Cafe Tacuba
Revés/Yo Soy



by Royl123 USER (2 Reviews)
December 30th, 2019 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Backwards/I Am": Mexico's alternative cult classic

Reves/Yo Soy (Backwards/I Am) was the fourth album by Mexican alternative band Cafe Tacuba. The album contains two discs such as Reves, that is almost entirely instrumental, and Yo Soy, which includes the vocalists. Although, Reves has cool folktronica instrumentals, I will be focusing more on Yo Soy for its lyrical content. But just FYI, there could be a language barrier for some since the whole record is in Spanish. Still, this record offers a lot musically to make up for that and it's definitely worth looking up the English translation of the lyrics to get the most out of it. Who knows, maybe you could pick up some Spanish along the way.

In July 2019, Reves/Yo Soy turned 20 and continues to be regarded as a cult classic in Latin rock and alternative music in general. To start, we notice the title's play on words with "Reves/Yo Soy" referring to the "Yo Soy" palindrome. "Yo Soy" can have many meanings, from simply stating one's own identity to perhaps one that is a biblical allusion like God's identity. Nonetheless, Yo Soy explores these topics of identity in the first 3 tracks "El Padre", "La Locomotora", and "El Rio". From there on, the subject matter shifts to the role of time in life. In addition, the lyrics are expressed in an abstract way, while at the same time, grounded in reality. For instance, some references of life in Mexico are made concerning the state of politics, religion, poverty, etc. in the country. Yet, these lyrics are expressed from a surrealist perspective and most likely from someone having a psychedelic experience (“La Muerte Chiquita”, “El Espacio”, “Arboles Frutales”). The album cover, which shows stars in space, is not only a good representation of the abstract lyrics, but also the feel and quality of the music.

To this day, Reves/Yo Soy is still considered Cafe Tacuba's most experimental record. It still features the band's signature folk sound developed in their previous breakthrough album Re. However, here they decide to turn that familiar sound on its head by incorporating different styles that the band didn’t delve much into before. Styles like electronica, jazz, and psychedelic music. Cafe Tacuba's musical fusion creates these unique textures and sounds that are heard throughout tracks like “Dos Niños”, “El Espacio”, or their Beatlesque tune “El Ave”. The vocals in Yo Soy are mainly done by the band’s frontman Ruben Albarran who has a very distinctive voice that at times may be either nasally (“La Locomotora”, “Bicicleta”), soothing (“El Rio”, “Arboles Frutales”), or more like traditional Mexican folk (“La Muerte Chiquita"). Also, other band members join Albaran on the vocals and get stand alone tracks like “El Pollen” (multi-instrumentalist Emmanuel del Real aka “meme”), the “Esperando” interlude (bassist Enrique “Quique” Rangel), and “Lento” (guitarist Joselo Rangel). Yo Soy is Cafe Tacuba’s testament as a tight musical group with each song in the record flowing perfectly into the next one. Overall, Reves/Yo Soy is a masterful piece of art folk that everyone, no matter their background, should experience at least once.

RATING: 10/10

Track listing of Yo Soy:

1. "El Padre (The Father)"
2. "La Locomotora (The Locomotive)"
3. "El Rio (The River)"
4. "El Polen (The Pollen)"
5. "Dos Niños (Two Kids)"
6. "La Muerte Chiquita (The Little Death)"
7. "El Espacio (The Space)"
8. "Guerra (War)"
9. "Sin Titulo (Untitled)"
10. "El Hombre Impasible (The Impassive Man)"
11. "El Ave (The Bird)"
12. "Esperando (Waiting)"
13. "Arboles Frutales (Fruit Trees)"
14. "Bicicleta (Bicycle)"
15. "Lento (Slow)"

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Comments:Add a Comment 
December 30th 2019


Album Rating: 5.0

My second review after almost 5 years lol

December 30th 2019


Absolutely wonderful review. Flows very well, very informative and backs up the 5.

I spent the early 2000s in Latin America and came across this band repeatedly. But to be honest, I dismissed them as an artsy but rather bland alternative pop/rock band.This review makes me seriously doubt my younger self ...

December 30th 2019


Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks! I'm glad my review got you interested in this band again

December 31st 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

Classic album along with Re. I got the Yo Soy CD while visiting Mexico, but good luck finding the double album below $100!

December 31st 2019


nice to see this finally got a review!

January 6th 2020


Album Rating: 4.5

Their best album along with Re.

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