Club Fonograma's Best Songs of the Decade 00-09. Part Two: 74-51

074. Bebe. “Siempre me quedara”
Pafuera Telarañas
While most media and the general public grabbed on “Malo” for its furious socially-conscious topic, they forgot about this amazingly fragile song where Bebe literally turns herself into a mystical chantress. Her raspy voice has never sounded as beautiful and her lyrics peaked amazing heights. There’s enough feeling here to spare out some tears and provoke wet dreams (ok, that sounded nasty, anything sounds dirty in front of such crystalline piece). CR

073. Manos de Topo. “El Cartero”
Ortopedias Bonitas
They’re the wackiest band around but if you play close attention to “El Cartero” you’ll notice the melody is as pretty as any song by Natalia Lafourcade. It’s just that the dude has an erratic crying voice, which he claims to be inspired by all the sad people in the world, this is one stunning inspiration. Beautifully orchestrated, random-meets-poetic lyrics, enough to want to join them “ya estoy de puta madre.” CR

072. Valentina Fel. “Sin control mi diversión”
Valentina Fel
Valentina Fel’s first single is like a hyperbole of music’s very own fetishism. It proposes a contract, to let things go on and off as they please, to have fun without attachment. Of course it’s hard to not be attached to something, especially on an age of new media, and that’s where Valentina raises the bar, she dislocates sound as daring as she makes up new words to sew a dance tune. CR

071. Shakira. “Loba”
She Wolf
I feel like I’ve written about “Loba” about 1,000 times now—probably because I actually have. To summarize its greatness in short: Liquid funk bass line, glittery guitar strumming, thumping beat, deliciously two-faced lyrics, that gloriously unique voice, and, of course, DISCO STRINGS. Who do I have to write to get an official proclamation that “Loba” be the only recognized version of this song, like they did with “99 Luftballoons”?? AC

070. Banda de Turistas. “Un verdadero cajón de madera”
Mágico Corazón Radiofónico
One of those kite songs, so round and attached to its beat that it becomes a flying object, a song on continuum. Because of its peculiar form, it’s hard to keep up with its lyrics, but don’t fear, try shoegaze and soon you’ll found yourself holding the string. They’re far more than just some Babasonicos pupils; it’s the start of a great new Argentinean band. CR

069. Adanowsky. “El Idolo”
El Idolo
“El ídolo” plays like a groovy, retro, cabaret classic from a huge, fading crooner (remember Raphael?)… Yet the kitsch humor’s totally intentional here. Adanowsky delivers a nearly spoken melody with the panache of the true performer. Witty lyrics reveal his lineage. A lion alongside fans’ schreeching complete the oddness. To sum it all, some YouTube-Comments poetry: "te amo adanowsky / estás todo buenowsky / y además tu voz es… tan seductorwsky". JMT

068. Calle 13. “La Jirafa”
Calle 13
An effortlessly sweet, almost talkative song from Calle 13? Yes! It’s like Residente took some pills to chill out for a moment and just allowed words to gently come out of him. Visitante’s elaborate composition drags his brother for a one of a kind voyage of galactic accordions and whatnot. The song is also an everlasting elevation that instead of reaching a climax, it finds silence and makes peaks out of it. CR

067. Hello Seahorse! “Won’t say anything”
Hoy a las ocho
I first heard this song on the excellent, sadly defunct podcast Ritmo Latino. It made a nice impression upon first listen, even if it all felt a tad light. But like all many other songs I discovered there, I decided that it was worth the effort to listen to it again. And am I glad I did, because this is one of the most joyful songs of its time. Thanks internet. AC

066. Natalia y la Forquetina. “Saul”
“Saul” is at first listen merely another sweet pop song. Over time though, it dovetails into a heartbreaking tale of a young man’s identity crisis. Brilliantly, the music relies on the same inverted theme as the lyrics; where the playing increases in buoyancy as the words get bleaker. It may not be as gritty as anything by the Velvet Underground, but not even Lou Reed ever made cross-dressing sound this upbeat. AC

065. Domingo En Llamas. “Depredadores”
He is as talented as unrecognized, Domingo En Llamas jokes he doesn’t have any fans and that his music is only heard by his family and friends. Wrong! As long as he keeps his wide scope as a lyricist and cantautor, he’ll have a fan in all of us. This primitive rolling piece showcases some of his best qualities, a story teller who carries great rhythms while showcasing his one-of-a-kind lyricism. CR

064. Julieta Venegas. “Sería Feliz”
Lemme get this out of the way first: I love Julieta's music, I’m a huge fan and this is one of my favorite songs by her... Phew! ok… so, now, what can I say? It felt pretty groundbreaking when it first came out, & though it could belong in “Aquí”, its poppy school-hymn-meets-B-movie atmosphere wraps its ironic and deep reflection on insatisfaction under a darker, more mature mood. JMT

063. Nortec Collective. “Tijuana makes me happy”
Tijuana Sessions Vol.3
“What I care about is to see you again” – There’s just something special about artists showing their love to their homeland, here Nortec does a song in the line of “Volver Volver”, utilizing their unique sound and techno abilities to craft their most representative border-line hit. This is all about atmosphere, Nortec takes you there, plus that passing-by excerpt from Julio Preciado singing “Quien dice que ando llorando” is priceless. CR

062. Natalia Lafourcade. “Ella es bonita”
Hu Hu Hu
Yes, it’s dainty, coy, and her voice is a bit thin, but “Ella es Bonita” reveals so many intricate, beautiful colors, it’s hard not to get lost in the whole experience. Masterfully arranged both musically and vocally, immaculately melodic, and charmingly funny, it’s impossible to resist this song’s charm. Especially when you pick up on the “Stand by Me” horn riff. Awesome. AC

061. Entre Ríos. “Salven las sirenas”
A simplification of We Anderson's The Life Acuatic With Steve Zissou. Argentinean rock was particularly stiff during this decade; Entre Rios helped to enforce my argument that good pop rocks. In its less than two minutes, this song throws the ball, hits it back, bounces on keys and gets picked up by a stunning voice worthy to glorify on its entirely. CR

060. Gustavo Cerati. “Crimen”
Ahí Vamos
The best song from what’s arguably his career-best solo album. A criminally minded track that ends up becoming Cerati’s vindication as the legendary position he’s been holding with honors. This piano based builds up its speed with subsequent drums to the complimentary electrifying strings. At the end, what really shines about it is Cerati’s unison with its creation, it’s not the mind behind it, it’s the man living it. CR

059. El Otro Yo. “Locomotora”
Fuera del Tiempo
On the surface, it’s just the teenage dream of a girl in love, but look further and you might just find yourself a the victim of a train carrying love, hate, hope, and a riot-like band making these feelings roll on and on. It’s cute in its own fatalism, transcending as a love song that wants to stop time to capture longer memories, if one has to go vampire to get there, why not? JSB

058. Kinky. “Sound tha mi primer amor”
Ageless entrances between strings and trumpets; it sure sounds like my first love. Kinky’s most praised song is founded on waves, ups and downs, disorder and distorted moments all throughout. Lyrically, the song is a sweet marvel, while Gil Cerezo’s narration adds the warmth of a traditional lover to a very futuristic sound. Bravo. JSB

57. Café Tacvba. "Puntos Cardinales"
Cuatro Caminos
One of Café Tacvba’s most upbeat tracks in the line of “El Baile y El Salon”, but sounding like the true rock stars they are. It’s also a defining song in Cuatro Caminos because it draws the album as it is. “Amor y dulzura, fuerza y coraje, cuatro puntos cardinales, por los que navega”, it could also be manifesting our four heros as well. JSB

056. Manu Chao. “Me gustas tú”
Próxima Estación… Esperanza
“Que horas son mi corazón?” Somebody forgot to inform Manu Chao that the beating coming from his heart isn’t exactly a clock (although very similar). Borderless from beginning to end, it’s a chant that places attraction on parallel to just about any kind of object, action, place or drug. By far, these are Manu Chao’s most transcendental minutes since “Clandestino.” CR

055. Jorge Drexler. “Al otro lado del rio”
Diarios de Motocicleta Soundtrack
Warm, embracing guitars; cool, tight, folk/jazzy (& polyrhythmic!) percussion & drums; a double bass giving a heartbeat; sublime strings; a hint of a piano appearing now & again (like the beam from a lighthouse, or the beat under a ritual chant). On top of this: Drexler’s intimate, gorgeous voice telling us that maybe everything’s not lost, rema, rema, rema… offering hope. Boy, he’s got a way to make me cry! JMT

054. Arcángel feat. Tempo. “Intro”
La Maravilla
So, Arcangel “La Maravisha” felt like asking legendary imprisoned rapper Tempo why his colleagues hate him. Tempo responded on the phone, from prison. The outcome is a defining song about the genre’s mediocrity, Tempo’s hope to see the light again and the baptize of Arcangel as the new kid on the block. A gigantic moment to feed Arcangel’s ego and let Tempo’s words spread in freedom. CR

053. El Remolón. “La Bonita”
Pibe Cosmo
Our EIC Carlos once wrote about this song, “’La Bonita’ is a beautiful purifying canto that eventually turns as sublime and charmingly addictive as Air France’s ‘Collapsing at your doorstep.’” And he was completely right. This track gives off the feeling that you’re being transported to another part of the world, where your thoughts are as clear as the ocean, where you can see hope, fear, pain, and beauty. Gorgeous. AC

052. Voltio. “El Mellao”
En lo claro
There are certain songs that are worth espousing an extensive critical analysis to discuss their merits and accomplishment. There are songs that inherently fit into the natural lineage of a genre to the point that to discuss that song is to discuss an entire artistic sphere. Then there are songs that are just REALLY FUCKING COOL. Guess which category I’m putting “El Mellao” in? AC

051. Bigott. “She’s my man”
An unusual love letter that is full of meanings and implications. It’s barely two minutes and a half and yet is able to underline a meaningful line of adjectives one is able to put on the table for the one special individual rocking our world. Beautiful patterns, strings, and let’s not forget about those echoed reverbs that come and go as if they collapsed with walls. Shimmy shimmy shimmy... CR