Molotov

Con Todo Respeto

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If an artist is going to record a cover of a well-known song, it is important to bring something new and different to the tune. Otherwise, what's the point? Why try to provide a carbon copy of the song's original version when the original can still be heard? Thankfully, Molotov understands that, which is why Con Todo Respeto (With All Respect) is an interesting collection of covers instead of a forgettable one. The songs on this 2005 release -- some of them from Latin music, some from English-language rock and pop -- are familiar, but what Molotov does to them is not. The Beastie Boys' "Girls," Falco's "Rock Me, Amadeus," and the Misfits' "I Turned Into a Martian" successfully receive rock en español makeovers, as does Lipps, Inc.'s 1981 disco/dance-pop hit "Designer Music." This album's biggest surprise, however, is a Spanish-language update of Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Although faithful to the original spirit of the sociopolitical classic, Molotov provides new lyrics that are addressing Mexicans instead of African-Americans -- and just as Scott-Heron poked fun at certain aspects of U.S. pop culture (for example, his irreverent line about Dick getting down with Jane on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow), Molotov makes their point with Latino references such as telenovelas. Instead of Scott-Heron's reference to "hog maw confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary," Molotov mentions Barrio Tepito -- an ultra-poor and notoriously dangerous area of Mexico City -- and instead of calling for African-Americans to fight for a brighter future, Molotov declares that "los mexicanos estarán en la calle buscando mejor mañana" (translation: Mexicans will be in the street looking for a better tomorrow). Con Todo Respeto isn't Molotov's most essential release, but it is still an excellent, highly rewarding part of their catalog.

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