Telememe, Jessy Bulbo
by Jean-Stephane Beriot
A few years ago during the MySpace golden age, a hot punk girl showed her panties to the world, as you would assume, she got herself a few millions of profile views. But once you actually send her a friend request, she would respond back with an automatic message celebrating the new friendship with an excerpt from Timbiriche’s “Somos Amigos.” This is the kind of personality switch that makes Jessy Bulbo such an interesting character in Latin Rock, many have not realized it yet, but nowadays, she is Latin Rock’s most talented lady. In 1998 Julieta Venegas and Ely Guerra appeared on TIME magazine’s cover as the publication announced the surfacing of the ‘Era of the Rockera’, if TIME was to recreate the cover today, Bulbo should be leading the pack.
Jessy Bulbo won our hearts since her very first album; the production of Saga Mama (2007) was almost damaging to the human ear, but was still a treasure. Taras Bulba (2009) was just something else; an uncontrollable and alarming vindication of what rock&roll is all about. No Jessy Bulbo fan desires for her to sound mature, but she has found the concept of roundness on her new album Telememe, and if you’ve ever imagine rock music in the form of cylinders and round corners, this record makes the concept a reality. But don’t worry; none of the songs in the album are set on templates, she’s still carries the girl-next-door quality in her unpolished persona, and in her composition.
The album’s opener “Permanentemente” rolls just by reading the title, and it’s astonishing to see just how cleverly the whole band picks up melody through great step-by-step sequencing. If for whatever reason you’re still not convinced about the polished sound, the concept of roundness or her improvement as a storyteller, take a careful listen to “Jaslo Casvie 1” and “Jaslo Casvie 2”, which are essentially the same piece but with a different cookie cutter. The self-defining track has a great cycling wordplay that hides the words “viejas locas” with the much more sophisticated-sounding ‘Jaslo Casvie.’
First single “La Cruda Moral” showcases her status as a crowd-pleasing artist, who can also deliver guilty personal songs. This is a sort of homage to Mexican urban storyteller Chava Flores, and that’s beyond challenging. Yes, she’s known for her eclectic music taste and for adapting well to just about any genre (ok, except for that Tego Calderon cover), but story-wise, she isn’t the brightest narrator out there. The true advancement between Taras Bulba and Telememe is the straightforward narrative. In “Belzebu” she stops singing for a bit to instead, tell the story through a very touching monologue, and that, along with “Flores y Frutos”, is the real nakedness on the album.
Telememe is a round record, perhaps the first Jessy Bulbo that actually feels complete. The album cover outlines the album’s roundness, and as it suggests, she seems to have found a sense of absolute freedom (as you can see, she’s comfortable enough to get naked on it). She once again, teamed up with Martin Thulin to produce one of the year’s best rock records (and our first ‘Destacado’ tag of the year). Some may argue she has subordinated the punk elements that predominated her last records, but she has rather, evolved them into something just a little more polished (something Steve Jobs would know about). Not too many people are discovering her music through MySpace anymore, she's rather getting 'flagged' on Facebook for her nakedness... adjusting to the times.
Telememe, Jessy Bulbo