El Trono de México

Cruzando Fronteras

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Just as many norteño bands will include "del Norte" in their names as a way of letting you know that their specialty is norteño music, many duranguense bands have proclaimed their allegiance to duranguense music by including "de Durango" in their names (Los Horóscopos de Durango, Grupo Montéz de Durango, Los Primos de Durango, Los Brazeros Musical de Durango, etc.). Not all duranguense bands that have "de Durango" in their names are actually based in the Mexican state of Durango; many, in fact, have been based in Chicago, which is a duranguense hotbed. Thus, "de Durango" can be a stylistic designation rather than a geographical one. And then there are the bands that show a stylistic allegiance to Durango while proclaiming a geographical allegiance to another part of Mexico -- El Trono de Mexico, for example. The "Mexico" in their name actually refers to the State of Mexico rather than the whole country (Mexico is the name of a country, a city, and a state), and stylistically, Cruzando Fronteras (Crossing Borders) is as duranguense as it gets. Although El Trono de Mexico make some Latin pop moves at times, the ranchera factor is quite strong on this 26-minute CD. El Trono might use synthesizers and keyboards instead of mariachi trumpets or banda's huge wall of brass, but there is no denying the strong ranchera appeal that they bring to spirited tracks like "Soy Dos Veces Mexicano" (I'm Twice as Mexican), "Me Sacaron del Tenampa" (They Took Me Away from Tenampa), and "El Hijo Ausente" (The Absent Son). This likable, if brief, outing demonstrates that a band doesn't have to be based in Durango -- or, for that matter, Chicago -- to provide worthwhile duranguense.

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