo, tu hueles mejor.” CR

039. Teleradio Donoso. “Bailar y Llorar”
Bailar y Llorar
Do you need a new song to grab a hairbrush as a mic and dance alone, in your room (in your underwear) in front of the mirror to? Well, if you haven’t heard this one before, it might just be what you’re looking for. There’s a bit too much of Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug” pumping in this song’s veins, but there’s something fresh too. It’s a pity the band’s separated. JMT

038. Shakira. “Obtener un sí”
Fijacion Oral Vol.1
“Obtener un Sí” is remarkably quirky. A mixture of bossa nova and 60’s French pop, the music walks the fine line between corny and sweet; progressively gaining in momentum from torch song to power ballad. Shakira’s trademark deep, nasally deliver is smoothed out into a hush, until the horn break in the middle-eight triggers her transition from a whisper to a scream. Possibly the single finest work that she’s ever produced. AC

037. Aterciopelados. “Mi vida brilla”
Andrea Echeverri’s lyrics are an extension of herself and Aterciopelados delivered one of the most charismatic pop songs in years. They’re definitely optimistic about the world, like Café Tacvba’s Ruben Albarran they’re also fascinated by new life and among Echeverri’s several pieces on motherhood, this stands as the most luminous piece. It’s both, magical and terrestrial, it’s a miraculous welcoming to la “estrella de la nueva era.” CR

036. Prin’ La La. “Naves que dan vueltas a un balón”
Esto es Prin’ La La
A time collapsing piece on the hands of three incredibly charming girls. They’re Isabel, Blanquita and Macarena, they sing like true angels and venture stories with the sweetest vocal coordination one can think of. Heart trenching composition, this is what a music box would sound like to a girl who holds an inner trust to fairy tales but is aware of life's complications. CR

035. Julieta Venegas. “Limón y Sal” (Unplugged)
MTV Unplugged
The original version of “Limón y Sal” was a nice, but unspectacular, folksy ballad. But this remake is an irresistible parade-like stomp similar to the Beatles “Penny Lane.” Utilizing the talents of her 15-piece band, the song is changed from a high-on-love ode to opposites attracting to a rousing celebration of the complications that makes courtship both frustrating and exhilarating. If you hear this song and aren’t smiling afterwards, you must hate life. AC

034. La Casa Azul. “La revolución sexual”
La revolución sexual
Guille Milkyway steps out of his bubble-gum pop zone to craft a song with ageless appeal and which immediately brings back the catchiness of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” What a better way to critique pessimism than with a crowd-gather anthem like this. The dance floor better be ready for this one; it’s Euromania all over again with a splash of tropical 'orchestration'. JSB

033. Ximena Sariñana. “Normal”
“Normal” is a torch ballad about a girl in love—and how the protagonist is wasting away because of it. Feeling trapped as a subservient, the lyrics gradually reveal companionship turning into exasperation, which takes the form of a gorgeous wordless chorus. Like a wave, this song builds slowly, almost indistinguishably, but never crescendos. Rather, the frustration percolates and percolates before fading into the insanity of the chanting chorus. Enthralling. AC

032. Plastilina Mosh. “Peligroso Pop”
Hola Chicuelos
It’s a dream come true for any pop lover out there. The fact that it showcases pop as risky and dangerous is enough to tag it as a thrilling song. The band also decides to juxtapose pop with woman’s thorny moods and by then, it’s just too good to deeply analyze it on its thematic circumstance. Let’s rather enjoy its wavy progressions-regressions by actually dancing to it. Marvelous. CR

031. Los Planetas. “Reunión en la cumbre”
Leyenda en el espacio
Spain’s most critically acclaimed rockers strike for glory in this edgy elevated track that should be placed among their career-best tracklist. I can’t think of any other track utilizing politics and corporate control to expressively ask a girl that it’s time for a break up. “Se han reunido un comité de expertos, y han decidido que se acabo lo nuestro, y a mí me habría gustado haber participado en el proceso.” CR

030. Voltio feat. Residente Calle 13. “Chulin Culin Cunflai”
Club bangers are rarely this funky or this rhythmic. There are too many reggaeton-haters in the music writing niche for this song to transcend and too many kids listening to Rakim & KenY for this to reach the top of the charts. Julio Voltio is one of reggaeton’s most precious personas, along with Tego Calderon and Arcangel they could still light up the genre if only to make another song as magnetic as this one. JSB

029. Juana Molina. “Que Llueva”
“Qué Llueva” is Juana Molina at her most exuberant and relaxed. Juxtaposing a popular children’s song with a brilliant piece of soundscape-pop, ethereal guitars chime against a shuffling beat, all while Molina seemingly plays mother to the world. Wonderfully robust, subtle, and enthralling, this’ll make you want to snap up your headphones, lay down on the grass, and just take in life. AC

028. Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos Con Mariano. “AV Corrientes”
Prietto viaja al cosmos con Mariano
If possible, listen to this while you’re drunk. I guess there are songs that do well in certain nations and this is one of them. This Argentinean band had no idea that a song about a local avenue would become one of the most appealing rock songs in Mexico in many years. But it makes sense, not only is the song a bold marvel but it’s got that despair sound of Saul Hernandez and Porter. JSB

027. Lisandro Aristimuño. “Me hice cargo de tu luz”
39 grados
Some people say music is what resembles love the most. This is one of those songs that prove it. Lisandro kinda comes from the same place Javiera Mena, Martin Buscaglia and Pol do (not necessarily speaking geography here). I’m talking about a new folk-pop/singer-songwriter movement led by high & light melodic voices that soar over heavenly guitars (and sometimes mindblowing string arrangements) evoking a deep, beautiful, poetic melancholy. JMT

026. Zurdok. “Para Siempre”
It’s hard to extract any song from Zurdok’s brilliant albums; their true magic works within the arrangement of the albums as a whole and the sum of its wonderful pieces. “Para Siempre” is the memorable opening piece in Maquillaje, their last album, but it could’ve well been part of the all-masterful Hombre Sintetizador. Everything’s dense, everything’s in the right place, it’s also Chetes’s best work as a vocalist. JSB