Jenni Rivera

Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood

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2006 was a very good year for bad girls in regional Mexican music. It was the year that Gloria Trevi (who became famous for rock en español and Latin pop) made her mariachi/ranchera debut with her hit "Ingrato" (which was much more in-your-face than the norteño version by Ninel Conde), and it was a year in which the equally atrevida Jenni Rivera continued to enjoy a great deal of publicity and came out with her live album Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood. Recorded at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA, this enjoyable disc captures the very Mexican-American perspective that Rivera brings to the table. Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood gets off to a classically Mexican start with a medley of the standards "Por un Amor" and "Cucurrucucu Paloma," but inspired performances of "La Tequilera," "Las Mismas Costumbres" and "Amiga Si Lo Ves" (all favorites among Rivera's fans) make it clear that for the most part, Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood certainly isn't your grandfather's regional Mexican music. Most of Rivera's spoken introductions to the songs are in Spanish, but some are in English -- and that tendency to fluctuate between the two in a very second-nature, uncontrived fashion when she is addressing the audience says a lot about the way that both the United States and Mexico have shaped the Los Angeles native's artistic vision. It should be noted that while Rivera is best known for banda, she pleasantly surprises by detouring into accordion-powdered norteño instrumentation on "Querida Socia," "Homenaje a Mi Madre" and a few other tracks. Nonetheless, banda dominates this release. Clocking in at 48 minutes, the CD-only version of Besos y Copas Desde Hollywood isn't as generous as it could have been. But even so, this is a memorable, exciting document of Rivera's Kodak Theater appearance.

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