JosÉ JosÉ's long-awaited Juan Gabriel-written and -produced disc combines ballads and rancheras characterized by Gabriel's colloquial lyrics and simple, catchy melodies.

José José's long-awaited Juan Gabriel-written and -produced disc combines ballads and rancheras characterized by Gabriel's colloquial lyrics and simple, catchy melodies. Arrangements, too, are vintage Gabriel: backed up by a nostalgic, '70s-sounding blend of strings and discreet female singers on the pop tracks and bolstered by a guest mariachi (El Mariachi de Mi Tierra) on the ranchera tracks. This makes for a basic, if sometimes cheesy, crowd-pleasing album whose standouts include the humorous "Necesito un Amor," the suave opening "Cada Vez y Cada Vez," and the more robust "Cómo Hacer Para Olvidar." José José has a broad, impressive vocal range—he can easily go from a high tenor to a growling bass. But his timbre changes radically—whether by accident or design—within each song, amounting to an unevenness that is finally distracting.—LC

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print