Alegres de la Sierra

No Se Comparan

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Norteño has had a wide variety of artists in the 21st century, ranging from purists who provide an abundance of corridos (including the controversial narcocorridos) to crossover artists who favor a commercial, Latin pop-minded approach. Norteño can be gritty, edgy, and hard-hitting (los Tigres del Norte, los Tucanes de Tijuana, Grupo Exterminador), or it can be sleek, glossy, pop-drenched ear candy (Priscila y Sus Balas de Platas, for example, have recorded their share of ear candy, although they turned the ranchera factor way up on their 2008 release Tierra Mala). On No Se Comparan (There's No Comparison), los Alegres de la Sierra don't get into corridos but don't get into pop/crossover material either. Instead, the main focus of this 2009 release is norteño with a strong ranchera appeal, and those who prefer their norteño on the ranchera side can't go wrong with sentimental tracks like "Flecha Envenenada" ("Poison Arrow"), "Muy Caro Pagarás" ("You Will Pay Dearly") and "Imposible Olvidarte" ("Impossible to Forget You"). No Se Comparan is a decidedly traditional and decidedly straight-ahead norteño album, and for Los Alegres de la Sierra, that means making ranchera a primary ingredient rather than an afterthought. About the only song on No Se Comparan that isn't ranchera-minded is the moody "Prueba Con El," which takes this 28-minute CD into cumbia territory and has a South American flavor that the rest of the songs don't have. But most of the time, the ranchera influence makes its presence felt in a big way on the solid, if brief, No Se Comparan.

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