Los Temerarios

Veintisiete

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In Spanish, the word veintisiete means 27, and this 2004 release is a way of celebrating los Temerarios' 27th anniversary -- it was in 1977 that Adolfo and Gustavo Ángel Alba first joined forces as la Brisa (a name they gave up after becoming los Temerarios). The Alba brothers were hardly an overnight success; they had been paying dues for over a decade when they finally started making some commercial headway. But those years of struggle must seem like a distant memory for the Albas, whose pleasantly good-natured, if less than challenging, grupero has sold a lot of CDs in the '90s and 2000s. Veintisiete, it turns out, is one of los Temerarios' more traditional contributions to regional Mexican music -- traditional to a point, anyway. The Albas haven't abandoned grupero and Latin pop by any means, but the mariachi elements are much more prominent than usual on arrangements of well known gems such as Antonio Valdez Herrera's "Reunciación," Martin Urieta Salano's "Qué de Raro Tiene," and Vincente Fernández's "Las Llaves de Mi Alma." Of course, the very nature of the songs lends themselves to a more traditionally Mexican approach; anyone who is seriously into classic mariachi and ranchero will recognize names like Antonio Valdez Herrera and Vincente Fernández. And it's great to see los Temerarios showing this side of themselves -- even though they don't do it on all of the tracks. "Caminando Voy," for example, is more typical of the sleek, polished grupero/Latin pop that the Albas are best known for. It's hard to imagine that los Temerarios will ever become a hardcore mariachi group; they have way too much invested in grupero. But Veintisiete is a rewarding departure from the Albas' norm, and it is also one of the most memorable albums in their catalog.

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