Ozomatli Don't Mess With The Dragon

Ozomatli Don't Mess With The Dragon
The latest offering from L.A.-based nine-piece Latin funk hip-hop collective Ozomatli is a decidedly more pop-centric affair than any of their previous servings, a fact that, while no doubt raising the group’s commercial potential, washes out a lot of their attractive grit. The heavy sheen on tunes like "City Of Angels” and the anthemic "Can’t Stop” is hard to square with the crew’s upfront turntable cuts and MC work, and when added to the "Let’s Here It For The Boy” underpinnings of "After Party” gives the entire marketing move a noticeably forced feel. The Latin shake of "La Gallina” fares a little better in being less over-produced than the tracks listed above but it too could have done without the cheesy police siren. While Ozomatli’s move towards a more mainstream appeal may pay dividends for a crew that has certainly put the time in, you can’t help but wonder if it was an artistic move they needed to make. (Concord)