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Tr3s Presents MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends

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Album Review

It took 43 years and millions of albums for Los Tigres del Norte to be recognized as Latin musical royalty. Such seems to be the purpose of their MTV Unplugged show, in which the norteño legends are joined by an A-list of Latin pop & rock luminaries, including Juanes, Andrés Calamaro, Calle 13, Paulina Rubio, Diego Torres, and Zack de la Rocha. Opinions may differ about the ultimate value of this album. Los Tigres del Norte are hardly an electric band, so the unplugged twist is not much of a revelation. Purist norteño fans may also complain about the pop gentrification that some of the tunes undergo in order to accommodate their guests, but to accuse a band who has sold more than 30 million albums of selling out is simply too absurd for words. On the other hand, it is also true that Los Tigres del Norte sold all those millions of albums to the same regional audience over and over again, and that the hybrid nature of this album may be a more appealing introduction to the band for the larger international public. Norteño music is, after all, a fairly simple affair that can quickly grow tiresome for the casual listener: stomping two-chord narratives about outlaws (be it mighty drug lords or destitute illegal immigrants) or melodramatic love affairs. But for the addition of the indispensable accordion, it truly sounds like a very close Mexican cousin to Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison repertoire, especially the faster numbers such as "Cocaine Blues" and "25 Minutes to Go." Los Tigres del Norte kick off the proceedings on their own with two textbook examples of the genre, "Jefe de Jefes" (from their seminal 1997 double album) and "Contrabando y Traición." It is then turn to introduce their friends, and it is here that the band flexes their muscles and starts to mix it up, with more than a wink to the guest at hand. "Golpes en el Corazón" becomes a pop anthem for Paulina Rubio, "La Mesa del Rncón" welcomes Argentine bohemian Andrés Calamaro as a tango, only to find its way back to its ranchera roots later on, bassist Hernán Hernández — arguably the musical heart of the band, and in sparkling form throughout — plays the riff of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" when Zack de la Rocha joins the stage, and the celebratory closer "América" becomes an altogether different and controversial beast thanks to a typically razor-sharp rap intervention by Calle 13's Residente. Overall, two important conclusions can be derived from MTV Unplugged. First, after 40 years of playing together, Los Tigres del Norte are a cracking live band that still plays and sings its heart out, with plenty more tricks under its sombrero than the old two-chord, alternating bass routine. Secondly, many of the texts, particularly those dealing with the plight of Mexican immigrants (some written many years ago, yet all sounding sadly contemporary) are remarkable for their intelligence and compassion. Los Tigres del Norte have written many fine, important songs. If this MTV Unplugged signals that they are finally getting some richly deserved recognition outside of their own community, then it is a very good thing indeed.

Customer Reviews

Muy bueno

Excelente combinación de géneros Juanes y calle13 están genial

Superrrr!

Me encanto este cd, y compre mi copia fisica en best buy, Golpes en el corazon mi preferida.......>!

HECTOR123

Este disco me paresio muy col,, Por que es algo distinto de un grupo total mentenorteno que hase duetos con artistas con otro tipo de genero como lo
es PAULINA RUBIO Y CALLE 13, y por eso me parese un gran trabajo de ellos al haser este MTV Unplugget quisira felisitarlos y que tengar muy buena suerte de este
album..

Biography

Formed: San Jose, CA

Genre: Regional Mexicano

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

No norteño act is more renowned than Los Tigres del Norte, a group of Mexican-American brothers based in California who began their recording career in the early '70s and enjoyed widespread acclaim over the following decades, recording regularly for Fonovisa Records from the 1980s onward. The group is centered on lead vocalist and accordionist Jorge Hernández (the oldest of 11 children), who is joined in Los Tigres by his brothers Hernán (bass, vocals), Eduardo (accordion, saxophone, bass, vocals),...
Full Bio
Tr3s Presents MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends, Los Tigres del Norte
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Regional Mexicano, Music, Latino
  • Released: May 22, 2011

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