Various Artists

Mas Amor a la Mexicana

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In Spanish, Mas Amor a la Mexicana translates to "more love the Mexican way" -- in other words, Fonovisa has assembled another compilation of regional Mexican music with a romantic orientation. Of course, the phrase "romantic Mexican music" could be used to describe a wide variety of things; in a more classic, old-school sense, it could describe Lola Beltran embracing the songbook of José Alfredo Jiménez (who was arguably the Antonio Carlos Jobim of Mexico) or mariachi vocalists of the '50s putting their spin on "Besame Mucho." But this 2004 release (which is a sequel to Fonovisa's Amor a la Mexicana compilation of 2001) is more modern in its outlook, drawing on norteño (generally, a softer, lighter version of it) as well as the sleek, pop-minded grupero and Tejano styles. Many of the tracks are essentially Latin pop with Mexican overtones -- Mexican adult contemporary, if you will -- and that is especially true of selections by Ana Bárbara, Industria del Amor, Los Bondadosos, and Yesenia Flores. In Mexican culture -- where recuerdos (memories) are an important part of the family experience -- the past and the present can have a way of interacting, which is why one hears a strong doo wop flavor on Paralelo Norte's "Quiero Volver." Doo wop's popularity peaked in the late '50s, but "Quiero Volver" demonstrates that it is still influencing regional Mexican artists after all these years. This 64-minute CD is far from the last word on Fonovisa's contributions to romantic Mexican music; the disc doesn't contain anything by Conjunto Primavera, Los Angeles de Charly, Marco Antonio Solis, or Jenni Rivera (just to give a few examples). Nonetheless, Mas Amor a la Mexicana is a generally pleasant, likable compilation that will appeal to those who don't mind their regional Mexican music being laced with big doses of smooth Latin pop.

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