22nd November, 1997

As regular readers of this travelogue are aware, I'm fairly skeptical of ballads, demanding to be impressed by great writing, great singing, or great arranging before letting any low-bpm romanticism past my rock-reared defences. So I was already listening to this with one eyebrow raised, as it were, from the very first notes.


It's not bad! Castro's found his own rather fine voice -- no longer shamelessly aping Luis Miguel, he's found his own tricks of intimacy -- and it's tastefully-arranged, with lovely acoustic guitar runs and actual piano instead of electric approximations, and a slow saunter of a bolero rhythm underpinning the whole thing. If it's not lyrically a knockout, well, it's a conventional romántico ballad. "Lo Mejor de Mí" means "the best of me," and the chorus is a complaint that he's given her his best, but it's not enough, she keeps hurting him and he doesn't deserve it.

But then I clicked over to Wikipedia to check up on any facts I needed to know, and saw that it was a cover of Rey Ruiz's 1991 original. And, well, I'm sorry, Cristian, but a danceable salsa ballad is always going to kick a self-important dirgey ballad all to hell. I know I'm something of a hypocrite here, because I love nothing more than a good wallow when I'm romantically rejected, but Ruiz's version, in which it can never get that bad as long as there's dancing and buddies you can do a call-and-response with, is infinitely more attractive to listen to.

1 comment:

  1. Rey Ruiz was not the first person to sing it. It was Maria Martha S. Lima who did in 1991. Rudy Perez, composer of this song, produced the album of the same name and picked the song for Castro because he thought it was fitting for him. Rey Ruiz covered the song in 1993 on his album "Mi Media Mitad". The article on Wikipedia was a mistake on my part.