Cafe Tacuba come straight out of Mexico City with a spicy blend of rock en Espanol
, with Jamaican ska/reggae and African-American hip-hop sonic seasonings. And unlike their counterparts, they've managed to keep the critics, record companies, and
their fans happy. This CD, which translates as Four Ways
, is their first full release since 1999. Lead guitarist/vocalist Elfego Buendía, keyboardist Emmanuel Del Real, bassist Enrique Rangel and guitarist Joselo Rangel--along with R.E.M. and Beck percussionists Victor Indrizio and Joey Waronker--deliver a more raw, stripped-down sound compared to their critically acclaimed recordings Re
and Avalancha de Éxitos
. Their long-time producer Gustavo Santaolalla is at the helm, but on this go- 'round, the quartet also works with producers Dave Fridmann and Andrew Weiss, who both manned the boards for the bands, Ween, Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. From the high-powered video/single "Eo (el sonidero)" and "¿Qué pasará?" with special guest vocalist Rubén Albarrán (a.k.a. Elfego Buendía), to the philosophical "Mediodía," these tracks show that Cafe Tacuba is moving away from their alternative phase into a mature, Steely Dan type of mainstream sound. --Eugene Holley, Jr.