Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Los Tigres Del Norte – Qué Tal Si Eres Tú

Forty-eight years into their career, and making their Jukebox debut…


Josh Langhoff: …aka, the one where Hernán Hernández sings triplets, the one where Óscar Lara plays two different drum patterns, and the one with ALL THOSE MINOR CHORDS. I know I’m missing stuff, but after they’ve spent 40-odd years sifting through subtle shades of dry bounce, “Qué Tal” resembles a great Saguaro-like flowering of Los Tigres’ sound. 

Thomas Inskeep: “What if it’s you, the woman of my life,” it opens, and I’m kind of a sucker from then on. The kings of norteño, and for that matter the kings of of the narcocorrido, aren’t limited by that: this is a perfectly simple love song about meeting a woman at a bar while each is drowning sorrows. Sometimes, what you need most is simplicity, and that’s what you get here, top-of-the-line norteño. 

Alfred Soto: Waaaaayyy too many words, and the accordion is a taunt. Look at her — the love of your life is calling a cab.

Katherine St Asaph: A love song delivered like a bar filibuster, with appropriately stumbling syncopation.

Rebecca A. Gowns: A song of what-ifs, bringing to mind “Someone is Waiting” from Sondheim’s “Company.” Except, you know, transposed into a jaunty banda tune. The oompah backing is a touch too corny in this one, but what really sells here is the singer, who infuses the verses with yearning.

Tara Hillegeist: Few musicians outside of experimental guitarists still seem interested in the kind of sinewy picking that characterizes a bajo sexto player’s handiwork. It’s an instrument whose use is so complex and whose mastery is so profound, even the merely decently skilled will blow most shredheads and their overt arrogance away. They don’t boast much about it, though — listen, here, as the loose curl of Luis’s bajo sexto slides below then over Hernán’s bass, but fades back to simple, clear picks on the chorus. Hardly the kind of performance you hear wild ravings of joy over, but it’s the unmistakable backbone of good norteño. That workmanlike playfulness fits with the tone of the bands who take advantage of it. Like Jorge notes about another, more publicly fêted song off Realidades, it’s not as though performers like Los Tigres Del Norte expect their innovations to be noticed — they’re not doing anything except respectfully continuing the tradition of singing to the people who make the music worth performing for — but their affection invents a home for attentive listeners anyway.

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2 Responses to “Los Tigres Del Norte – Qué Tal Si Eres Tú”

  1. This song sounds so much like an American song. I cant place my finger on it and its killing me. Can anyone help me out?

  2. It is an American song. Los Tigres are based in Los Angeles. Besides two whole continents being America.