Mexican Classics Get a Rock Makeover for Bicentennial

Bésame, bésama mucho… Sound familiar? The lyrics belong to one of those Mexican oldies that have withstood the test of time, like all of the tracks on Bimexicano: Nuestros Clasicos Hechos Rock (Nacional Records; out September 7 on iTunes), an upcoming compilation celebrating 200 years of Mexican Independence.

The album is packed with rancheras, boleros and folk songs reinterpreted for our listening pleasure by both native and honorary Mexican artists. Singer-songwriter Ely Guerra delivers a sultrier version of mourning classic “La Llorona.” Melodic rock foursome Le Baron glides into dreamier territory with the much-macho track “El Rey.” Jesús Báez of Zoe turns “Cucurrucucú Paloma” into a haunting, atmospheric elegy. And the aforementioned “Bésame Mucho” becomes a sexy, groovy prelude to a long make-out session in the hands of electronica band Sussie 4.

Also lending their voices to the album are Hello Seahorse!, Natalia Lafourcade, Enrique Bunbury, Aterciopelados, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs’ Señor Flavio, Jumbo, Kinky and Jaguares, who see the bicentennial as a chance for Mexicans to take hold of their country’s destiny.

“It think it’s an important moment for all of us Mexicans to look back and try to clear up what we want for the future,” has said drummer Alfonso Andre. “It’s a moment to reflect. We need another revolution, one of thought and truth that brings justice and progress to our pueblo…” Amen to that.

Here’s “Bésame Mucho” for your enjoyment!

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