Abundant biggish names this week, led by:
Banda Rancho Viejo – Dejando Huella (Disa)
Lawyer-turned-producer Fernando Camacho’s LATEST latest moneymaking scheme involves throwing songs at this group of colts, whose 2013 album I enjoyed a lot. Their new album leads with the meh single “De Por Vida,” but on first listen that’s the meh-est thing about it. The highlights are mostly covers: Alfredito Olivas’s “Con La Novedad,” Banda El Mexicano’s delirious study in phonemic differentiation “Ma, Me, Mi, Mo, Mu,” and best of all, Banda Brava’s even more delirious “Cumbia Con Opera,” a 1995 novelty of operatic interpolations that sounds like super-competent junior high kids goofing around. I’m enough of a hick that I find this hilarious.
Voz De Mando – Levantado Polvadera [Deluxe] (Afinarte/Sony)
You remember them — last week labelmates Dueto Consntido were playing “El Rolex” live in front of Voz De Mando’s drum kit. The title song has gone Top 20 Hot Latin, but the sixth-or-so full length by this tuba-anchored corrido band is disappointing, at least on first listen. Like Calibre 50 and LOS! BuiTRES!, whenever they try to break up their corrido onslaught with romantic ballads, their instruments have trouble filling the sonic space. Anemia ensues. Obviously the listening public disagrees with me because they’ve scored some big romantic hits.
Los Robles Del Norte – El Dinero (Frontera)
Los Robles already released one 2014 album, Desde Ojinagua Pal Mundo, with the exact same cover. Four months later, without even bothering to remove the old title, they’ve simply slapped a big pink “EL DINERO” on there and released 10 different songs. This is obviously as radical an act of commodification and semiotic collapse as anything Andy Warhol ever tried. First impression: they sound OK.
Los Rodriguez De Sinaloa – Me Miran Por Mayo (Hyphy)
Though I’ve never listened to a full album by this duo-plus-quartet, I’ve had a soft spot for them since they appeared on Hyphy’s El Corrido VIP comp a couple years ago. They were the most polished of the four bands on that collection, young go-getters while everyone else was bouncing off the cacti, but they were still more raucous than most major label corrido bands. Having since been nominated for “Corrido of the Year” at the Premios De La Radio, they’re back with this promising 16-songer. Lead single is a fast “¡Ay Chiquita!” number called “Lo Bonito De Tenerte,” pleasantly rambunctious.
Alejandro Fernández – Confidencias Reales (Fonovisa)
Grupo Exterminador – Es Tiempo De Exterminador (Universal Latino)