Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Natalia Jiménez – Quédate Con Ella

Now for some real fun…


Jonathan Bogart: Since the dissolution of her great rock band La Quinta Estación, where her powerful voice met its match in booming guitars, in 2010, Spanish singer Natalia Jiménez has seemed to flounder: most of her singles have been snoozy power ballads, her 2011 album was a disappointing mess of out-of-it styles, and her most high-profile gig recently was singing a generic chorus for Daddy Yankee. Which is why I’m so pleased about “Quédate con Ella” — boshing mariachi may not exactly be the Sound of Young America, but it’s a sound, distinctive and maybe absurd enough to catch the ear, so that the details of her performance — and, eventually, the song’s self-sacrificial lyrics — have time to sink in.

Alfred Soto: A histrionic stomper with self-affirming lyrics about not being a happy housewife that wouldn’t be amiss in a Loretta Lynn or Ashley Monroe song. Jimenéz sings like she wants to shove that trumpet up her man’s ass.

Josh Langhoff: Jiménez shoots for Mexican mariachi and, with the help of Venezuelan producer Motiff, winds up singing a marvelously square ABBA song. “Square,” that is, in its perky chorus beat and tune; devoid of anything resembling R&B, “Quédate” stands out on a Hot Latin chart full of bachata and reggaeton. And “square” in Jiménez’s insistence that the Other Woman play house in every sense of the phrase — iron her ex’s clothes, make his toast, etc. What’s not square is her singing: Jiménez inhabits the song with giggly triumph, just as “Jajaja” into “LOL” is a triumph of Google Translate. She’s having more fun breaking up than she did when they were together. She’s Chiquitita with Fernando’s swagger.

John Seroff: I have little doubt there’s more going on here than my gringo ears can comprehend, but as it stands the Almodóvar camp of “Quédate” strikes me as flouncing big-time-fun of the ABBA variety. A bit too much of a production number for extensive listening but enjoyably silly dress-up-and-dance music until the high heels start making my arches hurt.

Micha Cavaseno: This production feels so flat, unable to decide which sort of bombast it wants to go into. It could’ve been dance or organic, but instead we end up with afro-turf.

Brad Shoup: It’s mariachi as Luv’ would’ve done it: handclaps and compressed brass and big, big personality. I don’t believe for a second that Jiménez has got any venom left, not with how hard she’s waving on the refrain.

Iain Mew: I love way the different sets of instruments (horns; distant synths; vaguely surf guitar) play in a series of false starts that indicate “Quédate Con Ella” is going to be several different kinds of party, before it turns out that it’s all of them at once.

Abby Waysdorf: The interesting thing about “Quédate Con Ella” is what it suggests about where to locate a Spanish pop star — within the large Latin American audience that shares the language, or the physically located Europe that doesn’t? Jiménez tries to split the difference here, drawing on mariachi and Mexican artwork to dress up what is essentially a schlager song, the kind that’s probably quite popular with the tourists in Mallorca. To her credit, it’s a good schlager, and I really do love a good schlager. This one does what the genre is best at, which is be bouncy and fun with a chorus that can be sung while drunk in a language you don’t entirely understand. Maybe there doesn’t need to be a division after all.

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2 Responses to “Natalia Jiménez – Quédate Con Ella”

  1. mmm schlager yes, i did not think of that. an excellent reference point.

  2. It’s nearly Carnival, I can’t think of anything but schlager. (But also this is schlager.)