Gloria Trevi first appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich in Ft. Lauderdale in 1531. Arriving after five years spent learning the samba and quebradita, Cómo Nace el Universo is the Monterrey Marilyn’s Mechanical Ray of Light. This woman screams a lot—like Jenny “the Mexican” Haan of Babe Ruth in “Wells Fargo,” except all the time, and also crossing the Rio Grande mud in the opposite direction. The kind of screams that get a prison guard fired, if you bribe the warden. Her first hit was 1989’s “Dr. Psiquiatra,” after which her audience divided like R.D. Laing’s self. But Wojtyla canonized Patricia Andrzejewski, so the Empress of the Americas has been watching those bafflin’ smoke signals. No estoy loca, no estoy loca, sólo estoy desesperada. Esther loca?
“Eres un Santo” has a Phuture Gregorian bridge and concerns business guru Sergio Andrade (not the Lifehouse bassist), who (allegedly) took market penetration further than even R. Kelly. “Nieve de Mamey” (a/k/a Sinéad Bongiovi’s “Social Disease”) isn’t ruined by the guitar solo; Carlos Santana (not the Bronx one) doesn’t play it; guitarist Javier Calderón (not Juan Carlos Calderón, Spanish producer of Basque Eurovision winners Mocedades) has a lazy, menacing chakra, with less wah. “El Domador” ‘s guitar solo unfortunately has a talkbox-phaser. “Podor y Fama” variously growls, hisses, spits, and screeches the “Soy un latex, soy un latex, soy un latex” chorus somewhere between “Faith” and “Footloose.”
“Metida Hasta el Cuello” punctuates “Sin tempo para telefonear” with a phone ringing, which is bad for headphone paranoia, but the chorus sounds like “toke up, toke up, yesss, party.” “Timbres Postales al Cielo”—”goin’ postal in the sky”? (Check this out, Word won’t let me type the word differance without changing the auto-correct!) “Señor Presidente” is spat and growled over an easy-folkin’ acoustic amble so it’s probably political. (Guide to presidentes and the tendencies that create them: old left → Stalin, old right → Hitler; student left → Castro, student right → Thatcher; worker left → Khmer Rouge, worker right → Taliban; business left → Honecker, business right → Pinochet; artistic left → Kim Il Sung, artistic right → John Paul II; music industry left → Sergio Andrade, music industry right → Edgar Degas, music industry vanguard → Ivan Shapovalov.) Heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker, give us the ‘tweenies until they are ‘twix.