Because Pedro Fernández likes to wear traditional mariachi attire (including a sombrero at times), people who don't know a lot about his history might assume that Amante a la Antigua is strictly a hardcore mariachi/ranchera album. But this 2009 release doesn't fit that description. Stylistically, Fernández has not been easy to pin down. He is both a Latin pop singer and a regional Mexican singer, and Amante a la Antigua certainly doesn't follow a straight-ahead mariachi/ranchera blueprint 100 percent of the time. Those who acquire this album shouldn't expect to hear Fernández perform "Guadalajara" followed by "Cielito Lindo" followed by "La Puerta Negra" or "Hace un Año" followed by five or six José Alfredo Jiménez standards. But the Mexican singer/actor offers a fairly diverse Latin pop/regional Mexican mix, and his ability to keep listeners guessing is part of the fun. Romantic Latin pop ballads are plentiful on Amante a la Antigua; "Te Necesito," "Dejame," and the title track all fit that description. But the mariachi/ranchera factor is stronger on "Se Me Va a Pasar" and "Ay Corazón," and Latin pop meets brassy banda instrumentation on "Ni con Otro Corazón" and "Lo Que Me Gusta." Most of the time, this 41-minute CD favors lush, polished, urbane romanticism; however, things become grittier on the exuberant banda track "El Cantante." Almost as energetic is the playful "Celosa," which has both regional Mexican appeal and tropical appeal. Amante a la Antigua obviously wasn't recorded with mariachi purists in mind, but then, those who have been closely following the career of Fernández (who turned 40 in 2009) know that he never pretended to be a mariachi purist. Fernández enjoys variety, which serves him well on this likable addition to his catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson