Rocío Dúrcal

Alma Ranchera

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AllMusic Review by

In the middle of her battle with cancer, Rocío Dúrcal released this homage to the genre that had fueled her stardom in the Americas. Approaching the age of 60 at the time of the recording, she managed to not only sound but look better (at least on the album cover) than at any time previously in her career. Her voice did not deepen with age (she could still hit the high notes); rather, it mellowed, gaining resonance and warmth. Moreover, there was no mistaking her singing for anyone else's at this point. The production is never less than lush and elegant. The cutesiness and gaudiness that tended to detract from Dúrcal's performances in the past are nowhere to be found. In light of the tragedy that followed, in Dúrcal's singing one is tempted to sense both the awareness of mortality and the determination to better her own legacy up to that point. However, what really comes across is her ease with the material and her confidence. "Fiesta en el Corazón" may be the high point, with its unorthodox harmonies and the giddiness of its shifting rhythmic accents. But there isn't really a weak song here. Even the warhorse "Cucurrucucú Paloma" is worth listening to for the loving treatment Dúrcal's voice gives it. This disc is surely one of the highlights of the singer's long career.

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