helen ochoaHelen Ochoa is very good at playing the part of the woman scorned. Whether she’s strangling her no good cheating boyfriend in reverse or simply leaning against rocks beside an ocean that mirrors her tumultuous emotional state, her portrayals unpack the many layers of scorned woman grief. Although, curiously, I haven’t found her looking sad yet. She’s funny, proud, spiteful, and above all resolute; and you can hear that resolve in her long-awaited debut album Si Yo Fuera Un Chico (Gerencia360/Sony). She first released the title single, a Beyoncé cover, two years ago. It gave her the rare chance to sing some melismas and got her noticed by the Premios de la Radio, which needed nominees for its depressingy thin “Artista Femenina Del Año” category. The new album collects her banda singles since then, along with a Noel Torres duet and a cover of the go-go boot-scootin’ boogie showstopper “Más Bonita Que Ninguna,” from a 1965 Rocio Dúrcal musical of the same name. There are nice production touches too, like the country guitar that opens “De Cama en Cama.” I’m not totally sold on the album yet, but it’s worth at least a listen, and NorteñoBlog is rooting for her.

alejandra orozcoAlejandra Orozco has a couple more major label albums to her credit, but now she’s released Ahora Va la Mía, a collection of 14 fairly traditional banda tunes, on indie LVR. Her impressive alto also finds a sweet spot in quivering portrayals of scorned women, as in this video where she traps her no-good hombre in a chair. First single “Se Acabaron Los Pendientes” is a spirited relationship post-mortem.

díselo-túNorteñoBlog being a blog of largely puerile interests, I take perverse delight in songs where men and women sing in the same range. Sometimes the singers handle this with unforced skill, as when P!nk and Nate Reuss did “Just Give Me a Reason.” Sometimes the man sounds like he’s trapped in a chair against his will — see Luis Coronel‘s hapless duet with Nena Guzman. The new single “Díselo Tú” (Remex) is special because NorteñoBlog’s favorite flarer of nostrils Edwin Luna sounds like he’s competing for the Olympic medal in oversinging, while Vicky Terrazas (of Los Horóscopos de Durango) humors him and tries to make his life easier. Being an explosive geyser of deep feeling, Luna nobly refuses her help. Instead he spends the entire video grabbing poor Vicky’s throat and singing inches from her nose. Vicky’s sister Marisol doesn’t sing; she spends a couple scenes looking bored and no doubt thanking her stars that Vicky was the one who picked up the phone.