Veteran songwriter Marco Antonio Solis applies his melodic touch and lyrical dexterity to Mexican ranchera music.

Veteran songwriter Marco Antonio Solis applies his melodic touch and lyrical dexterity to Mexican ranchera music. A natural crooner, Solis smartly doesn't attempt to match the raw power of the genre's greats, but instead relies on fusions of grupero, orquesta, and trio music to highlight his vocal strengths. First single "Tu Amor o Tu Desprecio" has been climbing the charts steadily with its nostalgic, Los Bukis-esque bolero rhythm underpinning lovely mariachi strings and horns. On "El Diablillo" and "Más Que Tu Amigo," he pioneers a retro-grupero sound with Rigo Tovar-inspired organ riffs and ballroom beats. In another smart move, Solis eschews slick pop production and tries to blend in with the music's rural roots by shading the mix with low-key accordion, folk guitar, marimba, and harmonica solos. This regional Mexican album should be warmly received by longtime Los Bukis fans who have noticed his material drifting into pop over the years.—RB