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World Music CD Reviews North American


Published April 7, 2006

El Primer Instinto

This Mexican group made its name with heavy rock, but this collection features hits done in acoustic arrangements (plus two new songs). It even reaches back to the Caifanes era, the group’s previous incarnation. Lead singer/songwriter Saúl Hernández is showcased well; his plaintive vocals are the primary force, always living up to task. There is an intimate live version of the love ballad “Quisera Ser Alcohol,” practically solo (with stirring support from the audience). He also does an emotional rendering of Juan Gabriel’s “Te lo Pido Por Favor,” featuring scorching harmonica by rock & soul journeyman Jimmy “Z” Zavala. The acoustic guitars add authenticity to the songwriting abilities, and lovely percussion on cuts like “Como Tu,” “Oju De Venado” and “Antes De Que Nos Olividen” adds depth. All the songs are in Spanish, the music and production are wonderful, and the booklet provides English translations.