Club Fonograma's Best Songs of 2012 (50-26)

050. Juan Luis Guerra - 
En el cielo no hay hospital
We all know Juan Luis Guerra made it into Saint Peter’s VIP list a long time ago. The man is blessed and in full disposition of spreading his joy. He’s a missionary of God’s words, but not the kind that will spit it in your face. “En el cielo no hay hospital” (off Colección Cristiana) is a frenetic, music-as-remedy number from a maestro who’s still preocuppied with medical terminology and addressing the decadence of a collective faith. “Me curo de la sinusitis y la migraña, que bueno es el” signs Guerra as he venerates “the great doctor” by dancing on one foot. – CARLOS REYES 

049. Michael Mike - Tun Tun” ♫♫♫
This is a song for frolicking. And dancing. Intense, arms flailing, eyes closed, no one watching you dancing. Argentinos Michael Mike have consistently delivered synth-happy disco beats for our aural pleasure, and "Tun Tun" is no different. Super summery and carefree, this should actually be required listening to combat any impending winter blues. - CLAIRE FRISBIE 

048. Josué Josué feat. 
Siete Catorce - Linus” ♫♫♫
2013 will surely turn Club Fonograma into a proper Hip Hop blog. In collaboration with Siete Catorce, Josúe Josúe's Linus (off the Linus EP) has become speculative proof that the bedrooms of Iberoamerican MC-Producers will be highly sought after (like, I totally want to be Josúe^2's roomate). If the dude can kick it with some Drum'N'Bass and get a little dirty with mutant gangster rap melodies, I don't really care how messy our apartment might look like. - ADRIAN MATA ANAYA 

047. Systema Solar - 
El Botón del Pantalón” ♫♫♫
“A champeta to adjust one’s attitude to our own economy.” Systema Solar does not shy away from political discourse. The plowing and metaphorical “El Botón del Pantalón” is the first released single by the Colombian berbenautikos in three years. Strumming tropical chords (a la "DaPaLoDo"), obtrussive vocals and lowbrow/satarical lyrics summon into a track that’s ready to soundtrack any winning film at Cuba’s “Low-Budget, High-Intellect” Festival de Cine Pobre. Fuck the bourgeois, keep your buttons tight and get ready to sweat hard. – CARLOS REYES

046. Las Ligas Menores - 
Accidente” ♫♫♫
Simply put, when Anabella Cartolano, sings with her distant almost expressionless voice “y no te das cuenta que hoy te necesito, me mata la ansiedad, que todo sea tan aburrido” she convinces that melancholia can be childish, without irony. “Accidente” is the familiar falling-out-of-love story told with thorny candor. Here, the unconceited indie-pop of Las Ligas Menores reaches a peak level in terms of bare honesty and raw juvenile afflictions. A simple story of disenchantment and lost illusions you’ll want to put on repeat. - SOUAD MARTIN-SAOUDI 

045. Raka Rich - 
Copita de Champaña” ♫♫♫
Side projects are tricky. On one end, they offer a chance to “do your own thing” (as Raka Rich himself told Fonograma earlier this year). Yet, they can always end up sounding like stripped down versions of their parent project. Is this the case with Raka Rich’s “Copita de Champaña”? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. Rich does away with the innuendo-laden verses of Los Rakas, in favor of a more tender, humble approach. It’s submission versus ego, love versus money, Rich versus Dun... maybe not that last one. - REUBEN TORRES 

044. Beatriz Luengo feat. 
Shaggy & Toy Selectah - Lengua
This is the kind of song I want go hear blasting from ice cream truck speakers in summer. The music is festive, the Spanglish verses charming, and Beatriz Luengo's delivery impeccable. "Lengua" always leaves me craving warmer weather, a coconut paleta, and some porch gossip. And even though I can't understand anything Shaggy is singing beyond "hotter than summer in Santo Domingo," I still know I want to party with him. - BLANCA MÉNDEZ 

043. Triángulo de Amor Bizarro - 
Ellas se burlaron de mi magia
Where do you go next, once you’ve made the defining Spaniard shoegaze-catharsis-via-punk-urgency album. Nowhere, apparently. And we’re cool with that. With “Ellas se burlaron de mi magia” TAB have taken the whole punk as fury release ethos and woefully turned it into punk as a vessel for social anxiety. Although their most coveted anthems always had the shoegaze-y quality of marrying the abrasion of noise with the pleasantness of pop, “Ellas se burlaron” is the confirmation that they’re just as proficient at accumulating tension as they are at releasing it. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 

042. Roman feat. Mamacita 
Hacerte Bien
Summer Jam of the Year goes to Roman and Mamacita for "Hacerte Bien." The heat of summer romance —sneaking off for midnight swims and makeout sessions on the beach, getting caught up in the moment, feeling frozen in time, refusing to believe that it won't last forever —is captured in song with playful percussion and Mamacita's warm breeze of a voice. It's a perfect portrait of summer love in all its wide-eyed optimism and sweet naivete. Not to mention "quiero hacerte bien" is such a great way to say I like you. - BLANCA MÉNDEZ 

041. Dávila 666 - “Pa Que Vives
Remember when the Hives were hot shit? Remember when dudes could just hang out, plug in their guitars, and jam ‘til the keg floated? Well that time never ended for the Dávilas, who continue cracking out ace lo-fi garage rock like they work for Foxconn. And judging by “Pa Que Vives,” they don’t give a fuck about keeping the party over five minutes. Don’t ever change, dudes. - ANDREW CASILLAS 

040. Alex & Daniel - “Mundo Real
As excited as the news of a Alex Anwandter/Gepe record made me, I also had my doubts. Producing for a friend, lending a voice, etc. is one thing, but two minds with a distinct sound committing to one project is an entirely different matter. That being said, Alex and Daniel make it look like child's play. "Mundo Real" shows these artists completely in sync without holding anything back: Gepe muses, Anwandter (back in Odisea mode) lends some falsettos. Another hit. Only one thing left to do, STRUT. - GIOVANNI GUILLÉN 

039. Arcángel - Me prefieres a mi
Everything about this track is so fucking smooth. Like Arcángel is fronting to that girl you’ve been eyeing from across the courtyard, and damn if you didn’t lose her before the first chorus. Oh, but you ain’t mad, cause Arcángel’s gonna swing by your house later and show you the proper way to blow out that wavy hair. By the way, has anyone ever figured out why reggaetón artists are obsessed with stealing other people’s girlfriends? - ANDREW CASILLAS 

038. Los Reyes del Falsete - El Rayo
For some reason Días Nuestros, the album by the band with the really cool name, an incredibly hilarious twitter feed, a gorgeously conceived cover art, and which good sources suggested we should listen to, just kept getting continuously shelved. Then “El Rayo” happened. A track so stunningly buoyant and carefree that it instantly became, in its sudden burst into full-on rockist deliverance and in its choral outbreak of energy, the quintessential song of the year for pure unhindered escapism. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 

037. Fakuta - Juntapena” ♫♫♫
"Juntapena" was hands down the year's best slow jam. The kind of song you wish you got to dance to at prom, in some converted gym decorated with lights and tacky flowers. Fakuta sings with a longing and sincerity that reminds me of the sing along chorus perfection of "You Belong With Me." Only with this one I think i've cried more, that line, "vámonos de viaje" gets me every time. - GIOVANNI GUILLÉN 

036. Ave Negra - 
Tatatata Yayaya” ♫♫♫
If you’re of the mindset that pure, unadulterated rock and roll is something to be salvaged and/or venerated, chances are, you dug Ave Negra’s Sensaciones Juveniles, and particularly its strongest song “Tatatata Yayaya.” In which case, you probably don’t care much for another critic’s take on its 10 minutes of relentless distortion-filled, testosterone-fueled, lo-fi surf rock. In which case, you’ve probably stopped reading by now and have gone on to play it for the umpteenth time on iTunes. In which case, blablabla, tatatata, yayaya. - REUBEN TORRES 

035. Siete Catorce - Mariana” ♫♫♫
Is it too early to talk New Ruidoson? Because Siete Catorce is one of the first acts outside of Tijuana we've heard embrace the sound and successfully shape it into something all his own. "Mariana" starts with a foreboding keyboard melody, then adds raspy la la las and moves on to distorted vocals over sour synths before it slows into the eerie "yo quisiera ver, yo quisiera no ser" mantra that seeps into you as the song gradually fades. It's a progression that, with a minimal arsenal, builds a beautiful arc of a narrative that's subtle yet compelling and signals a master storyteller at work. - BLANCA MÉNDEZ 

034. Juan Cirerol - Eres Tan Cruel
It's remarkable (and embarrassing) how much Juan Cirerol's music makes me want to get seriously fucked up, and it's his raw declarations of heartache and desperation that really hit right thurr. Case in point: this harmonica-heavy ballad of love unfulfilled. Martín del Prado's accompaniment adds a depth absent in other tracks on Haciendo Leña, and Cirerol's scratchy vocal range is really showcased to heart-wrenching effect. If you're not viscerally feeling Juan's pain and/or reaching for a bottle of something by the time he wails "ereeees taaan crueeel," you have no soul. - CLAIRE FRISBIE 

033. Cut Your Hair - 
Utah in Pictures” 
Paraphrasing myself in a recent conversation, Indie Rock was invented to sell Volkswagen Jetta’s (while female's on Vox help sell allergy medication). At 25, I'm a cranky old man and my hipster joints already ache. So it is a rare surprise to be so pleased with such a polished, surf rock song like "Utah in Pictures." In a more mature manner than Wavves, Cut Your Hair has turned me into a sun lover. Though before I head out, I may need to pick up some Allegra and get another one of those Ariadna (Los Punsetes) hair cuts. - ADRIAN MATA ANAYA 

032. Klaus & Kinski - 
La duda ofende
Each element comprising “La duda ofende” increasingly blooms, revealing itself as something masterful—the scintillating, spatial synths, bubbling effects, recondite riffs, and dance floor inviting rhythms depict a bewitching cosmos. Marina Gómez's siren-like singing is as sweet as a lullaby. It is, however, those stirring strings which lift the beauty of this magnanimous piece onto a higher dimension. Especially the spectacular in-crescendo, disco-infused fiddle final part, which supremely evokes the finest moments of Kelley Polar’s craftsmanship in recent years.  - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 

031. Daniel Maloso - Shera
From the onset, “Shera” (off In and Out) is cool and dark and ominous just like great cool techno is supposed to sound. But then, around eighty seconds in, the bass kicks up and the squeezebox funks up some sweet Italo-melody. Then there’s that groove that just won’t quit—steady, laid-back, yet vibrant. I imagine this is what 2012 Jay Gatsby would play at his parties, in-between Quaaludes, of course. - ANDREW CASILLAS 

030. Espanto - Rock'n Roll
Logroño duo Espanto impacted the whole blogosphere releasing their back-to-the-basics yet unarguably cutting edge smasher “Rock’n Roll.” It's impossible not to love it —it's tartlingly familiar and an instant gemstone. Rolling Stones’ undeniable guitar presence, David Bowie’s glam, The Clash’s defiant attitude, and Grease’s soundtrack cool and edgy juvenile mood all take place in a very basic riff. Yes, multiple legendary artists (and songs) come to mind when listening to “Rock’n Roll”. But it’s completely deliberate—like a lovably, respectful letter to all of our past eras idols, although conveying the flavor of our generation. - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 

029. Los Mil Jinetes - 
Acabo de Mundo” ♫♫♫
Plenty of flavor and spark irradiates this tune, adequately cataloged by Carlos Reyes as “witty pop.” Like an up to date homage to pachanga hymn “Sopa de caracol”, “Acabo de mundo” takes cues from El Guincho’s Alegranza tropicalism to create a not-to-be-missed moment for the conga line in your future celebrations. “Acabo de mundo” has to be the most enchanting and unforgettable tune about the ending of the world. Los Mil Jinetes exploit the apocalyptic theories that predominated this year in a contagious track that might just cause a big bang. - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 

028. María y Jose - Club Negro
Unsettling, sure. But it definitely exposes the realities (and priorities) of the Mexican press. And though it ranks among María y José's darkest work to date, there's another side to it (especially within the clean production) which hints at some mainstream/top 40 aspirations. For fans of Tony this will hardly come as a surprise. In fact, it’s about time the quality of his recordings matched the giant he really is. Even if “Club Negro” doesn’t take over the radio, we all know it’s a complete hitazo. - GIOVANNI GUILLÉN 

027. Matilda - Cuerpo y Energía” ♫♫♫
“Cuerpo y energía,”one of multiple highlights off Matilda's fourth record Las acciones cotidianas, is a stellar, enduring creation that transfers its positive message into a timeless statement. Singer Juan Manuel Godoy conducts joy to the heart thanks to his enthusiastic lyrics. He chants us the recipe of happiness. Godoy, realizing the distress this sick, sad world we live in causes on many of us (“Podés pensar que nadie te recuerda/Y podés llorar”), encourages acquiring peace of mind by grabbing the reins of our own actions (“Dale el cuerpo y energía/Vas a ser lo que querías”).  - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 

026. Miguel - Adorn
Our Fonograma family constantly debates the inclusion of U.S. Latinos as part of our Iberoamerican diegesis. While we often feel we’re reviving Dave Chappelle’s Racial Draft, we induct figures on a case-to-case basis. Truth is, once we heard “Adorn,” we shooked from such beauty, that it was easy to bring the half-Mexican, half-African American on board. It's wounding and menacing– a soulful, aching restraint that swirls to the heart. You may accessorize us any day Miguel. - CARLOS REYES