Mexico’s Bicentenario is a big deal, my friend Aldo Alvarez Tostado couldn’t say it better “it’s not about celebrating the ineptitude of our political apparatus or the questionable side of our social movements… Mexico is much more than its failed political record… I celebrate a fascinating, complex, monumental, almost indecipherable nation, Mexico is the motor of my curiosity, of my searches.” If all the events and projects leading to this celebration were in the name such feelings, keep the love coming. Nacional Records’ Bimexicano is a compilation featuring some of today’s most well-known Latin alternative acts versioning classic Boleros and Rancheras.
Bimexicano is not a scattered pop anthology of the Mexican folklore, it’s much more sophisticated; these are songs every Mexican and non-Mexican know. Only half of the album’s lineup is exciting (and only a few get it right), but it’s interesting to see different generations thrown into the mix. Jaguares starts the festivity with a surprisingly refreshing cover of “La Martiniana”, after years of creative decline they’ve managed to sound sober, almost refreshing. Natalia Lafourcade’s version of “La Cigarra” is predictable, but engaging from beginning to end. We never want to bring up Enrique Bunbury, but, seriously? His cult is so scary. The best moment of the album arrives with the always-reliable Los Aterciopelados with a heart-punching cover of "Un Mundo Raro"; they have a masterful eye for dramatization unlike the very underwhelming and gimmick versions by Sussie 4, Le Baron, and Sr. Flavio.
Nuestros Clasicos Hechos Rock misses substance and barely has any personality between one artist to the next, but the transcendental songs save the day. At the end, these altered reinterpretations work as ideas and good-intentioned cultural leisure.