When country greats Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens got together for a norteño remake of the latter's '70s smash "Streets of Bakersfield," some listeners might have wondered what a couple of Bakersfield-style honky tonkers were doing with a polka beat. But those who knew anything about the history of norteño knew exactly where they were coming from. Country music often speaks of sadness, heartbreak, betrayal, and unrequited love, all of which are common themes in norteño/Tex-Mex. Just ask los Norteños de Ojinaga. For a long time, there have been quite a few lagrimas (tears) in their recordings -- and those lagrimas show no signs of drying up on Amor con Sax. True to form, los Norteños de Ojinaga continue to put a lot of heart and soul into their tales of romantic suffering. The song titles say it all -- titles like "Mi Tristeza" ("My Sadness"), "Una Traicion" ("A Betrayal"), and "Cruel Dolor" ("Cruel Pain"). Not all of the lyrics are sad, but even so, the sad lyrics are an indispensable part of what los Norteños de Ojinaga do on this 2004 release -- they wouldn't be los Norteños de Ojinaga if they embraced happy lyrics 100 percent of the time. If they quit using Spanish words like engaño (deceit) and sufrimiento (suffering) in connection with troubled romances, something would be missing -- it would be like removing "Ring of Fire" from the Johnny Cash songbook. "Ring of Fire," by the way, used mariachi horns; the parallels between country and regional Mexican music weren't lost on Cash any more than they were lost on Yoakam and Owens when they recorded their "Streets of Bakersfield" remake. Amor con Sax doesn't break any new ground for los Norteños de Ojinaga, but for hardcore fans, it's a solid and heartfelt addition to their catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson