The Spanish singer Bebe is know for gutsy pop songs, particularly the tough “Malo,” her 2004 breakout hit which fought back against domestic violence. Always quick to take on a cause, Bebe once performed on Central Park SummerStage in a blond wig, pretending to be George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara hysterically reprimanding him for supporting the death penalty.
And she’s remained outspoken. Upon the release of her last album, Un Pokito de Rocenrol, she insulted journalists at a press conference and walked out.
After almost four years since her last album, Bebe is back Friday with a new one, Cambio de Piel, which reveals, according to a label press release, “a different Bebe.”
Four albums in, at 37, Bebe’s a mother, and her mullet is long gone. In a video for the new album’s first single, “Respirar” — in which she rides a horse among wild animals who run free — she’s been tamed to a styled gorgeousness. The video was shot in Seville, Spain, in cooperation with a wildlife conservation foundation.
The good news is that the rough voice and real lyrics that made Bebe’s early songs so stunning remain. During an acoustic performance concert at a Madrid museum, Bebe proved to have grown up into an even better performer, the kind who knows a determined whisper can be more effective than a rebel yell.