Recording information: Dreamlab Recording.
Illustrators: Marco Castañon; Ismael Fragoso.
Levantando Polvadera is easily the most expansive offering to date from the roots Sinaloan (via Southern California) quintet Voz de Mando. The band delivers a dozen tracks (17 on the deluxe version) that reveal the full quotient of their command of a very distinct musical language in both uptempo corridos and romanticas. Though the production is exceptionally clean, it is also quite organic; it offers more evidence of the maturity Voz de Mando have attained in just a few short years. The biggest growth is in songwriting. There are lilting love songs -- as displayed by the chart-topping title track, which was issued as a pre-release single -- killer uptempo corridos, and even a cumbia in this heady mix. Some of the highlights include the jaunty tuba groove in the ironic and humorous narcocorrido "Commandante Cholo," the uptempo indictment of the racism that immigrants experience in "El Clamor de Los Majados," the bitter romantic cumbia in "Ellas," the stirring paternal tribute on "El Hijo de Jorge Castro," and the brazen longing as displayed in "Celoso y Exagerado." The closer is a stomping cover of Noel Torres' "El Caballero." Levantando Polvadera showcases a band at the height of its powers. Whether one purchases the standard or deluxe version, there are no weak moments. This set is all killer and no filler and Voz de Mando's best effort yet. ~ Thom Jurek