Monday, September 21, 2015

#BoTB results: El Rey (José Alfredo Jiménez vs. Maná)

This was way closer than I expected — and the winner was a surprise. Here's the final tally, without my vote:

José Alfredo Jiménez (8)
Robin (& Robin's dad)

Maná (6)

I was fairly certain Maná would win this. Let's face it, the folk music of Mexico is an acquired taste, and a rock/modern vibe can make it more palatable to the "undomesticated" ear. Maná has long been on my yuck list, pretty much for the reasons Stephen mentioned: lack of originality, recycling of bigger and better music, an overly — and overtly — commercial feel to their work, but I make an effort to give credit where credit is due: as I mentioned in a few replies, I do recognize Maná's achievement in bringing a traditional song (originally appealing only to a pretty specific, and thus limited, demographic) to a broader audience. I'm even grateful for it. In many countries, Mexico would still be under the stereotype of big hats and tacos in a basket if it weren't for the international reach Maná has achieved. (Thanks to them it's big hats and tacos in a basket BUT listening to Maná :D )

But I'm beyond pleased by the result. My dislike of Maná has finally, internationally and objectively, if a tad narrowly, been validated :D Thank you for that, guys. And, from the perspective of the BATTLE, I'm really glad it was close. Again, kudos to Maná for winning over so many. And thanks to all who voted, as well, for giving the contenders and their foreign-language singing a listen :)

See you on the 1st!


  1. I've enjoyed Mexican/Latin American style music since I was a kid which is partly due to the fact that my parents used to enjoy listening to those styles. I'll admit that my tastes have leaned more toward the Rock en Espanol genre in the past couple of decades. I own several CD's by Mana and personally I think they are a fine group. I'm glad they kept close in this race and didn't get overwhelmingly slammed.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  2. Hey, my dad is thrilled with how this turned out. His vote from beyond the grave actually held a little bit of sway. I know he's smiling in heaven right now. Seriously. Smiling.

    Great battle, Guille. This was a close one!

  3. So glad he won! I love folk music in almost all forms including the typical yodeling music from Germany/Austria:)

  4. Rock loses again! ;) I can understand how the traditional would resonate with more people. It's usually the case and I enjoyed that version as well, but ya know, I gotta be me. ☺

  5. When I posted my comment and vote, I guessed that my choice would be in the minority. But I also believed that this Battle was going to be a lot closer than you probably thought it was going to be.

    There are some folks out there who are not so easily swayed by "Louder & Faster & Mo' Electrified". Sometimes I DO prefer that, but not always. And it depends on many other elements - such as the theme, the lyrics, the vocalist, etc.

    Mana weren't terrible. They weren't even bad. But they were totally pedestrian, as in: been-done-a-million-times-before-and-by-better-bands. In other words, they were almost IMMEDIATELY FORGETTABLE.

    Regardless, it was a tight race, and I'm pleased that YOU'RE PLEASED with the end result, Guilie. See ya on November 1st, eh?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. I enjoyed both versions even though my pick did not win. The first was nice and I listened and sang along two or three times. When I got to the band, they were a young group, fresh, and doing a happy, chirpy version. Nothing wrong with that!

  7. You know, even though I picked Mana, I was sort of hoping the other would win just because... tradition and such? So I'm not too disappointed at picking the loser :P

  8. Two of my brother-in-laws are Mexican and I have been to Mexico before. So I'm not unfamiliar with the music. Additionally, we have a lot of ethnic festivals in Milwaukee so I'm exposed to a lot of international music.


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