Diana Reyes

La Reina del Pasito Duranguense

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Diana Reyes is a rarity -- a female solo artist in the male-dominated duranguense area of regional Mexican music. Reyes isn't the only woman singing duranguense; Armando Terrazas, founder of Chicago's long-running los Horóscopos de Durango, made a daring and commercially successful move when -- after years of overseeing male-oriented lineups -- he decided to put his daughters Vicky and Marisol Terrazas right up front. But it is safe to say that historically, las mujeres (women) have been the exception instead of the rule in durganguense, which receives a very pop-minded treatment from Reyes on La Reina del Pasito Duranguense (The Queen of Duranguense). The Mexican singer, for the most part, doesn't use duranguense for traditionally ranchera purposes on this 2005 release; Reyes caters to those who like their duranguense laced with a big dose of Latin pop. Try to envision a duranguense interpretation of Selena, Ana Bárbara, or Priscila y sus Balas de Plata; that is essentially where Reyes is coming from on hooky, infectious, pop-drenched tracks like "Que Me Ame Mas" ("May He Love Me More"), "Como una Mariposa" ("Like a Butterfly"), "Mentiras" ("Lies"), and "El Me Mintio" ("He Lied to Me"). Some might describe this type of regional Mexican ear candy as a "guilty pleasure," but then, there's no reason to feel guilty about enjoying ear candy as long as it's well done -- and Reyes, like Bárbara, definitely provides above-average ear candy (although unlike Bárbara, she isn't working in the grupero realm). La Reina del Pasito Duranguense isn't as eclectic or far-reaching as albums by los Horóscopos de Durango; nonetheless, this memorable, pleasing disc is well worth obtaining if one is seeking something fresh from duranguense.

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