Although girl group Aroma is ostensibly a regional Mexican band, its

Although girl group Aroma is ostensibly a regional Mexican band, its

South American influences (present through Paraguayan lead singer Techi) come through in cumbias whose feel is more Colombianized than your usual Mexican fare. Beyond the international appeal, Aroma's trademark is an unpretentious, upbeat sound that is nevertheless polished. As gimmicky as the girl-band concept is, it's hard not to get caught up in the spirit of the music, which is well-executed and boosted by Techi's sweet soprano leading most of the 12 tracks. Aroma sticks to a formula of instrumental intro, soaring solo verse, and a harmony-infused chorus. The lone exceptions are the quite lovely "Frente a Frente," made sorrowful with a piano motif, and "Amor de Tres," which incorporates rapping that's innovative in concept but stiff in execution.—LC

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