Germán Montero

Por Lo Imposible

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For many years, banda took a back seat to mariachi and norteño in terms of popularity. But with the banda boom of the 1990s and 2000s, banda went from being a marginal part of regional Mexican music to being a prominent, highly visible part of regional Mexican music, and that banda boom brought diversity as well as commercial success. These days, banda can be anything from traditionalists playing rancheras and corridos to techno-banda artists playing unlikely arrangements of bachata tunes. Sinaloa native Germán Montero shows us some of that diversity on Por lo Imposible, which offers a variety of material but maintains a banda orientation. Lstening to "No Pasa Nada" ("Nothing Is Happening"), "Obsesionado" ("Obsessed"), "Pobre Picasso" ("Poor Picasso"), and "Tú Mi Mundo, Yo Un Recuerdo" ("You're My World, I'm a Memory"), one hears examples of crossover banda; all of those tracks combine brassy banda instrumentation with middle of the road Latin pop. "La Buenona," meanwhile, is the sort of exuberant, high-energy banda that moves into tropical territory and has a merengue-ish appeal. Someone who has spent a lot of time listening to Wilfrido Vargas or Johnny Ventura (two well-known merengue singers from the Dominican Republic) could see why "La Buenona" would be described as merengue-ish. But Montero lets the ranchera flow on "Esos Tus Ojos" ("Those Eyes of Yours"), and he is equally traditional on the exuberant corridos "Joven Peligroso" ("Dangerous Youth") and "Negocios Pesados" ("Heavy Businesses"). So even though Por lo Imposible is hardly an album that caters to regional Mexican purists 100-percent of the time, there are parts of this 30-minute CD that purists could get into. Nonetheless, Por lo Imposible has way too much crossover action to be an album that purists would want to listen to nonstop all the way through. This 2010 release is more appropriate for those who enjoy a wide variety of banda -- crossover as well as traditional or straight-ahead -- and listeners who see things that way will find Por lo Imposible to be an agreeable, satisfying listen even if it falls short of being an exceptional listen.

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