On their second album for Crescent Moon, Panamanian alt-rockers Los Rabanes shed their erstwhile underground sound and image for more commercial fare that, nevertheless, sounds fresh and believable.

On their second album for Crescent Moon, Panamanian alt-rockers Los Rabanes shed their erstwhile underground sound and image for more commercial fare that, nevertheless, sounds fresh and believable. After 10 years of playing together, Los Rabanes know the power of going out on a limb. Lyrically and musically, Los Rabanes alternate between the witty and irreverent (witness "El Queso") to outright bacchanalia. Surprisingly, they can also be lyrical, as evidenced on rocker "Tus Caprichos." Saddling commercial considerations and experimentation, Los Rabanes usually come out ahead. On "Everybody," the oft-used Latin trumpets are offset by driving raps and an unabashedly bubbly vibe. But the use of today's "in" instrument, the accordion—as well as calls for Latin unity—sound too thought-out for a band that effortlessly blends reggae, blues, and Beatles-esque melodies ("Love in New Orleans"). There's much order to be found in this chaos.—LC

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