Marco Antonio Solís

Dos Grandes

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From time to time, Fonovisa will assemble split CDs that contain previously released material and focus on two major artists; the discs are best-of collections, but instead of spotlighting one artist exclusively, they spotlight two. And in most cases, the artists are quite similar; it would, from a marketing standpoint, make sense to have los Tigres del Norte and los Rieleros del Norte (both hardcore norteño groups) on the same disc, but you probably won't see Fonovisa putting together a split CD that's evenly divided between Mexican banda star Jenni Rivera and Puerto Rican singer Noelia (whose Latin pop sometimes moves into salsa romantica and tropical territory). Stylistically, they're too different. But stylistic compatibility is hardly an issue on Dos Grandes, which focuses on two very similar artists: Marco Antonio Solís and Joan Sebastian. This CD offers 12 tracks -- six by Solís, six by Sebastian -- and it isn't hard to see the parallels between the two of them. Although Solís and Sebastian are both Mexican, they have transcended the regional Mexican market and enjoyed an across-the-board appeal in the Spanish-speaking world. Dos Grandes is, for the most part, a collection of romantic Latin pop -- Latin adult contemporary, if you will -- and anyone who has spent a lot of time listening to the smooth, polished, urbane performances of Julio Iglesias, José José, and Juan Gabriel should have no problem enjoying Solís on "Tu Hombre Perfecto" and "Donde Estara Mi Primavera" or Sebastian on "Anoche Hablamos" and "Se Esta Volviendo Loco." The only song on Dos Grandes that favors a really hardcore Mexican sound is Sebastian's "Afortunado," a banda offering. But Latin pop is the dominant ingredient on this collection, which is hardly the last word on either Solís or Sebastian but paints an attractive picture of both artists.

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