11th May, 1991

Their third album in a row, and their third number one hit in a row — Los Bukis have, in the short space of time that the Hot Latin chart has been in existence, become an institution. And more and more my categorization of them as a "regional" band is slipping away from accuracy; Wikipedia calls them a "romantic" band, and I'm sure it knows better.

But I've drawn the comparison before between regional Mexican music and country music, and this is a fantastic country song, the sort of thing that George Jones in his imperial phase (1969-1982, give or take) would have loved to get his teeth into, a double-reverse narrative that is also nothing but a list of wishes. Marco Antonio Solís, the band's songwriter, singer, and prime mover, spends two verses coming on like Tom T. Hall in "I Love," as he wishes ("Mi Deseo" means "my wish") for universal peace, happiness, and the realization of each individual person's complete good. Then, as the drumpads hit and the chord changes up to the bridge, he sings — well, here's my translation:
But for you, I wish that nobody would be with you
And that sadness envelops you and drags you into bitterness
That everything will be cold, that you weep, that you never feel safe
That when you look at your bed, you see your tomb
Which that right there, oh snap, but he's not finished. The final verse continues:
I wish that you never hear truthful words where you walk
That the whole world turn its face from you, that no one understand you
And although it seems as though you're listening to your worst enemy,
My wish is that soon, you'd return to me
Aw, he's only saying these things because he misses her! How sweet! But nevertheless creepy! And your ultimate judgment of the song depends on how comfortable you are with unreliable narrators.

There's a Tex-Mex drag to the music, a sob in Solís' voice, and the kind of stately build to the melody that recalls old-time hymnody, all of which scream "country" to me, but of course the instrumentation is as synthetic and untraditional as the 80s could wish. Like I say, I'd love to hear George Jones (or maybe Raul Malo) sink his teeth into it. It's the kind of song that could, with the right treatment, become a modern pop-noir classic.

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