Los Temerarios

Recuerdos del Alma

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When Los Temerarios revealed their more traditional side on 2004's Veintisiete, it didn't mean they were abandoning grupero and Latin pop or becoming a full-time mariachi/ranchera group -- not at all. There was plenty of grupero on the albums that came after Veintisiete, which isn't surprising because Fonovisa probably wouldn't want the Alba siblings to risk alienating the many fans who know them primarily as a Latin pop group. But on 2007's Recuerdos del Alma (Memories from the Soul), Los Temerarios not only revisit the mariachi/ranchera leanings of Veintisiete, they take the outlook of that album to another level and deliver what may very well be the most traditionally mariachi and ranchera disc of their career. It's a direction that serves them pleasingly well on inspired, memorable performances of José Alfredo Jiménez's "Las Botas de Charro," Martín Urieta's "Mujeres Divinas," and no less than three Cornelio Reyna gems: "Me Caí de la Nube," "Me Caíste del Cielo," and "Que Se Junten Nuestros Brazos." Recuerdos del Alma is an album that, stylistically, takes Los Temerarios into Vicente Fernández territory -- and while it is hard to imagine mariachi/ranchera ever becoming their primary direction (which would be like Gloria Estefan recording nothing but straight-ahead salsa or Garth Brooks becoming as much of a hardcore honky tonker as Dwight Yoakam), one can't help but hope that the Alba brothers will provide more mariachi/ranchera-oriented discs in the future. Anyone who enjoyed Veintisiete will find even more to cherish on Recuerdos del Alma, which is easily among the finest and most essential releases in Los Temerarios' sizable catalog.

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