Tuesday, July 06, 2010

No sabes bien como me arrepiento

How have I not mentioned "Egoísta" on the site yet?

Mexican pop singer Belinda rose to fame on children's television before releasing an album in 2003 that sounded pretty much like those released by her American counterparts: very light teen pop-rock. Pretty forgettable stuff, though anyone who loves cataloging the recycling of songs might find it interesting.

It was in the beginning of the campaign for her second album, 2006's Utopía, that Belinda began to show any signs of being a popstar worth anyone's time. Lead single "Ni Freud ni tu mamá" was a stompy electro-rock pop song with a snappy title, but it was its English version "If We Were" that really made me fall in love. Belinda might have been ostensibly listing all the great things she'd do for this guy if he'd be with her, but her sweet nothings sound a lot more like threats. The angry, biting edge to the song was irresistible.

(You can spot Raven and Drew Seeley in the video, presumably due to the Disney connections Belinda picked up through her appearance in a Cheetah Girls movie.)

Utopía, though once again no masterpiece, contained several other enjoyable songs. Whoever was A&Ring the record had a surprisingly interesting idea for what it should sound like. The title track, for example, is written by Sia and Greg Kurstin, and even if it was just a matter of someone asking Sia for an unreleased song she had lying around, it was still a pleasantly unique idea back in 2006. Several other cases of recycling appear on the album--an unreleased Skye Sweetnam, a cover of a Pussycat Dolls' bonus track--but the end result was still a step forward compared to Belinda's first album.

Belinda released her third album, Carpe Diem, this year and, in typical Belinda fashion, its tunes are not entirely unfamiliar to international pop fans (she covers Kim Lian for the second time in her career). You can make a solid EP out of its tracks, though.

In general, Carpe Diem moves Belinda closer towards spacey pop-dance, but "Egoísta" picks up right where "Ni Freud ni tu mamá" left off, with a robo-voiced Belinda delivering menacing insults to a guy over a hard electro-pop-rock beat. It's basically amazing on all fronts, including the chanty "ego-ego-ego-egoista" that makes up the song's main hook. Pitbull shows up, but since he brings with him the radar-style beeps of "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)," it's not an unwelcome appearance. There is, once again, an English version, but this time I'll be sticking with the Spanish version; Belinda doesn't sound nearly as much like a blank-eyed assassin in English this time out.

You can buy Belinda's third album Carpe Diem here (physical) or, if you live in the U.S., here (digital). The iTunes only bonus track "Duele," written by Cathy Dennis and Chris Braide, is better than many of the songs actually on the album, though, so you might be better off going to iTunes.

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