Is Grupo Codiciado's "El Leon" a Fierce Attempt to Rejuvenate the Narcocorrido Style?
Grupo Codiciado has been no stranger to the narcocorrido scene, with their most famous single "Gente de Accionar" debuting in the fall of 2016, one of the most violent periods in northern Mexico and Southern US. Their music oftentimes explores the lives of narcos. Their new single "El Leon" is a narcocorrido that does not sound like a narcocorrido at all and makes one wonder if this new single is an attempt to revolutionize the genre.
Coming out July 9th "El Leon" like other narcocorridos uses the accordion as both harmony and a melody. However, the tempo of the song is significantly slower than what the audience is used to, resulting in the song having a gloomy tune that is complemented by the adlibs delivered by various members of the group. The song keeps a steady melody trough the piece, barely switching tunes and relying on vocals to move forward, thus giving the song the qualities of a ballad. With constant arpeggios on the baseline, the song flows effortlessly, a flow that results in a pleasant song that delivers a refreshing take on narcocorridos. Because of this, the single receives a sound rating of 7/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
"El Leon" has a vocal component that perfectly drives the emotional component of the song. The passive melody of the song allows for a flexible scheme of verses which vary in length and in style. Usually, narcocorridos stick to short verses followed by heavy instrumentation. "El Leon" differs not only by having long verses with very light instrumentation it also is a narcocorrido that instead of glorifying the narco lifestyle and the conditions that drive people towards that lifestyle, exposes the grim side and the consequences that said involvement brings. The lyrics are spoken by a father who has lost his son due to the business in which they work (organized crime). The emotion is palpable trough the song culminating in a narcocorrido that instead of invoking greed, and lust (two of the main themes of narcocorridos). Invokes much-needed insight on the concepts in which we the audience are used to idolizing. The depth and flow of the lyrics earn this piece an 8/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE SINGLE
"El Leon" is a much-needed take on the now overused rinse and repeat the formula of narcocorridos. The new perspective into the perceived concept of narcocorridos does not strike as out of place rather as a much-needed point of view that has never been touched. It is important to keep in mind that this is only one single so in no way is a representation of the group's future direction. Yet the exploration of new concepts and experimentation often leads to amazing new music. Grupo Codiciado did a stellar job on this piece which makes one wonder if their upcoming work will also refresh the grupero style of music, something they are well worked in. Thanks to the exploration of a new perspective in the genre "El Leon" earns an 8.5/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
We recommend listening to "El Leon" which earns a total score of 7.8/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale. Listen to the single below!