Bebe – Un Pokito De Rocanrol
(EMI Capitol, VÖ: 10.02.2012)
Bebe is a courageous woman in cautious times. Her new album Un Pokito De Rocanrol will be published on February 10th 2012, in which she´s striking a blow to the status-quo, to the foreseeable and comfortable listening, embarking upon an adventure of musical risk towards new and imaginary lands, playing and betting fiercely in each song. “I told melancholy to fuck-off, I´m full of positive energy and am recovering my black sense of humour. It keeps me goin”, says Bebe.
Bebe´s mind is free and has unfolded her ideas, fury and energy in her new album. This fury and a new sense of rock and roll define an album where she´s seeking, which Bebe defines as, “nor dark nor violent” although its intensity and internal force add a wave of fresh air to the Spanish music scene which will never get harmed by threatening its foundations.
Un Pokito De Rocandrol is a contemporary rock record with punk aggressiveness, mixed with this traditional, almost ancestral spirit, which has the voice and attitude of Bebe, giving pop music a new meaning. In this permanent search for stimuli exploring different things, Bebe found her perfect travel-buddy in the Frenchman Renaud Letang (Tehran 1970). Letang is probably capable of doing something, cause it was he who recorded Clandestino, and worked on albums for the likes of Feist, Sergent Garcia, Claude Nougaro, Jane Birkin and The Silencers, among other artists. The duo Bebe-Letang has developed an inspiring, different, powerful and risky piece of work, recorded in Paris with French musicians. “I didn´t know him” said Bebe. “I wanted to work with someone who I knew nothing about, nor he about me.
Un Pokito De Rocandrol was recorded in Paris, “in an old studio full of life. Renaud is always working there, in an orderly disorder, playing with real instruments”, “Bebe says she was inspired to compose both children´s tunes like infantile songs as in Dick Dale, sometimes she simply recorded them playing with her hands on percussion instruments to keep the original idea. In other instances it was not so clear and therefore talked to Renaud.”
Recorded between August and October 2011 in the Ferber Studios in Paris, produced and mixed by Renaud Letang and mastered at Black Saloon Studios in London by Mandy Parnell, the following artists participated in the album: Vincent Teager (electro drums, xylo), Ludovic Bruni (electric guitar ) and Renaud Letang (bass, keyboards).
A small team worked together to develop a complex work which was apparently simple, by means of a traditional approach, powerful in rhythmic parts (“It smells like fun, energy and dance,” said Bebe), rich in sonorities and imaginative in its arrangements.
To be clear from the beginning, Un Pokito De Rocanrol opens with No me acostumbro (I don´t get used to it) (“Now I feel good, motivated, and stick out my tongue for a walk”), which marks the character of the album in a song of almost six minutes, where Bebe reflects her attitude and commitment she gains throughout the album, both in lyrics and in the music. Her axe really comes down hard , No me acostumbro reflects the strength of the album, its energy, its originality, its inner strength, its breath of rock and its unique modern proposal in the Spanish scene. It´s a tough and rough song, produced with few elements can be considered the opposite of mainstream. Bebe assumes the risks freely from the very beginning.
What the fuck (“Where do you have your head, between your shoulders or between your legs?”), adds additional aggression by the use of spiked guitars, inspired on 50´s surf music on Dick Dale´s guitar and gives way to Sabrás (You´ll know) (“The snow that fell will soon melt the little parts of this love until converting it into frost”), a disquieting lyrical song, backed at first only with voice and guitar, adding to this tension gradual instrumental minimalism that runs through the album.
“It has a punk rhythm to it, with only one synth. I really felt like doing it this way, without any practical reasons. Whatever I feel like” says Bebe about K.I.E.R.E.M.E. (love me) (“When I tell you that I want you to love me, it´s not that you love me as I want you to love me, what I want is for you to love the way you want”) First single of risk on the album, almost a tongue-twister in the shape of an aggressive, potent, bursting, surprising and unexpected song, with the boldness felt throughout the whole album.
After, Adiós (“We did everything we could, I prefer being alone then being with you. The whole world is for me now, yes oh yes”) is backed by a swing-rockabilly rhythm, in one of the “lightest” songs of the album with an excellent instrumental arrangement and brilliant guitars. In Compra paga (Buy pay) (“Buy, Buy, pay pay, use your card until you get soars”) Bebe deploys her punk-fury again with full-throttle energy in an anti-consumerist statement mixing the old with the contemporary in the orchestration, adding to it some interesting sonorous discoveries.
Tilín (“You jump through the air and compose with your brain and your emotions what my body desires, let the tide rise”) sounds like funk-rock with this apparent and ingenuous sensuality which Bebe´s voice and way of interpretation gives off, always magnificent in the way it situates the words on the musical foundations. Un pitillo por favor (A smoke please) (“I´m dying for a smoke, my kingdom for a smoke”) is a clamour against anti-tobacco, backed by a non-sophisticated instrumental treatment, powerful, strongly rhythmical and original in timbre.
Reaching towards the end of the album, Del Pelo (from the hair) (“I´ve gone from being half to being complete; I´ve seen what was in your eyes. I guess I can´t find the cable that connects to your heart. There are no such things as better or worse, there are routines and words said wrong”) is another song that renews styles, bursting with surprises, reflecting the power of Bebe´s proposal. An excellent song, tough and rhythmical, that gives way to Me pintaré (“Tonight I want to have you for dinner and have you for lunch if you´re tasty”), which is once again backed by perilous percussions and keyboard sequences. And the final song, Mi guapo (My handsome) (“I´m your servant, you´re my private cook, who cooks all the delicacies of this life with olive oil”) could be the most Latin-like song of the album, always non-conventional, mixed with a certain air of contemporary funk, rough and with percussions from the root, an embracing rhythmic arrangement and a captivating chorus.
The songs of Un Pokito De Rocanrol make up an album that, according to what Lino Portela has written in “El País” (one of the main nationwide Spanish newspapers) “has torn apart the classic structures of pop-songs”. It´s a stimulating album, one that is adventurous, daring, original and often baffling.
“I like that it stirs things up” says Bebe, who already announces her on-stage come back.
“Un Pokito De Rocanrol” will be Bebe’s third studio recorded album. Her previous one, Y., went straight to the top of the charts, and is a Platinum Record. Nominated to the last Latin Grammy awards, Y. was also number one on the Latin iTunes list in the United States and number one among the iTunes digital downloads in Spain. Y. was also selected the Best National Record of 2009 on EP3, and iTunes Spain made it the Album of the Year.