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  • If a vocalist is originally from Mexico and records for Fonovisa, it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she is a hardcore regional Mexican singer. The vocalist's primary focus might be romantic Latin pop, which is what Mexican singer Iv n provides on his Fonovisa release Fantasia (Fantasy). There are hints of regional Mexican music on parts of this album, and a brassy banda arrangement of the song "Silueta de Cristal" is offered as a bonus track at the end. However, the main version of "Silueta de Cristal" is strictly a Latin pop version, which isn't surprising because Latin pop is Fantasia's main ingredient -- and Iv n clearly gets a lot of inspiration from romantic singers like Marco Antonio Sol¡s, Jos‚ Jos‚, Juan Gabriel, and Luis Miguel. In fact, Iv n performs two Sol¡s songs on this disc: "Mi Fantasia" and "Encadenado a Mi." Both of those tracks exemplify the album's smooth, urbane romanticism, as do "Eres Mi Mundo," "Murio la Flor," and "Angel de la Ma¤ana" (a Spanish-language version of the Chip Taylor standard "Angel of the Morning," which was a major hit for Merrilee Rush in 1968 and Juice Newton in 1981). Not everything on this 32-minute CD is a ballad, but even when Iv n favors a medium tempo, Fantasia never loses its romantic orientation. Iv n, who was 24 when Fantasia came out in October 2009, is much younger than Sol¡s, Jos‚ Jos‚, or Gabriel -- all of whom were already major names in Latin pop before he was born in Mexico City in 1985. But stylistically, Fantasia clearly follows in their footsteps -- and while it doesn't do so with exceptional or mind-blowing results, it does so with likable and appealing results. Iv n is well worth keeping an eye on. ~ Alex Henderson
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