Cafe Tacuba
Re


5.0
classic

Review

by Royl123 USER (1 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2015 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Every album that Cafe Tacuba released after this one is distinctive, but Re was the one that redefined the rules in the Mexican rock scene.

If Pitchfork has at least one review of this amazing band then why not Sputnikmusic?

Cafe Tacuba are one those bands that contributed greatly to the Mexican Rock scene and made a name for themselves in Latin America. Throughout the years, Cafe Tacuba’s music has proven to transcend, and set the band aside from their contemporaries (Caifanes, Maldita Vecindad, Molotov).

For those who are new to the band, Cafe Tacuba is mainly a Latin Alternative band that formed in 1989 in Mexico City. They initially gained recognition after releasing their debut and self-titled album Cafe Tacuba in 1992. On their debut album, Cafe Tacuba incorporated music styles such as Mexican folk music, dance music, and punk rock music; styles which would be evident in their later releases. However, 1994 became Cafe Tacuba’s biggest year with the release of their sophomore album Re; the band took what they’ve originally created on their debut album and made it grandiose. Consequently, the album gained the status of being called "the equivalent of the Beatles 'White Album' for the rock en español movement”.

To begin with, Re contains 20 songs all of which are unique in their respective styles. This album established Cafe Tacuba's style of genre-switching, which hadn't been as prominent in their debut album. Its arduous length - an hour long with songs ranging between 2 to 5 minutes at most - and experimentation with musical styles has made it a favorite among fans and listeners of fine music in general. The album's diversity in genres showcases the vocal capabilities of Rubén Albarrán, and most importantly the musicianship of the band as a whole. Since Re contains a fair amount of tracks; I’m going to briefly review tracks I feel exposed the different stages of the album.

The album opens up with the track “El Aparato” which translated in English means “The Machine”. The track is indeed a strong opener for the album and demonstrates Cafe Tacuba’s ingenuity. In addition to the Mexican folk instrumentation, the song contains psychedelic influences and it eventually ends with electronic-like sounds to fit the concept of the song.

The second track, “La Ingrata” (The Ungrateful One), is a fun track that parodies Norteño Mexican music by combining it with nasal-sounding vocals reminiscent of punk music. The lyrics in this song are your cliché breakup song lyrics like “Don’t tell me that you want me, don’t tell me that you adore me, that you love me, that you miss me, because I don’t believe you anymore”. Essentially, this track became one of the band’s most successful singles that it gained significant airplay on MTV in the 90s. The following track, “El Ciclon” (The Cyclone), is a rather philosophical song that contains thoughtful lyrics. For Example, the song opens up with a reference to a life cycle like “me(human), arrow, flower, pollen, arrow, bee, bear, fish…” and shifts to the question of god; “if equilibrium is god and equilibrium disrupts, then what would happen to god?”

The fourth track, “El Borrego” (The Sheep), differs greatly from the previous track because of its misanthropic nature. We could call this a speed metal song that ridicules society as a whole. You might think Cafe Tacuba is trying to appeal to certain group, when in fact, they’re mocking all those people or “sheep” (sheep is a derogatory Spanish term for people who do everything they're told to) who label themselves accordingly with the way society changes: “I’m an Anarchist, I’m a Neo-Nazi, I’m a skin head and an ecologist”.

Without a doubt, “El Borrego” is a heavy track that shows the band’s darker side, but songs like “Las Flores” show the complete opposite. “Las Flores” (The Flowers) is personally my favorite track off the album; It’s romantic, energetic, poetic, yet its shortness leaves you wanting more. Another song in the similar vein is “El Baile y El Salon” (The Dance and the Ballroom). Ruben’s falsetto gives a sensual feel to the song, especially when he sings “do you want to sleep with me” in French.

I highly recommend this album to those who want to experience fine Mexican rock music or just Latin music in general. Every album that Cafe Tacuba released after this one is distinctive, but Re was the one that redefined the rules in the Mexican music scene. In terms of originality, it was clever to parody Mexico's norteño* roots; provided the nod was as affectionate and inspired as their hit "La Ingrata." It was unique to embrace the foreign influence of Alternative rock and Punk, as long as it was blended with authentic Latin sounds. Re's 20 tracks illustrate a band discovering the grand achievements it was capable of.

Pros:
Superb musicianship
A lot of variety
Great production

Cons:
Language Barrier
Vocals may take time to get used to
Album’s length


user ratings (43)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Royl123
March 2nd 2015


766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ok guys, this is my very first sputnik review. I would really appreciate tips that could help improve my writing. thanx.

MrSirLordGentleman
March 2nd 2015


5552 Comments


Holy crap a review for a latin album!, miracles do exist

Royl123
March 2nd 2015


766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I know right!

Asdfp277
March 2nd 2015


1735 Comments


dude i can try to give you 'constructive' criticism but i'm a huge bitch -- just ask mr. sir lord gentleman :c --idk

Digging: Doll $ Boxx - Dolls Apartment

Mort.
March 2nd 2015


4895 Comments


I guess this feels a bit track by trackish (which sput generally looks down upon, and for a good reason imo) but you do justify partially in your opening paragraphs. Id say try and describe how the album sounds and what works/doesnt work with less specific examples, perhaps describing what you think the albums general stages sound like without referring to specific songs in the track by track way you did

Overall tho, a good review especially for a first one

Digging: Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime

trackbytrackreviews
March 2nd 2015


2203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd say it was more Caifanes that redefined the Mexican rock scene

Digging: Alesana - Confessions

makrand
March 2nd 2015


50 Comments


I am amazed that this got reviewed finally! One of the loveliest albums ever recorded. Great first review. Just work on the length and paragraphs and it is great. For help, take proofread help from contributors. Looking forward to read more from you.

makrand
March 2nd 2015


50 Comments


And refrain from writing track by track reviews. Cheers!

RadicalEd
March 2nd 2015


3843 Comments


So, this review is not a bad first review, so don't take the following too hard, because I'm going to focus on the things I didn't like. Also keep in mind that I'm not a great writer by any means, so take everything with a grain of salt.

First of all, I didn't like your summary, specifically I didn't like that you copy pasted a sentence from your review into the summary box. Imo you should go through the extra effort and come up with something else. Something poignant, a favorite lyric, a short sentence that let's me know how you feel.... This sentence from the review those kinda summarize your opinion, but it does so pretty awkwardly.

"If Pitchfork has at least one review of this amazing band then why not Sputnikmusic?"
This sentence has nothing to do with the rest of your review, and feels very disjointed. I would take it out. It belongs in the comment section, no the review.

You describe the first four tracks of the album (well) and don't talk a lot about the rest of the album. Obviously you shouldn't review all 20 tracks, that would be a horrible, looooong review. Imo you should try to talk about the album as a whole, while using particular songs to highlight what you thought overall. The way you did, makes it seem like you ran out of things to say after four tracks.

The pro/con list shouldn't be there at all. It's entirely unnecessary, instead of listing some points at the end of your review, who are really not that connected to your review, you could just take those points and mention them in your real review, and really talk about them.




Digging: Blur - The Magic Whip

MrSirLordGentleman
March 2nd 2015


5552 Comments


"�"


Haven't seen those in a loooooong time

Royl123
March 2nd 2015


766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanx for the helpful tips guys...

trackbytrackreviews
March 2nd 2015


2203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And refrain from writing track by track reviews. Cheers!




u wot m8

makrand
March 2nd 2015


50 Comments


Nice user name :D

Asdfp277
March 2nd 2015


1735 Comments


So, is it too late to post this now? ...

WARNING: My english sucks, so maybe I'm not the best person to be doing this. However...

"Consequently, the album gained the status of being called 'the equivalent of the Beatles White Album for the rock en español movement.'"
-Unless this is meant to provide the context necessary for a subsequent argument, this tidbit is completely useless and only makes you sound like fanboy who failed to actually give this album an honest listen. As for the highlighted fragments: (1) Sounds redundant; literally, being called something is being given the status of, and the album "gained the status of being called the equivalent of the Beatles' White Album" by who? Critics? Fans? The media in general? And (2), missing a ' (typo lol)

"...listeners of fine music in general."
-(I'm an Opeth fan, actually)

"The album's diversity in genres..."
-This is kinda redundant, since there's barely any other aspect of the songs that could give diversity to an album (song length? titles?)

"Since Re contains a fair amount of tracks; I’m going to briefly review tracks I feel exposed the different stages of the album."
-This is very common amongst reviews here, but I find it bothering anyway: we're not children, why do you feel the need to tell us what you're gonna' do next? (Also, I did notice you actually just track-by-track'd the first 4 songs of the album, don't lie to us)

"I’m going to briefly review tracks I feel exposed..."
-Expose*, since the songs still exist, and they still expose blah blah...

Asdfp277
March 2nd 2015


1735 Comments


"The album opens up with the track 'El Aparato' which translated in English means 'The Machine'."
-DEVICE

"The lyrics in this song..."
-of*

"The fourth track, 'El Borrego' (The Sheep), differs greatly from the previous track because of its misanthropic nature. We could call this a speed metal song..."
-C'mon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNTuvl75gkY

"You might think Cafe Tacuba is trying to appeal to certain group,"
-Why? Nothing you've said so far could lead us to believe that.

"when in fact, they’re mocking all those people or 'sheep' (sheep is a derogatory Spanish term for people who do everything they're told to)"
-It's used in the same way in english too...

"Without a doubt, 'El Borrego' is a heavy track that shows the band’s darker side, but songs like 'Las Flores' show the complete opposite."
-(Now I'm being really picky but whatever) How does the latter statement contradict the former? No olvides que "pero" es un conector adversativo...

"Mexico's norteño�* roots;"
-Mexico has norteño roots? Also, I think that semi-color shouldn't be there...

"It was unique to embrace the foreign influence of Alternative rock and Punk, as long as it was blended with authentic Latin sounds."
-"As long as it was blended with authentic Latin sounds,"and it wouldn't be unique any other way... Are you sure that that's what you're trying to say?

"Re's 20 tracks illustrate a band discovering the grand achievements it was capable of."
-they were* (they're a band, remember)

Blah blah, I suck.

MrSirLordGentleman
March 2nd 2015


5552 Comments


asdf as always destroying the dreams of a reviewer hehe, nah, your critics are always helpful


You should review something actually

Asdfp277
March 2nd 2015


1735 Comments


I suck lmao. But! I should add that this review is better than, like, 80% of the user reviews here, and it's only his first one, so pos'd anyway.

"You should review something actually" -- I would just make an alt and neg myself lol, I've tried but I really suck at the revieweing thing

EDIT: Holy typo

Royl123
March 2nd 2015


766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@Asdfp277, Thank you so much man!

Royl123
March 4th 2015


766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I highly encourage you guys to check out the band Maldita Vecindad if you haven't already: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Maldita-Vecindad-y-Los-Hijos-Del-Quinto-Patio/65442/



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy