This is most likely the last time we will see Marco Antonio Solís on this travelogue; he's been a regular presence here since 1988 (and he's been having Mexican hits since 1975), but the chart is drifting away from the kind of traditional Mexican pop he does very well, and younger and flashier sounds are gaining prominence. In the present tense of when I'm writing this, 2019, he hasn't released an album of new material for six years, the longest he's ever gone before; if he does stage a comeback in the age of urbano (he's not quite sixty yet), I'll be pleasantly surprised.
The 2006 album Trozos de Mi Alma 2 (Pieces of My Soul 2) was an album of new recordings, but it wasn't new material; like its predecessor in 1999, it was Solís covering songs he'd written but given to other singers. I didn't note it at the time, but his 1999 #1 "Si Te Pudiera Mentir" (If I Could Lie to You) was originally recorded by Rocío Dúrcal in 1990. And his version of "Ojalá" sounds like classic Rocío Dúrcal: carefully-produced mariachi-inflected pop, with studio orchestration that replicates the soft-rock sound of 70s pop where Dúrcal had her heyday and Solís got his start.
So who sang the original? Well... Paulina Rubio, in 2004. And if you click on that link you'll get a lesson in what production can do to a song. It was only an album track (her big singles from Pau-Latina, "Te Quise Tanto" and "Dame Otro Tequila" appeared here), but it's still as dense with mid-2000s genre-mashup technofuturism as everything else on the album, mariachi horns snaking across a glitchy, twitchy soundscape which she actually takes at a slightly slower pace than Solís would two years later, purring lyrics which he delivers in his traditional trumpet-like belt. Of the two performances, I'm aesthetically constituted so as to prefer Rubio's, but that doesn't mean I dislike Solís's in the slightest: I enjoy both his soft-focus traditionalism and her lively personality-driven pop. Her hissed ad-lib at the start, "quiero que te arrastres, güey" -- I want you to crawl, dude -- is sublime.
Because the song is, in both versions, a kiss-off, with the title "Ojalá" (literally derived from the Arabic for "God willing" but generally used as an informal expression of hope) in the chorus introducing a series of wishes that the betraying lover will meet with similar terrible fates. It's a wallow in hatred and revenge fantasies, and it's even kind of funny (Solís's first line, roughly "I don't know what name to call you, I looked in the dictionary and couldn't find it," is some classic country songwriting). A terrific song, regardless of version, and perhaps the best farewell to this blog that Marco Antonio Solís could have devised. Three weeks at #1 (interrupting Enrique Iglesias' much longer reign to either side), a victory lap for a long-serving craftsman before ceding the floor to the youth coming up, as always, from behind.