365 Days, 365 Files: Café Tacuba – Hoy Es

Some producers have such a cachet, when their names appear on the credits of an album, it’s practically a stamp of approval.

Dave Fridmann earned that name recognition with me for his work with the Flaming Lips and Number Girl. Gustavo Santaolalla did as well with Molotov and Juanes. When I heard both producers would be working on Café Tacuba’s Cuatros Caminos, I couldn’t wait to hear what would happen.

As it turned out, the Fridmann-produced tracks weren’t terribly impressive. The songs were introspective numbers that didn’t really require the kind of up-front sound Fridmann coaxes from his performers. Santaolalla’s tracks, however, seemed as if they were channeling Fridmann — the band sounds confident and audacious on a level previously unheard.

"Hoy Es" almost sounds like something that could have appeared on a Flaming Lips album. The way the song develops gradually, getting progressively psychedelic, has the same kind of orchestral grandeur, say, anything off the The Soft Bulletin. "Hoy Es", however, was not produced by Fridmann — it was helmed by Santaolalla.

Santaolalla brings out some punchy performances from the musicians who work with him, and this track certainly shows Café Tacuba at a zenith.

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