Like a reverse Medusa?
Josh Langhoff: It’s simple and stately, yes — but check out the way Ortiz snaps the rhymes into the end of every line. You can tell he takes great pleasure in rhyming and singing imperfectly, giving himself an immediacy he doesn’t grant to la mujer in question. I call new Dylan! This particular song is less “Like a Rolling Stone” and more the Michael Bolton cowrite “Steel Bars,” which also found its hero dreaming of lost love while searching fruitlessly for the woman inside the hard inanimate metaphor.
Brad Shoup: I prefer the mariachi version, honestly, but on either, Ortiz traces these flatly-rendered peaks. Everything’s compressed, as usual; his drummer can be counted on to add some serration (he’s worked with some good drummers), but here he sits out for stretches, in service to the drama. But the pep and the glumness make a nice little reaction.
Ramzi Awn: Perfectly sangria. I want to be out on a beach, with my transistor radio. And fireworks. The drinks would be just as well-mixed as the song. Wouldn’t be mad about it.
Will Adams: The horns are crisply mixed and wrap beautifully around Ortiz, but why have drums at all when they’re just going to make perfunctory cameos?
Jonathan Bogart: Oddly minimalist in what is often a maximalist genre: with the full banda at his disposal, it takes some restraint to stick to mostly bass throbs and coloration, only letting the drums make a cameo and keeping the big brass for the punchy climax. I kept thinking of British synthpop — in terms of clockwork arrangement and male vulnerability, if not in soundscape — and Ortiz wields his limited instrument as well as a Gahan or LeBon ever did.
Alfred Soto: The horns buzz like synths, the woodwinds double his frustration. Atop is Ortiz, hurling imprecation after imprecation. She hasn’t walked in his shoes, no, and often I get the sense he hasn’t walked in them either.
Cédric Le Merrer: The horns find some pretty ways to intermingle, but this is a bit stiff, more like the so called mujer de piedra herself than the broken-hearted narrator whose lamentation consequently fails to move.