Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Rosalía – Aute Cuture

Lowest solo score, but exactly as controversial as “Whiskey Glasses.”


Alfred Soto: The arrangement doesn’t push Rosalía like “Malamente” and its followups did — I’ve heard these horns on M.I.A. tracks — but as her fame grows so has the consciousness that she’s a star waiting for the right ingredients to gel. Awarded extra credit for the most delicious pronunciation of “Hamptons” in recent memory.

Jessica Doyle: As someone who argued a long time ago that Kill Bill is a feminist movie, and was later chagrined to hear that Uma Thurman’s on-set experience did not bear this out, I am officially calling it a trend, of female musicians being inspired to put their own Tarantinoesque spin on things. Three makes a trend, right? The first example y’all know already. The second: Brown Eyed Girls’ more strict take on “Kill Bill,” in which all male roles are eliminated, the plot becomes an excuse for intra-band goofiness, and the first dance shot is of a faceless male dancer lifting his crotch to the camera. And now here’s a third, complete with closeups of feet, dramatic zooms, knife sound effects, overstyled titles announcing new baddies, and the Western motif of the protagonist striding through the dusty town–although unlike Tarantino’s protagonists, Rosalía and her Beauty Gang are here to transform and uplift, not destroy. The song itself is similarly open-hearted: poppier and more static than the precise stories of El Mal Querer, but to a purpose: a widespread drink, a designer label, the fun in self-expression lies everywhere in between. This is why you don’t throw the art out with the artist: because you can’t predict whose art the art is going to inspire.

Will Adams: The horns blare, the percussion is a whirlwind, and Rosalia provides the hooks, but in a first for her, it’s slight. Perhaps that’s all to be expected for a song that’s basically a victory lap.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: After “Con Altura” nabbed the top spot in Spain, it feels apt that Rosalía quickly returns with her own version of a Beyoncé song. Its repetitive nature makes it feel twice the length, and these drums and horns act as a constant reminder of Rosalía’s well-deserved star status. It feels like the opposite of a Shepard tone: instant gratification from the moment it starts, and every second thereafter until it ends.

Edward Okulicz: With this single, we may have found the limit of Rosalía’s powers, considerable though they are. You can modernise flamenco sounds, but cheap blarting horn fanfares need to stay in the last decade. When they subside to make room for Rosalía, she sounds as relieved as I am. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The kind of effortlessly triumphant single that only works when you’ve put in the kind of year Rosalía has had, every melodic twist or horn flourish sounding like a victory lap.

William John: Many Rosalía fans were perplexed that “Aute Cuture”, also known as “Esto Está Encendido” or “that banger with the na na nas”, didn’t appear in the track listing of El mal querer, despite it being performed by the singer in concerts prior to the album’s release. It might’ve been personally regrettable that a studio version wasn’t available to me to blast all through the Australian summer, but I can accept its May 2019 release as a victory lap of sorts – it’s a song that doesn’t fit neatly into El mal querer‘s deliberate, studied narrative, and following  some impressive festival slots and a lively J Balvin collaboration, it’s an appropriate time for her to seize the moment. The song itself is a rush of claps, thuds and what sounds like a manipulated accordion, but it’s clear from her first breath that Rosalía is the star, finding new vocal hooks with each lap of the beat’s glittering carousel.

Reader average: [9] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Rosalía – Aute Cuture”

  1. Actually this is her best song but you aren’t ready for that conversation.

    Seeing a 20-second snippet of a live performance of this song in June 2018 is what made me a fan of her even after hearing Malamente and Los ángeles so.

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