Cookin’ to the fabulous (I know, lame) tribute album for Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Vos Sabes…Como te Esperaba!, sure is fun. If anything, it definitely got me in the mood to dance while I was making dinner. But, then again, you can’t expect anything less from something LFC-related.
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is one of the few Latin American bands I was aware of when I was young. In a fairly Americanized city (Monterrey, Mexico), I was always more inclined to listen to Aerosmith or, yes, Britney Spears (c’mon, I was nine), than the almost mythical fusion of reggae/ska/rock the Grammy-winning Argentinian band created through the late ‘80s and ‘90s.
These guys started before I was born, with Bares y Fondas in ’86 and since then have released a great number of albums, singles and amazing covers of classics such as The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton”. More specifically however, they’ve created party anthems. So they would get a tribute album. For these Latin rock gods, Nacional Records released a compilation of LFC classics covered by other Latin alternative artists like Los Amigos Invisibles, Aterciopelados and Los Pericos.
I don’t know how hardcore, LFC-worshipping fanatics will take Vos Sabes once it’s released, because tribute albums tend to get negative reactions. But this is good stuff. Los Amigos Invisibles took on one of the most beloved LFC classics, “Mal Bicho”, and stuck true to the danceable, liberating, devil-may-care Cadillacs style we fell in love with. This can also be seen with Aterciopelados’ version of “Padre Nuestro”: still funky, still danceable, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs with a twist.
Other versions are taken to a more soothing and intimate level, like “Vasos Vacíos” from Andrés Calamaro, which—gasp!—I think I enjoy more than the original. Other artists provide a more personal touch to the covers, such as “El Matador” by México’s hip hop/rap group, Cartel de Santa, which gave my personal favorite a more aggressive beat, something I’m pretty sure most fans won’t appreciate, but I was open to the idea. “Calaveras y Diablitos” by Cuentos Borgeanos also sticks out as one of the most non-LFC style tracks—a bit more poppy than Latin raggae.
The tribute wraps up with a funtastic, sexy “La Vida” from Colombia’s Dr.Krápula, with the ending lyrics “queremos tocar el cielo.” Nacional Records’ personal salute to the rock icons is definitely a noble way to assemble their awesome accomplishments into a 17-track record, and we appreciate that. Covers, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have taught us, can be pretty freakin’ great.