Quite often, banda is the domain of either large bands (la Banda el Recodo, Banda Jerez) or solo artists (Ezequiel Peña, Rogelio Martínez, Lupito Rivera). But Antero Ugalde and Francisco "Pancho" Ugalde, the Mexican brothers who comprise los Elegidos, are a rarity: a vocal duo specializing in banda. Los Hermanos Ugalde are also siblings of singer/actress Altagracia Ugalde, known to grupero and Latin pop fans as Ana Bárbara. In addition to producing Tal y Como Somos, Bárbara wrote or co-wrote two of the selections: "Dime" and "Fruta Prohibida," both of which are quite comparable to the types of songs that typically appear on Bárbara's own albums. But while Bárbara's grupero is essentially Latin pop with norteño and ranchera overtones, Tal y Como Somos is very much a banda album -- well, at least banda with a lot of crossover and Latin pop appeal. Many of the tunes on this 2005 release combine Latin pop elements with the brassy banda sound -- not only the two songs that Bárbara wrote or co-wrote, but also "Naufrago en Mi Cama" and "Ay Hombre." However, this 29-minute CD does more than blend banda and Latin pop. One hears a strong cumbia influence on "Atole con el Dedo," and the Ugalde brothers demonstrate their mastery of Mexico's time-honored corrido style on three of the more traditional tracks: "El Tigre de la Sierra," "La Carcel de Cananea," and "La Martina" (which includes some vocals from Bárbara). Sometimes pop-flavored and sometimes more hardcore, Tal y Como Somos underscores los Elegidos' flexibility -- and while the disc falls short of exceptional, it is still a likable and worthwhile outing from Ana Bárbara's hermanos.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
feat: Ana Bárbara