The difference in my affection between last week's entry and this one is no doubt entirely due to my once and future identification as a music nerd: dudely pile-up power ballads are terminally uncool, while sexy sassy glitter-schaffel power pop was always cool, and even more so in the 2000s, when the internet's breaking open of pop history gave muso identification with revivalist microscenes more fashionable cachet than ever before (or, as history has continued to evolve past retromania, since).
"Causa y Efecto" (cause and effect) is a straight-up glam-rock song, something that T. Rex or Suzi Quatro might have sung in the 70s, only with shinier post-millennial production and Rubio's practiced pop-idol charisma in place of anything too alarmingly fey or aggressive. Her 2009 album Gran City Pop was one of my favorite pop albums of the year, in part because it was the year I went all-in on listening to current pop after a decade spent immersing myself in music history, and Rubio was engaging with both current pop and pop history in a charming, totally confident way.
In the video, she intentionally evokes the Blondie of Parallel Lines, posing with her band in suits and skinny ties, and a general 1970s nostalgia suffuses it (roller skating! Eames chairs! hippie dress), a nostalgia that Rubio herself is just old enough to experience. But it's a 2000s song too, which means that it's a song about a woman kicking a man who thinks he controls her to the curb: the lyrics taunt a former abusive lover with her independence from his emotional manipulation and her own new-found power to hurt him instead.
My affection for this song is certainly nostalgic, and was even when I first heard it in 2009, as a music nerd who loved glam rock, 70s pop, and 2000s pop with the schaffel beat. (Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La"! Kylie Minogue's "2 Hearts!" Pink's "So What"!) I have no idea how it would strike a listener with no history with or affection for any of that background; possibly as catchy but slight, or as raucous in an old-fashioned way, without any of the slinky smoothness of contemporary urbano. However it struck the Latin audience as a whole, it was #1 for five solid weeks: enough people loved it as much as I did to earn Paulina another notch on her belt. We'll see her again, just before the streaming era buries everything quirky. These remaining years of heterogeneity are precious.