Pablo Montero

Mi Tesoro Norteño

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Since launching his recording career in the late '90s, Pablo Montero has shown himself to be a fairly flexible vocalist. He has done well for himself with romantic Latin pop -- in fact, many of his recordings have fallen into that category -- but the Mexican singer is also quite capable of working with a mariachi band and singing traditional ranchera songs. Some listeners know him for a pop-oriented performance like the theme from the Venevision telenovela Olvidarte Jamás; others have heard Montero performing something as traditionally Mexican as "Cielito Lindo" (a standard that is as important to música mexicana) as Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" is to jazz. So whether one associates Montero with Latin pop or regional Mexican music -- or both -- depends on which Montero albums one has heard. Mi Tesoro Norteño ("My Northern Treasure") marks the first time that Montero has provided a norteño-oriented album, and this is a disc that -- taken as a whole -- has both ranchera appeal and Latin pop appeal. From a norteño standpoint, this 40-minute CD isn't as hardcore as los Tigres del Norte, los Huracanes del Norte, or los Rieleros del Norte. But at the same time, this 2007 release isn't just an example of someone taking a bunch of Latin pop recordings, adding a little accordion here and there and calling it norteño; Mi Tesoro Norteño is definitely a lot more legitimate and authentic than that. Perhaps the best comparison on Mi Tesoro Norteño would be Bronco, who has often described as "the middle-weight champions of norteño" because of their ability to offer both straight-ahead norteño and more pop-minded material; Montero favors that type of approach here, and the results are both faithful to his history and enjoyable. Those who think of Montero as both a Latin pop singer and a regional Mexican singer will find that he does both of those things pleasingly well on Mi Tesoro Norteño.

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