You may not know it, but I used to listen to a bunch of Mexican (Grupero) music when I was on High School. Most kids follow this genre because of their parent’s like towards these traditional (popular) songs, in my case, I just knew the pop music on local radio and broadcast TV was to crappy to swallow. Strangely, I found Norteño music very edgy, but I never liked the songs my parents played. For example, I still don’t get why my parents discuss about narco violence and the dangers of going back to Mexico while playing a narco-corrido on our living room stereo.
Andrew Casillas, a member of this blog, once called me a pussy when I told him I wasn’t into Los Tigres del Norte but I loved Intocable. He was being funny of course, but he’s right, I’m a softie with this genre. Lyrically, my favorite Norteño songs are formulated on pop standards; that’s why it is so damn easy to like Intocable. They could be the most mainstream group out there; my theory is that they could be Regional Mexican’s Reik, only awesome. It’s not surprising to hear their songs on Latin Pop Airplay. I don’t have a problem with Los Tigres del Norte as story-tellers, but their recycled composition has been stuck for way too long. Intocable is starting to get too repetitive too, but hey, at least they’re attempting to step out of comfort every now and then; like recruited Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks producer) to craft Crossroads: Cruce de Caminos, a great country exploration (and their most overlooked album yet).
And there’s stuff that’s just so effortlessly awesome like Joan Sebastian, Vicente Fernandez, Ramon Ayala, Los Alegres de la Sierra, Michael Salgado and basically anything related to Luis “Loui” Padilla (La Firma’s frontman, and Intocable’s head songwriter). Hope you don’t mind me saying it, but Ana Barbara is like Shakira and El Pasito Duranguense equals Reggaeton. Everything progresses and I actually find groups like Colmillo Norteño and Los Pikadientes de Caborca to be very creative, reminds me of when A.B. Quintanilla was actually interesting to listen to. It’s highly unlikely the genre will reach the fans of Nortec or Los Macuanos anytime soon.
Through the years I’ve found most non-Mexicans hate Norteño, Banda and Grupero (Tejano is dead); no one can really resist Ranchero, especially now that Mr. Fernandez’s Para Siempre has raised the bar as a career-best major achievement. Some of my friends like Jean-Stephane Beriot and the We Like It Indie staff were discussing about our admiration towards Intocable, so I found this post to be a good idea. Here is a list of songs I recommend, honestly, I only have two of them on my iPod, so I’m probably not your best source if you’re looking for a passionate list or a reference. Hope you're able to take the challenge, and by that I mean to watch these videos, horrible stuff, but good tunes! We’ll get into our Favorite 100 Songs of the Decade special really soon.
01 Intocable. “Estas que te pelas”
02 La Firma. “Con la intención de lastimarte”
03 Intocable. “A Veces”
04 Vicente Fernández. “Estos Celos”
05 Graciela Beltrán. “Eso es cosa de el”
06 Siggno. “Pero Hablame”
07 Solido. “Dile la verdad”
08 Los Palominos. “Me vuelvo loco”
09 Ana Gabriel. “Con las alas atadas”
10 Michael Salgado. “Sangre de Rey”
11 Joan Sebastian. “Sentimental”
12 Intocable. “Eso Duele”
13 Arnulfo Jr. “Adultera”
14 La Firma. “A mí que me importa”
15 La Firma. “Le Dire”
16 Los Pikadientes de Caborca. “La tenia mas grande”
17 Tigrillos. “Mira Oye!”
18 Colmilludo Norteño. “Hotel El Cid”
19 Intocable. “Es mejor decir adiós”
20 Limite. “Ay! Papacito”