Ivan, "Fantasia"

60 Billboard Rating

Young crooner Ivan's "Fantasia" is a throwback to '70s and '80s grupero, a Mexican genre that spawned some of Latin music's most enduring acts and classic songs. Grupero straddles pop and regional Mexican, offering hopelessly romantic ballads and midtempo cumbias. Production maestro Homero Patron, who is a veteran of the genre, impeccably re-creates the retro sounds on "Fantasia," a covers album by the runner-up of reality competition "Objetivo Fama." While Ivan has real vocal chops, it's unclear whether music fans his age will embrace grupero redux; less sappy song choices might have presented him better to younger listeners. A Spanish-language version of the '60s oldie "Angel of the Morning" is a particularly fun exception. --Ayala Ben-Yehuda