Atlas

Last year, Mexican outfit Kinky made a splash with a self-titled debut that blended electronica, scratching and rock but, above everything, had strong hooks and irresistible rhythms.

Last year, Mexican outfit Kinky made a splash with a self-titled debut that blended electronica, scratching and rock but, above everything, had strong hooks and irresistible rhythms. It was distinctive music. So much so that tracks from that album, notably "Más y Más," were licensed by a slew of TV shows, making Kinky perhaps the most-played Latin band in the mainstream. Perhaps that explains why nearly half of the tracks on "Atlas" are in English (album opener "Presidente" is bilingual); in one way, Kinky has already crossed over. Here, even songs in Spanish do not suffer from a language barrier. For the most part, lyrics are secondary to the music, with the exceptions being the more incisive "Minotauro" and "Semillas de Menta." Otherwise, "Atlas" is highly propelled by ambience. "The Headphonist," for example, is basically a chant over percussion and loops. It is hard not to get hooked.—LC