Vicente Fernández

Lobo Herido

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From one of the kings of the contemporary Mexican ballad comes this album of soft vocal ballads laid over relatively lush arrangements. The content is the ever-present love song, sometimes mixed quietly with the bravado of a bandito (also pointed to by Fernandez's signature sombrero, pistol, and pantalones). The more upbeat numbers are essentially the standard mariachi fare one can hear on any number of albums or in local Mexican restaurants. The ballads are still Fernandez's bread and butter though, and it's on those that he shines brighter, emoting his hardest. With a performer such as Fernandez, though, the presentation is half of the show. As such, there's a good deal lost in not seeing him perform while he's singing his heart out, but the emotive abilities are still present for all to hear. He's got the chops of an actor more than a singer in some senses, but his sense of timing and melody is quite well tuned. The genre in which he performs is perhaps not the most exciting one by any means for intrepid listeners, but once within the genre, Fernandez is one of the key performers, and this album shows off a standard set of his work.

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