Los Angeles de Charly

20 Exitos Romanticos

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Never let it be said that singer Charly Becies lacks a sense of humor. In Spanish, the name of his group los Angeles de Charly means "Charley's Angels" -- an obvious reference to the campy late-'70s television program Charlie's Angels. Plus, the group is based in Los Angeles. But while Becies' band has a humorous name, their music is another matter; los Angeles de Charly are known for consistently romantic lyrics, and they don't do it with the least bit of irony. This best-of collection offers a 20-song taste of the sort of love-obsessed grupero that made the outfit quite popular in the regional Mexican market in the late '90s and early 2000s. No one will mistake 20 Exitos Romanticos for los Tigres del Norte's tough, gritty, hard-hitting tales of Mexican life along the U.S./Mexico border; Becies and his colleagues offer a very sleek, urbane, and polished vision of regional Mexican music -- and while the more hardcore norteño/Tex-Mex bands favor a very gutsy way of playing cumbia mexicana (the Mexican interpretation of the Colombian cumbia rhythm), los Angeles de Charly prefer their cumbia mexicana on the lighter, softer side. "Un Sueño," "Amor Secreto," and other hits on this CD are essentially Latin pop or Latin adult contemporary with regional Mexican overtones -- and stylistically, los Angeles de Charly have a lot more in common with Julio Iglesias, Juan Gabriel, and José José than they do with los Tigres del Norte or los Rieleros del Norte. 20 Exitos Romanticos underscores the group's predictable nature; this material isn't meant to be terribly challenging. Nonetheless, los Angeles de Charly are enjoyably good at what they do, and this best-of collection is the logical place to go if a casual listener is exploring their pleasantly formulaic work for the first time.

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