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It’s been six weeks or so since NorteñoBlog checked in with Mexico’s airwaves, so you might think all the songs would be different. ¡Qué sorpresa! Apparently as the year nears its end, the music industry’s release schedule slows down across the continent. Fewer than half the songs have disappeared from this normally fast-changing chart. Among the new ones:

nada-de-nada— At #9, Pepe Aguilar has invited his daughter Ángela sing backup on the lickety split banda tune “Nada de Nada,” written by José Luis Roma of the bro band Río Roma. It’s an impressive band workout, with tuba and percussion burbling along like synth polyrhythms and the horns draping sweeping melodic lines over everything. It’s also a fine meta-song about how the singer has writer’s block in the face of his lover’s anhedonia. (At least, her anhedonia towards him.) Both singers undersell the song, making it one of banda music’s rare Big Smart Cumbias. Aguilar acquits himself well for releasing one of 2016’s most overrated albums, and gets himself a second Pick to Click:

— Speaking of Picks to Click, Joss Favela is in at #16 with his previous champ “No Vuelvas a Llamarme.” It’s one of the ace songwriter’s top-shelf tunes, even if the chords borrow from Gerardo Ortiz’s “Archivos de Mi Vida” (and probably lots of other songs). The interplay between accordion and rhythm section is on point and, whaddya know, the words — about how Favela’s always too busy to take your calls — are funny. Add it to your shiny new Best Singles of 2017 lists post haste. VALE LA PENA

edwin-luna— At #8 we find the latest Very Important Video in Edwin Luna‘s crusade to become a famous actor, fill the world with brotherly love, and get real boned. “Me Falta Un Corazón” is a serviceable slow jam sung by a philanderer who wishes he had two hearts, one to give to each honey. That way no one gets hurt! For some reason, producer Edwin Luna and director Alma Cero, Luna’s real-life girlfriend, decided to make the video all about one honey’s job teaching people with Down Syndrome how to dance. This was a fortuitous artistic choice. It allowed them to include shots of Luna nobly enjoying the company of people with Down Syndrome, along with a loving shot of the dance instructor’s well-toned ass. The whole thing ends with a Very Relevant Quote by the equally well-toned Scott Hamilton: “La única discapacidad en la vida, es una mala actitud.” I mean, sure, he was talking about his cancer, but you take what Google gives you. NO VALE LA PENA

Calibre 50’s previous single “Amor del Bueno” is replaced by an even slower Calibre song, “Siempre Te Voy a Querer” (#3). The forlorn NorteñoBlog was beginning to come around to Calibre 50 ballads. Both “Amor” and “Préstamela a Mí” had some chunky band interplay, “Préstamela” was really sexist but in a knowingly evil Mick Jagger way, and the band seemed to have learned how to keep their romances interesting. Not this time. “Siempre” is a slow dance about an idyllic fidelity where everything always gets worked out, with musical textures as smooth and forgettable as the subject matter. NO VALE LA PENA

— Speaking of which, Banda El Recodo’s “Vale la Pena” (#10) refuses to live up to its title. Recodo, a band whose age (80) will be mentioned in every article about them until the end of time (why stop here?), released one of 2016’s best albums in Raíces, a collection of mostly instrumental banda classics played with aplomb. “Vale” is a soggy apology tune by Poncho Lizárraga, Martín Castro y Edgar Barrera, featuring the narrator soaking his pillow with tears. Boo hoo. Don’t confuse it with Recodo’s cover of the late Juan Gabriel’s “No Vale La Pena,” recorded during the banda’s Julio Preciado-fronted ’90s era. But you wouldn’t, because Gabriel’s song is awesome and this new one is… you guessed it… NO VALE LA PENA

— And finally, at #17 we find Adán Romero singing the eminently forgettable “Elegida.” Romero’s bio is more interesting than his song. Back in the mid-’00s he was working in an office alongside a young up-and-coming songwriter named Espinoza Paz. Paz gave him a song called “Ahora Te Amo.” Romero or one of his handlers renamed the song “Solo Un Día,” recorded it with the unusual-at-that-time combination of accordion and tuba, and scored a decently sized hit with it. In the years that followed, accordions with tubas became all the rage, Paz went on to great success, and now Romero’s stuck shoehorning lackluster melismas into the tacky big finishes of crap songs like “Elegida.”

These are the Top 20 “Popular” songs in Mexico, as measured by monitorLATINO. Don’t confuse “Popular” with the “General” list, which contains many of the same songs but also “Rockabye,” “24K Magic,” the deathless “Safari,” and “Fuego,” the latest chart-topping lightweight skank by Juanes. Although we’ll allow for some confusion, because “Fuego” has also infiltrated this list at #14.

1. “Por Enamorarme” – Los Plebes del Rancho
2. “Tengo Que Colgar” – Banda MS (26 weeks!)
3. “Siempre Te Voy a Querer” – Calibre 50
4. “Afuera Está Lloviendo” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda
5. “Regresa Hermosa” – Gerardo Ortiz
6. “Que Caro Estoy Pagando” – La Adictiva
7. “A Ver a Que Horas” – Banda Carnaval
8. “Me Falta Un Corazón” – Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa
9. “Nada de Nada” – Pepe Aguilar ft. Ángela Aguilar
10. “Vale la Pena” – Banda El Recodo

11. “Incompleto” – Banda Los Sebastianes
12. “Yo Sí Te Amé” – La Arrolladora
13. “Paloma Negra” – Jenni Rivera
14. “Fuego” – Juanes
15. “Seguramente” – Alfredo Olivas
16. “No Vuelvas a Llamarme” – Joss Favela
17. “Elegida” – Adán Romero
18. “A Sangre Fria” – Impacto Sinaloense
19. “Que Perrón” – La Séptima Banda
20. “Dos Monedas” – Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa

¡Adios!
“Me Estorbas” – Pesado
“El Pú” – Claudio Alcaraz
“Permíteme” – Banda Tierra Sagrada
“Tenías Razón” – Banda Cuisillos
“Un Hombre Con Suerte” – Duelo
“Te Dirán” – La Adictiva
“Al Rescate” – Banda Los Recoditos
“Qué Chulada de Papucho” – Los Horóscopos de Durango
“Amor Del Bueno” – Calibre 50

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