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Hijo de Su!

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Album Review

There is a great scene in Robert Rodriguez' 1992 movie El Mariachi in which the main character, an ill-fated mariachi singer/guitarist played by Carlos M. Gallardo, enters a bar in a small Mexican town in search of work and the bartender bluntly tells him that thanks to technology and programming, real musicians have become obsolete in regional Mexican music. After leaving the bar, the struggling mariachi artist complains that technology is robbing Mexicans of their culture and sucking the humanity out of their music. But truth be told, the demand for real instruments that are played instead of programmed has by no means disappeared from regional Mexican music; banda, like mariachi, norteño, tierra caliente, and sierreño, still thrives on real musicianship played in real time, and the demand for banda has actually increased since 1992. Further, the popularity of long-running banda outfits like Banda Movil has continued to grow. Banda's diversity has increased along with its popularity, and diversity is indeed the rule on Hijo de Su. A variety of moods can be found on this 2008 release, which ranges from the melancholy ("Para Que No Te Vayas" and "Por Que Te Vas") to fun, exuberant party songs such as "Reynalda" and "La Estaca." Many of the songs are pop-flavored, although some are more traditionally ranchera in their outlook ("El Clavo," for example). And through it all, banda's brassiness prevails. Hijo de Su is hardly an example of the computerization of regional Mexican music that Gallardo's character feared in El Mariachi; real musicianship is the rule on this album, which is an enjoyably well-rounded addition to Banda Movil's sizable catalog.

Hijo de Su!, Banda Movil
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