Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Embrace the Chaos
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock, Latin Music
The follow-up to Ozomatli's 1998 eponymous debut, Embrace the Chaos builds on the band's proven strengths: a masterful command of a palette of musical styles, a firm commitment to social activism, and an unending devotion ... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001
The follow-up to Ozomatli's 1998 eponymous debut, Embrace the Chaos builds on the band's proven strengths: a masterful command of a palette of musical styles, a firm commitment to social activism, and an unending devotion to the power of rhythm. Like the L.A. landscape from which the group emerged, Ozo's music is a polyglot of cultures, whether it's the Puerto Rican salsa of "Dos Cosas Ciertas," the Mardi Gras funk of "1, 2, 3, 4," the Brazilian batucada beat of "Suenos en Realidad," or the Cuban son influence on "Timido." The result is a gorgeously diverse sound that changes from song to song without seeming disjointed or random. Rap fans may be disappointed to note that Jurassic 5's Chali 2na and Cut Chemist are no longer with the group, but the album is hardly suffering from a dearth of hip-hop; in-house rapper Kanetic Source and DJ Spinobi offer their talents, while notable cameos are provided by De La Soul ("1, 2, 3, 4"), Medusa ("Vocal Artillery"), and Common ("Embrace the Chaos"). Even though the album is capped at an efficient 11 songs, it doesn't come up short. With so much different music represented, Embrace the Chaos is like a dozen albums fused into one. --Oliver Wang
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Ozo, as usual, rocks the spot
ebk | Mars | 09/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are few bands that can do what Ozomatli does and do it well. They seem to just funnel life in Los Angeles straight onto wax. They take West Coast old school hip-hop, salsa, a touch of latin infused rock and drop it all with a party atmosphere lined with messages of social conciousness. My only concern before listening was that Chali 2na had said goodbye to the band to continue on with Jurassic Five. As it turns out, Kanetic Source doesn't replace him as much as add a new urgency to the music. Where Chali was smooth and mellow, Kanetic is more prone to be in your face. "Vocal Artillery," a song that revloves around a sample from the previous album's highlight "Cut Chemist Suite," finds Kanetic filling Chali's shoes perfectly.This cd was well worth the wait. They just keep getting better."
A true masterpiece-by my standards.
conradeze | Las Cruces, NM | 02/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is truly good, in fact, it is remarkably good. I first heard Ozomatli in the movie "Never Been Kissed" and didn't think they were any different than the other latin performers out there. Well, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. This album was more than I expected it to be. An undeniably fun, foot-tapping mixture of different music genres(hip-hop,latin,jazz, etc) that is not only refreshing but also a bit needed in the world of music. I feel that Ozomatli is one the better bands out there since they incorporate different styles into their music. This group is an entourage of distinct cultures reflecting how each using their own creative style can combine to make something so intensely well. Now to talk about the album, clearly all of the tracks are brilliant in their own way. "Pa Lante", "Guerrillero" and "Timido" are upbeat high-paced latin tracks that make you just want to get up and dance. Of course there is the inclusive hip-hop beats on such tracks as "Vocal Artillery" and "Lo Que Dice" which for some reason, on this album, does not seem out of place when fused with latin rhythms. All in all, a great album that almost anyone regardless of their musical taste can enjoy. Too bad we can't hear stuff like this playing on mainstream radio."
An album that will grow on you...C'mon, give it a chance!
file9000 | Capitol City | 12/12/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"On the first few listens, one may be disappointed by this: there is no steady MC presence in the form of Chali 2na, instead a 'bunch' of rappers are used, with seemingly out of place when set against Ozomatli's music, and thus the songs seem a bit unstable/unbalanced at times. Also, there is a clearer difference between the hip-hop and 'latin' songs, leaving the record to become somewhat disjointed.
After more listens however, the party feel unique to Ozo returns, as the 'latin' songs kick in and you feel your feet moving once again.
The first 5 songs are come across similarly to the first 5 on their previous album. Instead of hearing the opeening strains of 'Como Ves!, Como Ves!, something, something, something, ...', you get 'Something, something, something, ...Pa Lante!'.
Then comes the '100%' hip-hop tune '1,2,3,something...', that will no doubt have crowds shouting along. Posdnous is the standout guest MC of the entire album. He professes he will 'only rock a few from now on', though he appears to be guesting on quite a few other albums as well.
Dos Cosas Ciertas, Guerrillero and Timido all seem passable on he first few listens, but they soon become favourites, and you remember why you liked Cumbia..., Donde... so much from the first album.
Suenos...is bound to annoy initially with it's stabs of repetition (pensativo may also annoy), but as the album grows on you, even these seem to fit perfectly in place. The remaining 'hip-hop' songs are not as nice as having Chali 2na around. I know Ozo are politically motivated, but Common's MCing style (as appears on the title track), doesn't come across as well as Coming War did.OK, so it's not as good as their initial effort, but Embrace the Chaos is grower. One MC throughout the whole album would be preferable (what's Kid Frost up to these days?), but other than that, the Ozo 'magic' can be rediscovered on this album if you let it."