Conjunto Primavera

Que Ganas De Volver

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In Spanish, Conjunto Primavera's name means "Band of Spring" ("primavera" is the word for spring in both Spanish and Italian), but their popularity hasn't been limited to one particular season. From the late '90s into the late 2000s, Fonovisa was likely to put out two or three albums of new Conjunto Primavera material during the course of a year -- and that was on top of all the Primavera anthologies and best-ofs that Fonovisa assembled. These masters of romantic crossover norteño already had a sizable catalog when they arrived at the label in 1996, but thanks to Fonovisa, the growth of their catalog accelerated considerably in the late '90s and 2000s. Produced by Jesús Guillén, Que Ganas de Volver could be described as a 30th anniversary disc from Primavera; this 34-minute CD was released in early 2008, and the group was formed in 1978. Que Ganas de Volver doesn't offer a lot of surprises, but if the album is predictable, at least it is enjoyably predictable -- and Primavera cover their usual bases with a program of polkas ("Estando Yo Contigo," "La Gran Señora," "Cuando") and waltzes (José Alfredo Jiménez's "El Cobarde") as well as sleek Latin pop/adult contemporary ballads ("Te Llore," "Volver," and "Senti") and a doo wop-flavored song ("Ya No Vuelvas"). Primavera's very recognizable lead singer Tony Meléndez is in good form throughout the album, and his urbane sophistication works well on a disc that takes few risks but is still a reliable and worthwhile demonstration of Primavera's durability.

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