Ozomatli, "Fire Away"

80 Billboard Rating

On its fifth studio album, "Fire Away," Ozomatli shows a remarkable ability to innovate with its most expansive and energetic set in years. While the opening track, "Are You Ready?," recalls the brass-infused Latin dance party that drew fans to the band's debut, the new set is full of moments that conjure up an image of a group in the studio getting excited about trying something new. The results are almost all wonderful, particularly the picture-perfect '60s funk of "45," the Southern bluesy anthem "Gay Vatos in Love" and the effects-laden ballad "Love Comes Down," with its psychedelic distorted bridge. These musical detours are what keep "Fire Away" so interesting; just when you think you've got a song--or Ozomatli--figured out, the band hits you with something new.--Ayala Ben-Yehuda

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