Los Rehenes

Por Tu Amor

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If one needs an example of how frequently regional Mexican stars record compared to non-Latin pop and rock stars, just compare the size of los Rehenes' catalog to the catalog of, say, No Doubt. Two albums of new No Doubt material were released during the early to mid-2000s (Return of Saturn and Rock Steady), a period that also saw the release of Gwen Stefani's first solo album, Love.Angel.Music.Baby; los Rehenes de Javier Torres, meanwhile, came out with at least ten albums of new material during the first half of the 2000s (and that isn't counting various Rehenes reissues that labels provided). Does the regional Mexican market really need that many Rehenes CDs? The group's more obsessive fans would say, "Yes, the more Rehenes CDs, the better" -- and while those who aren't totally obsessive are unlikely to purchase every single album they come out with, Por Tu Amor (For Your Love) points to the fact that los Rehenes' early to mid-2000s output was generally respectable. This 34-minute disc, like other Rehenes efforts, is best described as "Mexican lite" -- light, romantic grupero that unites regional Mexican elements with polished Latin pop. Different influences are incorporated, and they range from duranguense on "Se Me Olvidó la Letra," "La Recién Casada," and "Cadena Perpetua" to Tex-Mex-style cumbia (as opposed to Colombian, Bolivian, Peruvian, or Argentine cumbia) on "Pégale" to doo wop on the title track. And whatever the influence, Por Tu Amor maintains its romantic orientation. There are no compelling reasons why someone with only a casual interest in los Rehenes absolutely has to acquire Por Tu Amor ASAP, but die-hard fans will find the group to be in good form on this worthwhile, if less than challenging, addition to their sizable catalog.

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