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coverpic flag Mexico - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 2 - 12/24/96

Café Tacuba
Avalancha de Exitos
Warner Music Mexico (WEA Latina)

At first listen, Chilanga Banda, the first single from Warner Music Mexico's Café Tacuba sounds like someone rapping with a mouth full of oatmeal. In fact, the lyrics are so complicated, that the album arrived from Warner Music with an accompanying glossary of terms for the song. What else would you expect from a band with a lead singer currently named Anonimo which translates from Spanish to "anonymous," but who changes his name for each album? (On the last album Re, he was known as Cosme!)

With Avalancha de Exitos, Café Tacuba delivers a fresh new album with eight songs, each distinct in sound, and each different from their previous albums. With this band you never know what to expect, but are always pleasantly surprised. Café Tacuba was released in 1992, featuring the hit ballad Maria and Re, which garnered excellent reviews, and an MTV Latino Video Award for Video Of The Year (for the single La Ingrata) was the follow up, containing twenty, count them twenty songs, drawing from all genre of music. This band doesn't miss a trick, featuring a ska/rock sound drawn from the influence of boleros, punk, merengue, metal, jazz, and even mambo. And for Chilanga Banda, the lyrics are entirely in Mexican slang, so even if you know Spanish, you will probably still need to use that glossary we mentioned. (For those of you not lucky enough to have the dictionary - the song is a harsh portrait of life today in Mexico city, and addresses subjects such as alcohol abuse, prostitution, gangs, drugs, and police brutality - the title translates to "Thankless Woman").

This album features such diversity as No Controles which at times reminds you of the riffs of Rage Against The Machine, Ojala Que Llueva Café, which will be the next single and was written by the reknowned Juan Luis Guerra, and given a different flair here, and Perfidia, an instrumental track which is soothing in the midst of this fast paced album. Café Tacuba have been known for their pioneering ways, and varied influences in music, and this album is no exception, sounding like a cross between Rage Against The Machine meets the Beastie Boys meets 440 meets the B 52's and everything else in between. Whatever kind of music you prefer, there is bound to be something in here you like, with Café Tacuba proving again that the universal language of music can cross all barriers.

Copyright © 1996 Allison Winkler e-mail address

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