The Bottom Line
Mexican banda and corrido are usually a man's domain, so it's always a pleasure to have these traditional genres take a female point of view. And they certainly do with Jenni Rivera's 12th album, Mi Vida Loca. The CD is a narrative, Rivera's voice as strong as the tales she tells. If you like banda, this album is one you'll enjoy making part of your collection.
- Brass banda tunes with a contemporary theme
- "Dama Divina" for its swingy upbeat hum-along lyricism
- You need to appreciate brass bands
- 13 heartfelt banda tracks, with an introduction to each
- Marriage of traditional band sound with contemporary lyrics of living in Long Beach, USA
- Released by Fonovisa
Guide Review - CD Review: Jenni Rivera - Mi Vida Loca
In Mi Vida Loca, Jenni Rivera sings about her crazy life and it sure isn't anything like Ricky Martin's. Instead of wild nights and dripping candle wax, Rivera tells a tale in 17 chapters, from crossing the border, an early marriage and pregnancy, domestic abuse, a nasty divorce to musical triumph. And she did it her way.
Rivera is a Long Beach, CA native, the daughter of Pedro Rivera and sister to Juan and Pedro, all of corrido fame. In her 12th album, she uses the power of corrido's narrative form to tell a tale of a modern Latina in Southern California, set to the bell-tone brass of a first-rate group of banda musicians. The music is traditional, the lyrics poignant, feminist, powerful and ultimately empowering.
Each of the tracks is preceeded by Rivera's honest and raw narrative introducing the next tune. Rivera's voice is as powerful as her themes; when she finally gets to "Dama Divina", a New Orleans-style, jazzy upbeat anthem with wonderful reeds weaving through the brass, there's no doubt this is a woman who's feeling the power and the rhythm.
By the way, the only English tune is a cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I will Survive". I couldn't help laughing when I heard it - no, not at Rivera, but at the sheer joyous novelty of hearing the disco staple done with banda brass. It was quite wonderful.