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Critic's Corner: Reviewing Mexican-American singer songwriter DannyLux

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Mexican American singer-songwriter DannyLux released his much-anticipated debut LP last month. It's called "DLux," and NPR's Alt.Latino podcast host Anamaria Sayre says the album shows how much the 19-year-old has grown as a performer during his short time in the spotlight.

ANAMARIA SAYRE, BYLINE: So something really exciting happened a couple of weeks ago. Amazing carino, sad sierreno heartthrob DannyLux released his third full-length album called "DLux." I've been waiting for this one for quite some time, and I'm very excited to share it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZAFIRO")

DANNYLUX: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: So this is one of the tracks off the album called "Zafiro." It's featuring Pablo Hurtado. And I just love this track because it shows the incredible versatility of Danny on this album. I mean, obviously, he is someone that came onto the scene as a regional singer. He's super young, super fresh. He has three albums out, but don't be fooled. He's only been making music for a couple of years.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZAFIRO")

DANNYLUX: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: This album feels like a true growth to me for him. I mean, he does his classic sad sierreno sound, but he comes out with songs like "Zafiro," which move a lot more slowly, a lot more subtly, and then he builds with the strings there. And I just love the energy that he plays with.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "¿COMO TE LO EXPLICO?")

DANNYLUX: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: This is "¿Como Te Lo Explico?" and I think it really sonically represents what, to me, Danny is in the Latin music space right now. He is a part of this young generation of Mexican American kids who are actually really taking the genre to a lot of global heights. Obviously, you have huge artists like Peso Pluma and Natanael Cano, who are carrying the corridos tumbados genre out of Mexico. But then you have all these guys, like DannyLux, Yaritza y su Ausencia, Eslabon Armado, that were born and raised in the United States, and so you hear them obviously doing very traditional sounds. But in this song, for example, that bridge, to me - it strikes me almost as, like, something like a traditional American country bill, the way that he plays with the guitar and the bass there.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "¿COMO TE LO EXPLICO?")

DANNYLUX: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: That's sprinkled all over this album - that mixed identity - the 200%, as we've heard it called sometimes - the Mexican and the American. And so I think it's really exciting to hear the ways that not only he represents that on this album, but the ways that people are responding to and embracing that. It's an exciting moment, I think, in the music and to be a Mexican American, honestly.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "¿COMO TE LO EXPLICO?")

DANNYLUX: (Singing in Spanish).

SUMMERS: That was NPR's Alt.Latino podcast host Anamaria Sayre. DannyLux's debut LP is out now. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Anamaria Artemisa Sayre
Anamaria Artemisa Sayre is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.