Friday, November 16, 2007

Cafe Tacuba

For my 2 cents, Mexico’s Café Tacuba can currently claim the title of “best rock band in the world.” They are very much a rock band, with all that the label implies – 4 musicians with amplified instruments singing pop songs. Despite those self imposed limitations, for some 12 years they have made clever, creative, unpredictable, and wonderfully melodic music which takes as much from Latin musical traditions as it does from electronica, ska, rhythm and blues, and mariachi. Many people have called them the “Beatles of Mexico,” and while that’s a heavy burden to bear, it’s impossible to deny their incessant musical inventiveness and the extent of their range.

The electropop "EO" from their last album is a case in point.

Their new album, Sino, is a little cloying for my tastes. As has been their pattern, Sino sounds quite different from everything they’ve done before. In this case, it means that they have recorded an album that heavily references “arena rock,” with distinct echoes of the Who, Rush, and other bands from that hellish era of popular music. Of course, I’m saying that after happily playing the thing at least 75 times. Doubtless I will play it many more, much as I’ve played their albums “Re,” “Reves/YoSoy,” and “Avalancha de Exitos” into the ground.

Sadly, they are playing no gigs anywhere near the Pacific NW on their current tour. They are playing in New York on Nov. 20, at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

No comments: