Ricardo Arjona

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Adentro Review

by Evan C. Gutierrez

Adentro, the flagship record for the Norte label from this Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter, proved a breakout success. Be it for the stripped, natural production value, the confident performance of Ricardo Arjona, or his relevant-as-ever lyricism, he's got both his loyal fans and the execs at Norte smiling. While the instrumentation, performance, and overall sonic palette of this project are minimalist and unassuming, there is a depth and brilliance to them. The listener's ear does not tire or want for more, humble as Adentro is. Much like the no-frills voice of Arjona himself, the acoustic tone of the whole record has a charm that rises slowly like the tide. Never intent upon impressing, but instead to woo, Arjona's rough-hewn tenor is warm and inviting. In keeping with his new, more mature, subtle musical approach, Arjona's lyricism is not overt political commentary. Though some may begrudge the departure, the more socially sensitive approach suits him well. His voice comes across as intelligent and worldly. Arjona's name has become synonymous with a certain tone and level of quality. This record being no exception, it is certain to delight his dedicated fan base. An utterly enjoyable listen, Adentro offers an intimacy to the listener that is as precious as it is rare.

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