Lidia Avila

Así Como Me Ves

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If one's only exposure to Latin music in 2005 was a Latin radio station on the East Coast, it would be easy to assume that the musical diet of most Latinos living in the United States consisted primarily of reggaeton, bachata, merengue, and salsa romantica -- and those are indeed the styles that appealed to Caribbean Latinos in 2005. But nationwide, the U.S.' biggest area of regional Latin music -- in terms of pure sales -- was still regional Mexican music. To say that regional Mexican music (the pop stuff as well as the more hardcore or traditional stuff) was ultra-competitive in 2005 would be a major understatement; there were countless newcomers yearning to be the next Lupillo Rivera or the next Priscila. But if anyone can break a new (or relatively new) regional Mexican act, it is Fonovisa -- the label that, in October 2005, released Así Como Me Ves, Lidia Avila's first album for Fonovisa after providing a self-titled disc for Sony in 2004. This 33-minute CD isn't hardcore Mexican music; rather, Avila mines the same grupero/Latin pop waters as Ana Bárbara and numerous others. Así Como Me Ves is, pure and simple, a sentimental Latin pop album with Mexican overtones. One will hear some norteño accordion here and some mariachi trumpet there -- and the influence of Mexican-style cumbia (as opposed to South American cumbia done in a Colombian, Bolivian, or Argentine way) is also present. But when all is said and done, this slick, glossy effort is very much a Latin pop album -- not hardcore norteño, hardcore mariachi, or hardcore ranchera. And while Así Como Me Ves isn't in a class with the best grupero that Ana Bárbara has had to offer, it is a decent and generally pleasant example of sentimental Latin pop with el sabor mexicano.

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