Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Joss Favela – Cuando Fuimos Nada

Day one closes with a big Banda hit…


Jonathan Bogart: Banda music has not traditionally been heartthrob music. Which isn’t to say that handsome, attractive, or pretty men haven’t had a lot of success making it; that’s how pop works. But as with country music, male beauty in the genre has historically been papered over by a fictive gritty authenticity that can imagine success deriving from inherent (masculine) authority rather than callow (feminine) beauty. Anyway, welcome to 2016, where 25-year-old Joss Favela is a huge banda star off the back of some smoldering music videos, a voice that has more in common with Harry Styles than Ariel Camacho, and a romantic sensibility that prefers emotion-choked, accordion-soaked ballads to knockabout brass-band blasts. As always, the teen girl fans are right.

Juana Giaimo: Although the typical Banda brass is still present in “Cuando Fuimos Nada”, it was very cleverly put at the back, so as not to make such a big contrast with Joss Favela’s voice. Still, this is too affected for my taste — not to mention that the brass makes it all sound like a parody. Maybe I would enjoy it better if it was!

Alfred Soto: This tejano plaint benefits from expert accordion filigrees and Joss Favela, whose silt-covered voice understands it’s plenty poignant on its own.

Madeleine Lee: His bloodless vocals are apparently a novelty for Banda, but I don’t see the appeal of a ballad with no wind in its sails. This just kind of hangs there.

Iain Mew: The instrumental melody briefly reminds me of “Suicide is Painless,” a statement which is more than can be said for the draggiest bits of this song.

Jessica Doyle: I find Favela’s voice bland (which is unfair, given that its smoothness is unusual for the genre) but the arrangement behind him, thankfully, isn’t: low notes skittering along, guitar chords being pulled like so much taffy.

Josh Langhoff: Having survived the teen talent show Código F.A.M.A. and worked with electrocumbia dudes 3Ball MTY, the man born José Alberto Inzunza Favela has been busy chiseling his way onto a norteño-pop songwriters’ Mt. Rushmore whose other inhabitants include Espinoza Paz, Horacio Palencia, and Favela’s frequent collaborator Luciano Luna. Like most prolific songwriters, Favela’s virtue lies in his fecundity: if you like at least one of his songs, that just means he wrote 10 others you forgot as soon as you finished making out to them. “Cuando Fuimos Nada” falls into that heap: decent tune, a life lesson out of a novela, and further proof that a small norteño group can’t rescue a pop nonentity the way a banda can.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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