Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos, Llegaron Los Camperos!: Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Mariachi music that turns the genre on its head.

This is definitely not your usual mariachi album. Yes, the trumpets blare loudly, but the ensemble is filled out with violins and harp, making for a near-orchestral sound on these songs of love and longing. There's a tribute to José Alfredo Jimenez, arguably the greatest of the mariachi singers, that simply leaps out of the speakers. Many of the tunes are classics of the mariachi repertoire, taken from all over Mexico in this straight presentation of the band's set. Llegaron Los Camperos! shows just how the band — who have been around since the '60s — has revitalized mariachi music, framing the almost operatic vocals (a hallmark of the genre) with glistening arrangements. Just listen to the way “Jarocho II” moves into sprightly double-time. It's all capped with “Michoacán,” an epic 10-minute master class in mariachi styles with some virtuosic folk violin. If you want to know the real joy of mariachi music stripped of the schmaltz, listen here.