Los Temerarios

Una Lágrima No Basta

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The difference between los Temerarios and a traditional ranchera, norteño, or mariachi group is like the difference between a salsa romantica artist and Celia Cruz -- essentially, you're getting sleek Latin pop instead of a traditional approach. If salsa romantica is Latin pop with Afro-Cuban rhythms, los Temerarios offer Latin pop with ranchera or mariachi overtones. Mexican purist hardliners see los Temerarios and similar artists as watered-down Mexican music just as salsa purists accuse Marc Anthony of being watered down, but truth be told, calling an album like Una Lágrima No Basta (A Tear Is Not Enough) watered down is missing the point. Los Temerarios never claimed to be a hardcore ranchero, norteño, or mariachi act; their music is smooth, romantic Latin pop with Mexican influences. And even though this CD isn't the most challenging or cutting-edge release in the world, the group's fans will agree that it is an enjoyable collection of Latin mood music. Maintaining a romantic ambience, los Temerarios incorporate elements of mariachi on "Te Regalo Mi Tristeza," "Déjame Soñar," and "Olvidar Así," but combine Latin pop with cumbia Mexicana (which is a Mexican variation of the Colombian cumbia rhythm) on "Comer a Besos" and "Sé Que Te Amo." Meanwhile, "Gitana Baila" acknowledges nuevo flamenco -- the influence is more Gipsy Kings than Tomatito. And one of the five mixes of the title song contains Afro-Cuban elements; think of it as los Temerarios' contribution to the salsa romantica field. Among Latino journalists, los Temerarios have not been critics' darlings. Critics have often accused their music of being unchallenging, and Una Lágrima No Basta is unlikely to change that perception. Nonetheless, it's a pleasant, likable effort that the group's hardcore fans will no doubt want to acquire.