Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros...

El Canto del Loco

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Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros... Review

by Jason Birchmeier

A year after topping the Spanish charts with their fifth album, Personas (2008), El Canto del Loco released two albums simultaneously: the compilation Radio la Colifata Presenta a El Canto del Loco and the covers album Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros.... The latter is the lesser of these two 2009 releases, a brief 37-minute effort that finds the band covering 11 of its favorite songs by a variety of Spanish artists. While all of the songs are performed in the familiar pop/rock style of El Canto del Loco, the songs are quite diverse in origin. For instance, the album opener, "Mejor," was a 1966 hit by the rock band Los Brincos, a group sometimes referred to as the Spanish Beatles, while the second song, "La Casa de la Bomba," was a 1986 single by Brighton 64, a much less recognizable band from a far different era. Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros... proceeds in a similar manner from there, jumping around from decade to decade, from well-known artists to lesser-known ones. Successive songs include "Nada de Nada" (originally popularized by Cecilia), "Aunque Tú No Lo Sepas" (Quique González), "El Garrotín" (Smash), "No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti" (Los Ronaldos), "Aquellas Pequeñas Cosas" (Joan Manuel Serrat), "Años 80" (Los Piratas), "Se Acabó" (María Jiménez), "Feo, Fuerte y Formal" (Loquillo), and "María la Portuguesa" (Carlos Cano). As stated in the liner notes of the album, the conscientious idea behind Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros... was to share some of the band's influences with its legion of fans, hopefully turning on listeners to new Spanish music in the process. There's certainly value in that; however, from a listener's standpoint, perhaps the greater value of El Canto del Loco is to hear the bandmembers performing with remarkable ease, to hear them having fun without the burden of satisfying the sky-high expectations that come along with being Spain's most popular rock band. Tellingly, no singles were released from this album, a function served instead by the concurrently released Radio la Colifata compilation. In contrast, Por Mí y por Todos Mis Compañeros... is an easygoing effort that should be taken on its own terms as a fun grab bag of covers and enjoyed for what it is, an offering from the band to itself and its fans.

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