The title track of Los Tigres' latest is a signature corrido about a drug-trafficking Mexican mama called Teresa Mendoza.

The title track of Los Tigres' latest is a signature corrido about a drug-trafficking Mexican mama called Teresa Mendoza. It's the kind of song that will bother some (especially when Mendoza is described as "noble" and "brave"), but it also rivets listeners, especially when told with the colloquial directness for which Los Tigres have become famous. That opening track sets the tone for an album that's far less grandiose in thematic ambition than its two predecessors, De Paisano a Paisano and Herencia de Familia, but more effective in reaching its listeners. Although politics has a space here (notably in "El Artista"), La Reina del Sur is more about stories and chats and commiseration. Take "En Qué Fallé?," a "conversation" between friends where one admonishes the other for failing to be a good father, or "Lo Felicito Amigo," where a man opts for a life of drinking and partying rather than take the advice of his good friend, a model citizen. A mix of humor and incisiveness, La Reina del Sur demands your attention, but also your good humor.—LC