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Moonchild Mixes, the new album by Selena Quintanilla, has finally arrived. Produced by her family, the much-anticipated new release is a bold step by the Quintanillas. It’s an innovative, if risky, labor of love that uses advances in digital technology to modify the voice of the much-loved “Queen of Tejano Music,”in order to update 13 early tracks that were recorded when the singer was in her teens.
Although Selena was only 23 in 1995, when she was gunned down by the president of her fan club, she left an extensive musical legacy that includes her first recordings with the family band, Selena y Los Dinos; her work as a solo artist; and numerous compilation albums that include posthumous LPs with unreleased material and remixes.
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Released under the Warner Music Latina label, Moonchild Mixes — a reference to the Greek meaning of the singer’s name as a “daughter of the moon” — is the creative brainchild of A.B. Quintanilla III, Selena’s brother and producer, who personally worked with his sister’s voice tracks, lowering her voice a half tone to make her sound as she did when she was older and at the peak of her career. In addition, the instrumentation was given a modern and fuller sound, creating a contemporary feel for the album.
Selena fans react
When the Quintanilla family announced the release — part of their ongoing work to keep Selena’s music alive — many of her fans expressed dissatisfaction on social media. In addition to questioning whether Selena herself would have wanted her voice to be manipulated and altered digitally, many wondered whether it would not have been better to release the existing unreleased material in its original form.
You only need to listen to a few of the songs included in Moonchild Mixes to understand that these fears were unfounded.
The first single, “Cómo te quiero yo a ti,” is a delicate ranchera ballad with an exquisite arrangement of string and wind instruments that allows the singer’s voice to take center stage. And that is precisely the most surprising element of the album. Far from altering Selena’s voice in an excessive or artificial way, the change in tone is subtle, at times imperceptible.