In Defense of: Miguel Bosé

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This week in the Guácala Audit (because you might think something’s “guácala,” but that’s only because you haven’t done your homework): In defense of Miguel Bosé.

What you know about him: Amante bandido.” That pain in your ear that wouldn’t go away for two months — also known as his duet with la voz-de-cabra Paulina Rubio in the Papito (2007) re-interpreting of Nena.” That the term “ambiguous sexuality” features a picture of him in the dictionary (die, haters). Old-school, lyrical lyrics. Your mom and dad listening to his cassettes and CDs and ruining your childhood road trips with dubious 80’s pop music (been there). His Spanish torero and Italian beauty queen pedigree.

The Amante bandido original video, with bonus Indiana Jones and weirdly sexy aboriginal Miguel

The bane of Latin American and Latino radio stations’ existences during 2007 and 2008

What you should know about him: That Nena was a good song before Paulina touched it. That before Gael tranny’ed it out in La Mala Educación, Miguelito was the original Almodóvar he-girl in Tacones Lejanos — do yourself and your fantasies a favor and watch that panty-creamer of an aerial cunnilingus scene with Victoria Abril. That Pablo Picasso was his godfather, and he was the one who got him started in his artistic path. That, as much as we hate politically involved celebrities, this guy’s got the brains to back up his endeavors — just listen to him eloquently describe his reasons to pursue his causes of choice, Cuba and Colombia.

Bosé’s Letal in Tacones Lejanos (1991)

That you should shut your mouth pa’ que no te entren moscas if you think poorly of his lyrics, because among so much straightforwardness (Lady GaGa writing a song about not minding her phone while dancing?), poetry in pop is quite welcome.  That his 90’s and early 2000’s stuff is, contrary to popular belief, the best stuff he’s done in his career; the 1993-2005 less-commercial streak that fathered Bajo el signo de Caín, Laberinto, Girados, Sereno and Velvetina is ripe with priceless material — from “Morenamía” to “Tesoro,” from “Verde canalla” to “El hijo del Capitán Trueno,” from “Sol forastero” to “Si tú no vuelves.” That those road trips with  my parents actually led me to start liking this larger-than-life artist who deserves a level of fame akin to whatever level of fame a Spanish-speaking David Bowie would deserve. I mean, just look at his Bandido” video a few paragraphs up — even at his most commercial, he was still edgy.

Velvetina‘s Verde canalla,” electro-Bosé at his best

Gringo-dissing Miguelito

That this guy is a living legend, one of the best and most intelligent performers in the Spanish-speaking world, yet remains severely underrated. I don’t care if your hipster stuff is taking up too much space on your iTunes: get some Miguel Bosé in there, even if you tell yourself you’re doing it ironically. His melodic compositions, unexpected bridges, his mellow yet soulful voice and wink-nudge writing make him a worthy recipient of that space on your playlist. Worship him, people. Vívanlo.

That’s not to say that Papito isn’t a pandering load of mass-friendly refritos, and that I’m concerned about his new forthcoming album,  Cardio. When Miguel is good, he’s good; but when he loses his sense of direction — or his record company mistakenly chooses the lowest common denominator as a  single –, disaster ensues.  That seems to have happened with new single Estuve a punto de,” the first taste off Cardio.

Estuve a punto de… no escuchar esta canción dos veces

I can defend Miguel Bosé until my keyboard dies, but some of his songs are lost causes (see the above video as Exhibit A). But still, vívanlo, vívanlo! He’s so worth it.

This week on The Other Side of the Guácala Audit (or “the guy who has an equal or higher level of fame and respect as the guy I just defend, but doesn’t deserve half of it”): The indefensible – Ricky Martin. This is massive pop at its pandering worst. While Bosé is an actual dancer and pulls choreography only when necessary,  Martin sees hip-thrusting as an utmost necessity. My ears are are so glad his comeback post-Vida loca has never happened. Miguelito started as a heartthrob singer, but was smart enough to progress from there; Ricky has been hopelessly clinging to that tag for a while.

Ricky Martin‘s finest moment

And just in case you were wondering, I’d love to be Miguel‘s fag hag, but I’d love for Ricky to grab a fag and get his undeserved fame and his hilito of a voice the hag out of my face.

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