The artwork that Jenni Rivera uses on Se Las Voy a Dar a Otro speaks volumes about the Mexican-American banda singer. The front cover shows her wearing a cowboy hat -- a very popular look among traditional Mexican artists -- while another photo depicts her riding a motorcycle and going for a very Americanized biker look. And by sporting these different appearances, the Los Angeles native is making a point: she is celebrating her Mexican roots while being totally up-front about the fact that she was born and raised in the United States. Rivera is saying that even though traditional Mexican music is her foundation, she inevitably has some American influences as well; like other Rivera discs, Se Las Voy a Dar a Otro is banda with a Chicana perspective. Another way of describing Rivera's musical outlook is to say that she is banda-oriented without being a banda purist; a purist wouldn't have opened this 2001 release with a remake of the '50s doo wop classic "Angel Baby." But then, doo wop was incredibly popular among Chicanos back in the day -- doo wop and soul are still considered required listening in low-rider circles -- and opening this CD with "Angel Baby" is a very Chicana thing to do. Meanwhile, the cumbia-influenced "Escándalo" (a major hit in the regional Mexican market) is the album's most tropical-minded offering. But despite her willingness to experiment with doo wop here and tropical there, Rivera remains a banda artist first and foremost -- and emotional tracks like "Cuando Abras los Ojos" and "Tristeza Pasajera" leave no doubt that she has thoroughly mastered the banda/corrido style. Underscoring her ability to provide banda that is expansive and broad-minded without sounding watered down, Se Las Voy a Dar a Otro is a thoroughly rewarding example of Rivera's artistry. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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