calibre 50

NorteñoBlog’s Pick to Click comes this week from Calibre 50, but it is not the quartet’s smash Top 10 ballad “Siempre Te Voy a Querer,” which does not solve Calibre’s perennial ballad problem — namely, that most of their ballads sound thin and flimsy and threaten to grind to a halt with every bar. Nor is it their #13 airplay hit/Michelob jingle “Las Ultras,” which, since first spotting it on the Mexican charts a couple weeks ago, has admittedly grown on me like so much cheap beer and/or beachfront dressage.

No, you should instead direct your attention to Calibre’s cover of “Volveré a Amar” by the 10-years-late banda singer Valentín Elizalde. The song itself is swanky midtempo heartache with backbeat and doo-wop tuba, a 2004 template for later earworms like Roberto Tapia’s “Mirando al Cielo.” (Or at least, it’s one of the templates: El Coyote beat Elizalde to this particular sound back in the ’90s.) Covering the tune, Eden Muñoz does his best Elizalde impression and sings low in his range, a wise choice — he’s as effortlessly charming as beachfront dressage. When the accordion quartet takes over for the banda during the chorus, the transition is seamless and full, so hats off to whoever recorded and mixed this thing. It’s at #39 airplay and you can find it on Fonovisa’s terrific collection of Elizalde covers, Tributo a Valentín Elizalde, previously covered here.

Also in the news:

— At #4, Christian Nodal‘s debut single “Adiós Amor” continues to win hearts and Youtube revenue. (Closing in on 128 million views!) Last month we covered it at The Singles Jukebox, where I wrote,

“Leading off Fonovisa’s new Mexillennials comp is this slow stunner, sung by an 18-year-old with perhaps the biggest vocal range of his Mexican teen idol cohort. Perched between norteño accordion, mariachi horns, and a guitar rhythm I’ll forever hear as ‘Velvet Underground,’ he’s warbling a purely pop composition — check out the minor iv chord and the repeated 16th-note hook that jumps from the chorus. But then, it’s hard to find 10 seconds of this song that don’t contain a hook. ‘Adiós Amor’ unfolds into an endless three-minute series of baubles and trinkets, sparkles and flashes, soars and swoops. If ‘pop music’ means anything, it’s this.” VALE LA PENA

recodo chema— At #34 airplay, we find Banda El Recodo with something they haven’t recorded in a decade or two (correct me if I’m wrong): a narcocorrido! Hey, if Calibre can make a romantic banda ballad, why not? El Recodo cut this particular bit of narco-drama for the novela El Chema, about a cartel boss of the same nickname who learned his trade from his father and now tunnels like a mole. It’s all kinds of fun, with some wicked alto horn counterpoint. VALE LA PENA

(Can’t get enough Banda El Recodo? Check out my mini-history of the group, which doubles as a mini-history of banda music’s journey from Sinaloan villages to pop music phenomenon, at The Cresset. The even shorter story: allegations of artistic impurity come and go, but innovating your music to make a buck is eternal.)

Gerardo Ortíz - Para Qué Lastimarme-300x300Gerardo Ortiz‘s bachata duet with Prince Royce, “Moneda,” has fallen from the charts, but he’s still representing with three other songs. At #15 airplay is his lackluster banda ballad “Regresa Hermosa”; at #48 on the big chart we find his party-hearty duet with Omar Ruiz, “Ando Bien”; and his latest solo tune is at #35. For “Para Que Lastimarme,” Ortiz sort of hops on the Sierreño bandwagon — two guitars, a tuba, and no drums — but the song is a straightforward loping pop ballad with zero cool requinto solos. The best Sierreño music features continual guitar-tuba interplay; the bands seem to invent their songs before your ears. “Lastimarme” sounds like team Ortiz retro-fitted it to the hot instrumentation of the moment, with drab results. NO VALE LA PENA

(Can’t get enough Gerardo Ortiz? Check out my Twin Cities concert preview of Ortiz, along with brother Kevin Ortiz, cousin Regulo Caro, new Sierreñ-sation Ulices Chaidez, and blog faves La Séptima Banda, in the Minneapolis City Pages. My wonderful editor let me devote almost a full paragraph to making fun of The Band.)

— At #37 airplay, La Energia Norteña‘s “Donde Quedó” is perhaps the saddest saxophone polka you will ever hear.

These are the top 50 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published May 6.

1. “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber
2. “Subeme La Radio” – Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno, Zion & Lennox
3. “Chantaje” – Shakira ft. Maluma
4. “Adios Amor” – Christian Nodal (#2 RegMex)
5. “El Amante” – Nicky Jam
6. “Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos)” – CNCO
7. “Deja Vu” – Prince Royce & Shakira
8. “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres” – Ozuna (33 weeks!)
9. “Sigo Extrañandote” – J Balvin
10. “Siempre Te Voy a Querer” – Calibre 50 (#11 RegMex)

11. “Escapate Conmigo” – Wisin ft. Ozuna
12. “Héroe Favorito” – Romeo Santos
13. “Ahora Dice” – Chris Jeday Presenta J Balvin, Ozuna & Arcángel
14. “Hey Ma” – Pitbull & J Balvin ft. Camila Cabello
15. “Te Regalo” – Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes (#3 RegMex)
16. “Me Enamoré” – Shakira
17. “Es Tuyo Mi Amor” – Banda MS (#1 RegMex)
18. “Te Quiero Pa’ Mi” – Don Omar & Zion & Lennox
19. “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Solo” – J Balvin ft. Bad Bunny
20. “Hermosa Ingrata” – Juanes

21. “Mi 45” – El Fantasma (#7 RegMex)
22. “Durmiendo En El Lugar Equivoca” – La Adictiva Banda (#4 RegMex)
23. “Culpable Tu” – Alta Consigna (#17 RegMex)
24. “Encanto” – Don Omar ft. Sharlene Taule
25. “Al Filo de Tu Amor” – Carlos Vives
26. “El Paciente” – Alfredo Olivas (#8 RegMex)
27. “Dime Que Se Siente” – Luis Coronel (#5 RegMex)
28. “Si Una Vez” – Play-N-Skillz ft. Wisin, Frankie J, & Leslie Grace
29. “Rico Suave” – J Alvarez
30. “Don’t Let Go” – Farruko

31. “Te Vas” – Ozuna
32. “Me Acostumbre” – Arcángel x Bad Bunny
33. “Sería Un Error” – Regulo Caro (#17 RegMex)
34. “No Te Hagas” – Bad Bunny x Jory Boy
35. “Para Que Lastimarme” – Gerardo Ortiz (#12 RegMex)
36. “Alguien Robo” – Sebastian Yatra ft. Nacho & Wisin
37. “La Rompe Corazones” – Daddy Yankee x Ozuna
38. “Ya No Me Duele Más” – Silvestre Dangand ft. Farruko
39. “Se Defiende” – La Séptima Banda (#6 RegMex)
40. “Hey DJ” – CNCO & Yandel

41. “Bailame” – Nacho
42. “Mi Tesoro” – Zion & Lennox ft. Nicky Jam
43. “Horas Extras” – Chiquis Rivera (#30 Reg Mex)
44. “Sola” – Anuel AA ft. Daddy Yankee, Wisin, Farruko y Zion & Lennox
45. “Me Llamas” – Piso 21 ft. Maluma
46. “Soy Peor” – Bad Bunny
47. “Un Aplauso” – Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey (#9 RegMex)
48. “Ando Bien” – Omar Ruiz ft. Gerardo Ortiz (#25 RegMex)
49. “No Quiere Enamorarse” – Daddy Yankee ft. Ozuna
50. “Ayer” – Anuel AA ft. Farruko

“Vente Pa’ Ca” – Ricky Martin ft. Maluma
“Vacaciones” – Wisin
“Cuatro Babys” – Maluma ft. Bryant Myers x Noriel x Juhn
“Otra Cosa” – Daddy Yankee & Natti Natasha
“Tú No Vive Así” – Mambo Kingz & DJ Luian presenta Arcangel x Bad Bunny
“Todo Cambio” – Becky G
“En La Intimidad” – Ozuna
“Manicomio” – Cosculluela
“Hula Hoop” – Daddy Yankee
“Otra Vez” – Zion & Lennox ft. J Balvin
“Moneda” – Prince Royce ft. Gerardo Ortiz
“Que Gano Olvidandote” – Reik
“Haters” – J Alvarez
“Hello” – Karol G & Ozuna


10. “A Poco” – Raúl Casillas

13. “Las Ultras” – Calibre 50
14. “Ella Es Mi Mujer” – Banda Carnaval
15. “Regresa Hermosa” – Gerardo Ortiz
16. “El Gallero” – El Komander
18. “Al Por Mayor” – Los Tucanes de Tijuana
19. “El Mas Grande Amor” – Cheyo Carrillo
20. “Perro de Rancho” – Los Tercos ft. Elías Medina

21. “Los Angeles Existen” – Pesado
22. “Arrepentido” – Intocable
23. “Ya No Me Va a Doler” – Banda la Misma Tierra
24. “Ojala Que Me Olvides” – La Arrolladora Banda
25. “Eres Vida” – Duelo
26. “Ya Me Vi Contigo” – Grupo H-100
27. “Pa’ Que No Me Anden Contando” – Voz de Mando
28. “Hasta Que Amanezca” – Lucero
29. “Amar a Mi Nivel” – Los Huracanes del Norte

31. “Caricias Clandestinas” – Remmy Valenzuela
32. “Vale La Pena” – Banda El Recodo
33. “Y Cambió Mi Suerte” – Virlán García
34. “El Chema” – Banda El Recodo
35. “Eso Si Me Dolió” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda
36. “No Es Un Juego” – Jesús Ojeda y Sus Parientes
37. “Donde Quedó” – La Energía Norteña
38. “A Tu Amigo” – Javier Rosas y Su Artillería Pesada
39. “Volveré a Amar” – Calibre 50
40. “Pudo” – Banda Los Sebastianes

“Cositas Malas” – La Leyenda
“Un Hombre Con Suerte” – Duelo
“El Hombre del Equipo” – Grupo Maximo Grado
“Sin Esencia” – La Poderosa Banda San Juan
“La Fiesta Comenzó” – La Arrolladora Banda
“Ya No Me Perteneces” – Siggno
“Tendrás Que Renunciar a Mi” – Los de la Noria
“Por Eso Volvi” – Nano Machado y Los Keridos
“Que Caro Estoy Pagando” – La Adictiva Banda
“Transparente” – Jonatan Sanchez
“Como Si Fuera Real” – La Maquinaria Norteña
“Me Está Tirando el Rollo” – Banda Los Recoditos
“A Ver a Que Horas” – Banda Carnaval
“Afuera Esta Lloviendo” – Julión Álvarez y su Norteño Banda