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La Historia de un Idolo, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Vicente Fernández possesses a voice of operatic quality and size, and his singing has earned him the title "King of Ranchera," the Mexican rural musical style that's a part of the mariachi form. He might wear the sombrero and glittery, showy Mexican cowboy uniform to display his roots (he was actually born in Jalisco, the home of mariachi music), but don't be fooled — he's a persuasive, sophisticated singer with immense control over his pipes. A true icon in Mexico, he's sold millions of records, and it's easy to hear why, when, for example, he unleashes a gentle cry on "Aca Entre Nos" or a wail on "Hoy Platique Con Mi Gallo." For the most part this isn't true roots music — there's too big an orchestration of the majority of tunes for that — but the inflection in the arrangements is always ineffably Mexican, both in rhythm and melody. The closest to "pure" ranchera is "Lastima Que Seas Ajena," but even that isn't exactly pure. Not that it matters; once he gets singing, you're completely swept up in his voice, and this collection — the story of an idol — simply won't let you go until he's finished.


Born: 17 February 1940 in Huentitan del Alto, Mexico

Genre: Regional Mexican

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

More than just the undisputed king of Mexico's traditional ranchera music, Vicente Fernández — "El Idolo de Mexico" — is one of that country's most recognizable and influential cultural icons. Since his emergence in the mid-'60s, Fernández's popularity has escalated to the point that his status among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans has been likened to that of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley in the United States. His concerts both in Mexico and the U.S. routinely sell out despite a near-total...
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La Historia de un Idolo, Vol. 1, Vicente Fernández
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