Hardcore narco-corrido fans will get plenty of thrills in this new 17-track collection.

Hardcore narco-corrido fans will get plenty of thrills in this new 17-track collection. Singer/songwriter Mario Quintero penned all of them, and most seem like informal news reports from the drug war's front lines. There are tales of turf battles (title track), tough guys ("Ramon Arellano"), Internet salesmen ("Agente de Ventas"), and federal manhunts ("El Viejon"). This may be Los Tucanes' 27th disc, but there's little variation on their formula—racy tales of bandits and anti-heroes all set to waltz and ranchera beats. Choice cuts include "El Sinvergüenza," which rides a merequetengue rhythm, and the banda version of "Ramon Arellano," which is driven by powerful horn blasts. After a while, many of the tunes begin to sound similar, but there are just enough rhythmic nuances and slight beat changes to keep things interesting.—RB

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