If you felt an inexplicable throbbing in your heart earlier today, it wouldn’t hurt to get that checked out, but it could have just been the psychic palpitations that inevitably result when young Luis Coronel appears in the media, since we wrote about his single “Cuando La Miro” at the Singles Jukebox. Of course, if your heart is that affected by Luis Coronel, it wouldn’t hurt to get that checked out either. Sez me. I should probably go easy on the guy for a while:
I won’t sugarcoat it: this won’t be the last you hear from Luis Coronel. Triunfo magazine reports the bilingual Tucson teen plans to eventually “make the crossover and record in English.” His videos feature English-speaking restaurateurs, ’50s diners, and muscle cars, meaning he’s already singing to a bilingual U.S. audience; whether his crossover turns out to be Prince Royce-style assimilation, or the thing that finally drags banda/norteño music into Top 40’s embrace, is anybody’s guess. But no matter what Coronel sings, he needs to do something about his voice. Or lack thereof. Forswearing both the nasal whine and the overwrought (i.e., perfectly wrought) romanticism of his forebears, Coronel sings everything as though he’s reading the phone book. He can barely hang on to his songs. His hapless vocal cords tossed about by his (generally really good) arrangements, he makes even the simplest lines sound hard to scan. “Cuando La Miro” strands Coronel in his midrange; except for that shouted “Chiquitita!” he’s confined to six notes, none of which he projects over the brass. Maybe that’s why people love him? Like his unaffected peers Kevin Ortiz and Jonatan Sanchez, Coronel transforms music that’s often violent and racy into the endearing genre next door. He may someday portray the Pat Boone character in Elijah Wald’s How Calibre 50 Destroyed Narcocorrido.
Most other reviewers liked the song more: common themes included the goodness of the banda players and Coronel’s propensity to hide his vocals behind them. “Cuando” is currently #10 on Billboard‘s regional Mexican chart.