Un Monton de Estrellas

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If anyone doubts for a minute that Latin music is a huge market, he/she should take a close look at Fonovisa. The company sells a ton of CDs by catering to the Mexican market, which is only part of the Latin market -- that isn't counting the tropical market (salsa, merengue, and Cumbia) or the Brazilian, Central American, and Spanish markets. Although Fonovisa sometimes puts out non-Mexican releases, the label's bread and butter is Mexican music -- and that could be anything from hardcore norteño to the romantic Mexican pop of Grupo Mojado. Arguably, a CD like Un Monton de Estrellas is to Mexicans what salsa romantica is to Cubans and Puerto Ricans; it's lush, stylish Latin pop with a regional flavor. And while some Mexican purists will argue that Mojado's music is watered down -- that artists like los Rieleros del Norte and los Tigres del Norte have a more authentically Mexican sound -- Un Monton de Estrellas is enjoyable if you judge it by Latin pop standards rather than norteño, ranchero, or mariachi standards. On sleek, smooth, polished offerings like "Llorale a El" and "Si Tu Me Amaras Mas," the Mexican flavor is subtle; Mojado isn't pretending to be los Rieleros del Norte any more than Marc Anthony claims to be Willie Colón. At times, Mojado moves outside of Mexican pop; "Fulano de Tal" has an Afro-Cuban-influenced salsa romantica appeal, and "Tu Eres Mi Amor" incorporates Peruvian/Andean elements. But whether Mojado is acknowledging Mexico, South America, or the Caribbean, a romantic ambience usually prevails on Un Monton de Estrellas, which isn't recommended to Mexican purists but is a pleasant, likable example of Latin adult contemporary.

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