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Fire Away (Dig)

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 release, the Grammy Award-winning band's fifth studio full length. Produced by acclaimed producer Tony Berg, Fire Away features 11 new Ozo songs. Ozomatli's music - a collision of Hip Hop and Salsa, Dancehall and Cumbia, Samba and Funk, Merengue and Comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican Ragga and Indian Raga -- has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around the city of LA.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Are You Ready?
  2. 45
  3. It's Only Paper (f/Jack Johnson)
  4. Elysian Persuasion
  5. Gay Vatos in Love
  6. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
  7. It's Only Time
  8. Nadas por Free
  9. Malagasy Shock
  10. Love Comes Down
  11. Caballito

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Downtown
  • ASIN: B003AS9G54
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,560 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tim-bobby on April 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listened to these tracks on another web site (I don't think Amazon lets you link outside of their domain, so let's say the web site name is similar to "la la"). So, I listened to this music over and over through my computer speakers (pretty crummy speakers) and enjoyed the music so much I ordered the CD. About the music - it's very fun, energetic music with electric guitar, horns, and various other instruments and it has some very catchy, infectious rhythms. I like just about everything after the first three tracks. The first three tracks are too "pop music" for me and sound like they were recorded especially with FM radio in mind. After those three, I really like their music. I can't wait until they come to play here so I can see them live! I highly recommend the music.

That said, I'd have to say that this is probably the worst recording I have. That is to say, the band got together, did their thing the best they could, and then the recording engineer totally ruined it by cranking the volume up to 11 and compressing the h*** out of it! I listened to the CD and thought it sounded like a pretty awful recording - there is zero dynamic range (the difference between the quietest musical sounds and the loudest). It sounds like it is recorded at one volume - max - throughout the CD. All the lower volume sounds have been cranked up to be as loud as the loudest sounds in the music. There is nothing subtle or musical about this recording. It is recorded horribly. Normally, I set my volume control at about "3" (three notches above the zero volume setting) and that makes just about any music pretty loud through my headphones. I plugged in my headphones with the volume set to "3" and it just about blew my head off it was so loud. I literally ripped my headphones off and cranked the volume down.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mabewa on April 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'll admit that I'm heavily biased towards the Latin side of Ozomatli. I'm a big fan of the genre once quaintly known as Rock en Espanol--artists like Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Cafe Tacuba, Aterciopelados, Todos Tus Muertos. Manu Chao, Ojos De Brujo, Quetzal, etc--acts that draw on the incredibly rich and eclectic variety of music from Latin America and Southern Europe and play it with the intensity of rock. To me, Ozomatli are really second to none as a Latin rock band, which means that I love their debut, their third album Street Signs (especially the second half) and the brilliant and oft-overlooked Coming Up EP. I was frankly disappointed by a few of the songs on their last record, Don't Mess With The Dragon (to me, Can't Stop and Here We Go sound too much like Ricky Martin) and by the relative lack of Spanish-language tracks. So, looking at the tracklist on their new album "Fire Away" and seeing only a couple of Spanish song titles was worrisome.

With that in mind, I was pretty relieved to hear the first track "Are You Ready?" a merengue-influenced number which blasts off in a blur of horns and percussion and singer/trumpet player Asdru Sierra singing in his best salsero-on-steroids voice. It's an instant classic, and the addition of a South African dance troupe on vocals really puts it over the top.

Having appeased the faithful, Ozo then gives us a couple of the poppiest tracks they've ever released,. 45 starts out with rapper/percussionist Justin Poree actually singing (instead of his usual rapping) in an incredibly catchy retro soul number. It's actually a very nice little song, the band adds some nice Ozo flavour with the horns, percussion, and occasional rapping from Poree, and the little low-rider style break in the middle of the song is wonderful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Bortz VINE VOICE on April 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is the most diverse album I've heard from Ozomatli. Not one song on this is quite a duplicate in tempo, feel, and inspiration from any other song. The opening song, "Are You Ready", kicks off with a fuzz bass, and a metalically filtered sound that could almost be considered Latin punk. This is followed up with "45", which has a very top 40 feel and is reminiscent of something Jason Derulo would sing. "It's Only Paper" features rapping and is most like the classic Ozomatli sound from "Embrace the Chaos" down to its socially and culturally revelant (though heavy handed) lyrics.

"Elysian Persuasion" is lifted right from Lenny Kravitz, and other songs sound like classic Tex-Mex (Gay Vatos in Love), to power pop to doo wop. Yet somehow, for as interesting as it sounds it doesn't seem as cohesive as classic early Ozomatli albums (up through Street Signs). Granted, those early albums were focused and they had a lot to say, but this seems more like just a collection of songs, emphasizing the diversity that makes this an interesting listen.

Fire Away is definitely mixed and produced to sound commercial, which is not a bad thing here. So while it may not be as "important" as earlier Ozomatli releases, I would consider it better than "Don't Mess With the Dragon", and it's a very entertaining listen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Hanley on August 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
It appears they're on a creative downward slope, and this is their attempt at doing some laid-back west-coast pop rock that seems to have been created for the sole purposes of marketing movies and fashion lines. The lyrics are their most simplistic, all the songs but one are around 3 minutes. There's very little latin influenced material , the rapping is awful, there's no diversity in each individual tune.

Whereas once described as a Jazz-Latin-Salsa-Cumbia-Hip-Hop-Turntablist-Rock-Reggae collective, (once a 10 member group , now down to seven, one wonders if the guy holding the flag on the cover away from the others represents another exiting member dissatisfied with their new commercial musical directing) , their influences now seem based on the accessibility of the Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson (who sings It's only paper, which sounds exactly like one of HIS tracks and not in the LEAST like one by OZO).

The three Latin influenced tracks (Malagasy Shock, Are You Ready - a merengue beat that doesn't even come close to Como Vez, ) and El Cabalito (a decent Norteno-esque track that might actually work if the production wasn't so bad, and the singing wasn't so 'tongue in cheek' , and a couple solos couldn't hurt either) In fact, the soloing and riffs are kept to a minimum, as to be expected when each song is at the 3 minute mark, as opposed to the average 4 1/2 minute song length of their first three albums.

Where's The Salsa? The Jazz? The (Good) Hip Hop? The Percussion? The 'World Music' influence? The Solos? The DJ'ing? The Horns? The tight musicianship? The political left-leaning lyrics? The GROOVE?

As a matter of fact, WHERE'S OZOMATLI????
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