Guardianes del Amor

Olvidarte Nunca

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Guardianes del Amor's Arturo Rodriguez has described Olvidarte Nunca as an album that is aimed at los jovenes (young people) who speak Spanish at home with their parents, and English with their friends, and it isn't hard to see why he would make that assertion. This 2004 release is quite reflective of the bilingual, multicultural experience that Mexican-Americans can have growing up in the southwestern United States, where they are likely to be exposed to regional Mexican music as well as English-language Top 40 radio. Once you get past the disc's Mexican overtones and the fact that most of the lyrics are in Spanish, Olvidarte Nunca sounds a lot like an American Top 40 disc -- this album bridges the gap between the Top 40 world of Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Mariah Carey, and the Latin pop world where Marisela, Ricky Martin, Juan Gabriel, and Lucia Mendez have reigned supreme. Not all of Guardianes' Latin influences are Mexican: "1, 2, 3" has more of a salsa/Afro-Cuban flavor. But regional Mexican music is a stronger influence than salsa, and Guardianes sometimes bring subtle traces of norteño and cumbia mexicana to their Latin pop foundation -- subtle being the operative word. No one will mistake Olvidarte Nunca for a los Tigres del Norte CD; while los Tigres and similar groups offer norteño at its most hardcore, Guardianes are a Latin pop act who show an awareness of regional Mexican music as well as English-language Top 40 and hip-hop. The rapping that one occasionally hears on Olvidarte Nunca isn't done in an overly aggressive fashion, but it does add some grit to what can be a very middle-of-the-road album. Olvidarte Nunca is mildly inconsistent; some tracks are memorable, some not so memorable. But overall, it's a decent, if less than exceptional, effort from Guardianes del Amor.

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