Ana Bárbara

Te Atraparé...Bandido

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Some listeners like their regional Mexican music -- be it banda, norteño/Tex-Mex, ranchera or mariachi -- traditional, straight-up, and uncut, which is why Los Tigres del Norte are incredibly popular, and why the late Lola Beltrán's recordings continue to sell. Others see the value of a more pop-minded outlook, which is why Ana Bárbara has been quite successful in the regional Mexican market. Like many of the hits that Intocable, Mojado, and Conjunto Primavera are famous for, Te Atraparé Bandido isn't traditionally Mexican in the way that Carlos Hernandez Chavez and Los Trovadores are traditionally Mexican; Bárbara doesn't embrace "Cielito Lindo" or "Allá en el Rancho Grande" on this 2003 release. Rather, Te Atraparé Bandido is sleek, romantic, sentimental Latin pop with Mexican overtones. Bárbara incorporates cumbia on some of the selections -- specifically, the Mexican interpretation of the Colombian cumbia rhythm -- and she does it in a consistently pop-friendly fashion, leaving no doubt that Te Atraparé Bandido is Latin pop first and foremost. Actually, Bárbara's vocals have a somewhat Gloria Estefan-ish quality; unlike Estefan, Bárbara isn't Cuban, but if Estefan belonged to the regional Mexican market instead of South Florida's sizable Cuban-American community, the results might resemble what Bárbara does on tracks like "Ahora Soy de Hielo" and "Lo Mejor Que Te Escuché." The bilingual Estefan is part of Latin adult contemporary, and so is Bárbara -- only Bárbara does it with a mildly Mexican flavor that you wouldn't get from Estefan (either as a solo artist or as the lead singer of the Miami Sound Machine). Bárbara doesn't cater to purists -- nor does she claim to be one herself -- and those who like their regional Mexican music laced with a big dose of Latin pop will find Te Atraparé Bandido to be a solid, if somewhat predictable, addition to the singer's catalog.

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