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Libro de Poemas

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Album Review

If tierra caliente is downsized banda, duranguense could arguably be described as banda that has been downsized even more. If you did the following things to a duranguense recording — removed the keyboards and/or synthesizers, took away the energetic percussion, and added a large wall of brass — you could easily turn that duranguense recording into a banda recording. But despite that downsized approach — despite having five, six, or seven people on board instead of 16, 17, 18, or 19 — duranguense recordings can still manage to express a fondness for horns, which is what happens on Libro de Poemas (Book of Poems). There are only six members of los Kapsi, but the arrangements are often very horn-like. Regardless of the prominence of keyboards, this 2008 release has plenty of banda-ish arrangements (minus the actual presence of all those brass instruments) as well as some arrangements that suggest mariachi trumpets (minus the actual presence of a full-fledged mariachi trumpet section). Libro de Poemas has some ranchera appeal, but on the whole, this album favors the pop side of duranguense — and the lyrics are romantically inclined. You won't find any narco corridos or biting sociopolitical commentary here; what you will find are earthy, down-home performances that are fairly commercial but without the sleekness and gloss of grupero. A variety of well-known songs receive duranguense makeovers on this 39-minute CD, ranging from Raul Abramzon's 1970s hit "Ciao Ciao Adios" (also known as "Chau Chau Adios") to Jacques Brel's "Le Moribund" (which is known as "Seasons in the Sun" in English — it was a huge hit for Canadian singer Terry Jacks in 1974 — or "Etapas de la Vida" for the Spanish-language version that los Kapsi perform). It should be noted that Abramzon's original '70s recording of "Ciao Ciao Adios" received a lot of exposure in the late 2000s, when it was used in a Spanish-language Toyota commercial and a lot of young Telemundo and Univision viewers discovered the tune for the first time. Libro de Poemas won't go down in history as the most challenging regional Mexican release of 2008, but it's a consistently likable example of duranguense's romantic, pop-minded side.

Libro de Poemas, Los Kapsi
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  • $3.99
  • Genres: Latino, Music
  • Released: Mar 11, 2008

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