Fidel Rueda

Paz en Este Amor

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Sometimes, one comes across a CD that clearly has a regional Mexican orientation but does not fit neatly into one particular area of regional Mexican music. Fidel Rueda's Paz en Este Amor ("Peace in This Love") is such a CD. On the back cover, Machete Music lists this 2007 release as "regional Mexican/norteño" -- and that isn't really misleading. The album's most prominent instrument is the accordion, which is the instrument that is most closely identified with norteño. And yet, the combination of instruments one hears on Paz en Este Amor (Rueda's debut as a solo artist) is not the exact combination of instruments one traditionally associates with norteño recordings. The ex-member of Los Buitres de Culiacan also uses a chugging tuba, which is one of banda's trademarks (although Rueda doesn't have the huge wall of brass that banda is known for), and at times, Paz en Este Amor has a duranguense-ish bounce. So all things considered, perhaps this 44-minute CD is best described as norteño with banda and duranguense references. But however one categorizes Paz en Este Amor, Rueda is a likable singer who opts for down-home earthiness over slickness -- and that approach serves him well whether he is performing corridos ("Corrido de Santiago Meza," "El Chiquilin"), providing a Mexican-style waltz ("Me Hace Falta Tu Amor") or embracing doo wop-influenced material ("Loco Enamorado," "Los Patos," "Mas Que Amor"). Rueda wasn't born until 1983 -- long after the doo wop era ended -- but like many Mexican artists, he has no problem bringing doo wop-minded harmonies to regional Mexican music. This pleasing disc indicates that Rueda did the right thing when he opted to pursue a solo career.

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