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Never dull

Ay!
Ay!
By Astrid Hadad y los Tarzanes

Rounder Records: 1995

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This review first appeared in the December 22, 1995 issue of the North County Times.

Equal parts Edith Piaf, Louis Prima and schmaltzy, tourist-oriented mariachi, Astrid Hadad is described by the liner notes on her first American release as a "post-modern" Mexican diva. Toss in her Madonna-as-Mexican-Virgin-Mary ensemble and Addams Family makeup, and she's one interesting artist.

What really makes Hadad worth checking out, though, is the fact that she's one hell of a good singer. In addition, her arrangements of Mexican ballads incorporate both mariachi and ranchero (as disparate as American blues and bluegrass), Parisian cabaret, Argentinean tango and themes from her Lebanese heritage for a performance that's never dull.