Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano perform 13 songs in the musica ranchera style on Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas. The distinctions between musica ranchera and mariachi might be hard to grasp for those not steeped in the music, particularly since, as the liner notes to this CD state, the forms have gone hand-in-hand since the middle of the 20th century. In basic terms (again according to the liner notes), musica ranchera is Mexican country music, often overtly romantic and sentimental in tone. If you're using other mariachi music as a reference point, the arrangements and performances heard on this CD are more pop in character than you'll probably expect. There's more accent on orchestral violins, harp, and a pop balladeer vocal delivery, almost as though there's an influence from mid-20th-century Hollywood musicals in much of the material. That's not a criticism; to the contrary, the melodies and settings are more varied than much mariachi, and frankly thus more enjoyable to non-mariachi specialists. If there's a somewhat corny shade to some of the music, it's corny in a very inviting way. Thorough liner notes in both English and Spanish explain the origins and development of the musica ranchera and mariachi styles, as well as providing annotation for each track.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger