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Record Review

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As blaring trumpets and a blasting tuba introduce "The New Idol of Mexican Music," Lupillo Rivera kicks in with his fabulous Mexican-Dean-Martin-style crooning. Speaking of Martin, Despreciado is pure pinata-busting good-time drinking music.

Rivera adheres to the norteno sound and its unusual fusion of polka with mariachi, huapango and various other folkloric elements of Mexican music. The arrangements remain right on time, clarinets and trumpets chiming in in perfect unison.

The meaning of Rivera's lyrics may escape non-Spanish speakers, but the timbre, operatic qualities and sheer character of his vocals will not. His talent is said to be without limits. And while his is certainly a voice worth hearing, it's the band that gives Despreciado its oomph. Or is that oom-pah?

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