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Album Review

Regional Mexican music has evolved considerably over the years, but thankfully, corridos (Mexican folk ballads) have never gone out of style; the first corridos were written in the 19th century, and corridos were as popular as ever in the late 2000s. There was a time when corridos were dominated by mariachi bands, but these days, corridos are just as likely to be performed by norteño, banda, or tierra caliente acts. And Grupo Montéz de Durango's Vida Mafiosa (Mafia Life) is an album of corridos performed by a leading duranguense outfit. There is some banda influence on this 2008 release; Montéz's extensive use of trombone adds some banda-ish brassiness to the equation. Nonetheless, duranguense is the main ingredient on Vida Mafiosa, which doesn't offer narcocorridos exclusively but has its share of them. Narcocorridos (corridos about drug smuggling) have been as controversial in regional Mexican music as gangsta rap is in hip-hop, but outlaw themes were plentiful in corridos long before Los Tigres del Norte and others started recording narcocorridos — and there are certainly parallels between outlaw country and the outlaw imagery that is prominent on Vida Mafiosa. Think of outlaw country classics like Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," Marty Robbins' "Big Iron," and Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"; a similar narrative style prevails on "El Último Contrabando" (The Final Contraband), "De Durango Hasta Chicago" (From Durango to Chicago), and other corridos that Grupo Montéz perform on this 29-minute CD. In duranguense circles, there has been much discussion of the lineup changes that have taken place in Grupo Montéz; several of the group's ex-members (including former lead singer Alfredo Ramírez Corral) became a part of Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense de Alfredo Ramírez in the 2000s. But Vida Mafiosa is a fine example of what Grupo Montéz have to offer in a post-Ramírez incarnation, and it is a rewarding, if brief, demonstration of how attractive a combination of corridos and duranguense can be.

Customer Reviews

dis album is the best!!!!!!

this album is worth buying it has great corridos wich is not their usual style but they sound great

best album yet

it's true it's not their style, but its good to good to give it a twist once in a while. KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!

Vida Mafiosa - El dia q me muera q me entierren con mi camioneta

Not their usual style and I hate corridos but this album makes me like it!!! 5 stars all the way


Formed: 1996 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Música Mexicana

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

Grupo Montéz de Durango, the most famous practitioners of the Pasito Duranguense, or the Durango Step, a rhythm-driven hybrid of quebradita and merengue invented by Mexican-Americans in Chicago, the city from where the members of Grupo Montéz de Durango hail, found success in both the U.S. and Mexico since the release of their debut album, Rama Seca, in 1997. With a lineup that mainly rotated between José Luis Terrazas on drums, Alfredo Ramírez Corral on lead vocals, Ismael Mijarez on bass, Daniel...
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