Los Tigres del Norte

Cumbias y Algo Mas

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One could say that Mexicans and Colombians have, for many years, had a mutual appreciation society when it comes to la musica. From mariachi, ranchera, and banda to grupero, Mexican artists have been big sellers in Colombia -- and cumbia (which originated in Colombia) has been influencing regional Mexican music for a long time. It has certainly influenced los Tigres del Norte, who have a large Colombian following. Audiences in Bogota and Cali have been eating up their meaty polkas, waltzes, and narcocorridos (which strike a chord with people living in a country that, sadly, has had more than its share of drug-related crime). The Colombian influence in los Tigres' music is celebrated on Herencia Musical: Cumbias y Algo Mas, a 20-song best-of collection that focuses primarily (though not exclusively) on their contributions to cumbia. Saying that most of this release is Colombian-influenced isn't saying that tracks like "En Que Falle," "Las Flores de Mi Pais," "Don Nadie," and "La Dieta" are carbon copies of Colombian cumbia recordings -- that isn't the case at all. Los Tigres are very much a Mexican norteño band, and when they play cumbia, they play it in a Mexican-influenced way (as do many other Mexican artists). Cumbias y Algo Mas is dominated by what is known as cumbia Tex-Mex, or cumbia mexicana, not cumbia as it is played in Colombia or elsewhere in South America (Peruvians, Bolivians, and Argentineans have all put their spins on cumbia). Cumbias y Algo Mas is far from the last word on los Tigres playing cumbia; as much cumbia as these norteño giants have played over the years, Fonovisa could have easily made this a box set. But it is an enriching collection that underscores los Tigres' ability to be Colombian-influenced without straying from a musical path that is proudly, unmistakably Mexican.

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