Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Espinoza Paz – Que Mal Te Ves Sin Mí

And via Eric, a Mexican norteño-pop artist (with zero connections whatsoever to Nirvana).


Jonathan Bogart: I first encountered Sr. Paz as a performer, not (as he’s best known today) a songwriter, as the swaying r&bolero “Lo Intentamos” was all over the local Latin stations when I first started tuning into them; I was always a little disappointed that he didn’t keep showing up there. “Que Mal Te Ves Sin Mí” is a more traditional mariachi, and Paz’s voice, with its gruff, limited range, isn’t nearly as well suited for it (the song, and that plush arrangement, begs for a bel canto belter), but he’s a consummate craftsman, and the protesting-too-much lyric of romantic non-regret is a sly masterpiece.

Thomas Inskeep: A beautiful, simple norteño heartbreak ballad, loosely translated as “how awful you look without me.” The (gut) punchline which really gives this emotional resonance is the last one: “and I also look awful without you.” Oof.

Madeleine Lee: A really long-winded way (“You look so terrible since we broke up…”) to an unsurprising punchline (“…and so do I”), but a pleasant one, at least.

Ramzi Awn: The easy candor on “Que Mal Te Ves Sin Mí” splices its poignant sadness with some hope.

Will Adams: The gentle lilt reminds me of Louis Armstrong’s recording of “La Vie en Rose”; it’s a repose that could have gelled with the heartbreak narrative, but Espinoza Paz leans too much into the ache instead of the bittersweet.

Alfred Soto: The trumpet expresses the heartache that Espinoza Paz’s hit-the-road-jack lyric and strums won’t allow themselves. Wry, rueful, and the right length.

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