Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Worth It In 2011: #5 - El Bebeto y Su Banda Patria Chica

SUCH a good album -- song for song, as good as anything on this list, the distinctions becoming smaller from here on up. Maybe my marching band background renders me more susceptible to El Bebeto's charms, but even if you don't THINK you like regional Mexican stuff, this is undeniably big and bright and impressive, with indelible melodies and virtuosic funk. I could listen to gigantic banda ballads (like the one below) all day long; they're a pinnacle (a plateau?) (a really high plateau) of consistent greatness in Western music, like Western swing songs. It's hard to find a bad one. And this album does a whole lot more.

El Bebeto y Su Banda Patria Chica
Quiero Que Seas Tú

From PopMatters's "Best New and Emerging Artists 2011" feature:

2011’s splashiest regional Mexican debut came from babyfaced 20-something Carlos Alberto García Villanueva—“El Bebeto”—and his Sinaloan Banda Patria Chica (“hometown band”). Their Disa album Quiero Que Seas Tú comprises 26 minutes of fat brass grooves and unbelievable moments—it’s hard to fathom that human lips and fingers can achieve some of these effects. El Bebeto was last seen in the likable but little-heard Banda Sairú, and he leads his own group with the confidence and drive of a tiger freed from a cage. Equally adept at rapid-fire waltzes, huge swinging ballads, and one very catchy cumbia, the band fires off 10 well-chosen songs full of humor and high drama. They sound perpetually eager to play their next amazing tune—not a bad way to begin a career.

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