El Príncipe con Trío, Volumen 1

JosÉ JosÉ (aka El Príncipe), gifted with one of the most beautiful voices in Latin balladry, continues to be remarkably active in the studio despite the fact that his vocal prowes

José José (aka El Príncipe), gifted with one of the most beautiful voices in Latin balladry, continues to be remarkably active in the studio despite the fact that his vocal prowess has declined noticeably in recent years. Here, that problem is solved with a conceptual album and technology. El Príncipe con Trío features original José José recordings—some dating back decades—of songs that he turned into standards, with new trio accompaniment from Los Tres Caballeros. For the most part, this mix yields lovely results, especially in the first half of the album, where the acoustic arrangements and subtle vocal harmonies give new air to songs like "El Amor Acaba," "Y Qué?," and "Cuidado." The results, of course, aren't groundbreaking, but the intention here is to offer timeless material in a timeless setting that overrides the original, often more heavy-handed recordings. On the other hand, such collections invariably bring up tracks that managed to become hits despite their awfulness. Case in point is "Lo Pasado Pasado," an overwrought ballad that's unflattering for any singer.—LC