Picks and Pans Review: Canciones De Mi Padre

updated 01/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Linda Ronstadt

Lovingly conceived and delightfully executed, this all-Spanish album is Ronstadt's tribute to her father, Gilbert, now in his 70s. All 13 songs on the LP (the title means Songs of My Father) originated in his native Mexico, and Ronstadt and her co-producers, Peter Asher and Ruben Fuentes, enlisted a corps of Mexican mariachi musicians to play backup. If the songs inevitably lose a little in translation for non-Spanish speakers, there is plenty of fire and romance left over, and the lyrics are translated on the album sleeve. Ronstadt sounds in high spirits, her voice soaring and dancing through this melodically rich music. The warm mood is enhanced by the fact that her backup singers include her brothers Pete (the Tucson, Ariz., chief of police) and Mike (who runs the family hardware store in Tucson) and her 17-year-old niece Mindy. Another notable contribution comes from Mexican singer Pedro Rey, whose vocal harmony helps make Tu Solo Tu ("You Only You") a particularly touching track. La Charreada, a festive tune about a kind of cowboy dressage competition, is another highlight. This whole album is a cause for celebration; it is not often that a record provides such a bounty of rare good feelings. (Elektra/Asylum)

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