Ever since the 90s, I’ve been a fan of Stefani Montiel. From her early hits like “Celos” and “Por Que Soy Mujer”, she has built a following and a career founded on a great voice and great music. Always willing to go the extra mile and try something new, she has stayed true to the Tejano genre. No doubt, her newest release, La Dueña, will rank up there among her greatest works.
Produced by award-winning hitmaker Gabriel Zavala, Stefani offers up some rancheras, lots of cumbias, and some beautiful ballads. Kicking off with a rockin’ intro, she leads us into “Cumbia Fantasia”, an acordeon-heavy vallenato styling based on sonic vocals. And if that tune doesn’t get you dancing, “Loca Por Quererte” will certainly get you on the dance floor; a ranchera in which she is backed up by David Lee Garza and in which Stefani lets loose on some high notes on the way to catchy chorus.
Earning radio play and popular in the DJ scene has been “¿Quien Quiere Shots?”, a get-down-and-party cumbia. The ranchera, “Mas Que Amigos”, is definitely a hit with its harmonies and conjunto vibe. Other cumbia-rockers include “Work” and “Delirio”, which will definitely be dance-floor fillers. “La Dueña” brings us back to conjunto, the title-track being a proclamation of ones ownership of another’s love–it’ll be another favorite.
My personal favorite tune is “Que Risa Me Das”, which can only be called some sort of rock-ranchera fusion with its awesome acordeon and bajo sexto licks. It’s one of those insult tunes to a guy that deserves it.
Stefani slows it down with a classical-guitar and mariachi-backed ballad, “Adios Adios Amor”, in which she belts out the beautiful goodbye song. “Si Fue Un Juego” and “Pero Why” are a couple of catchy tunes with a cumbia groove. “Agua Bendita” is a haunting, slow flamenco-ish tune that many will enjoy. The big ending comes with a re-boot of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, but in a bad-ass cumbia styling.
After listening to all the tunes more than once, I can honestly say that these 13-tracks (plus the intro) make up a full and diverse production for Stefani. There’s no doubt that she and her production team went all-out in creating something special that will be on constant rotation–at least on my MP3!
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LISTEN: La Dueña album by Stefani Montiel