Street Signsby Ozomatli
With artists as self-consciously polymorphous as Ozomatli -- descriptions of the group usually bear more hyphens than there are band members -- songs can easily devolve into genre exercises. The L.A. nonet were guilty of just that on their first two albums, carefully repping each far-flung constituency -- hip-hoppers, Chicanos, salseros, funksters, turntablists, and then some -- in their multicultural vibe. Finally, with the third try, Ozo get it oh-so-right and achieve the suppleness and grace of their stylistic forebears War and Mandrill. (After all, those '70s Latin rock bands were just as musically and ethnically diverse without writing songs about it.) Street Signs shows a band that's shed their puppy-dog need to impress, and that focus is beneficial throughout. The focus of the title track -- sampled piano licks quoting the salsa classic "El Preso," handclaps, and hip-hop beats -- get the job done, delivering a solid progressive rap winner. The closer, "Cuando Canto," is an old-school, harmony-laden ballad that soars with unabashed love for East L.A. "brown-eyed soul." Even as the arrangements get more ambitious, as on the opener, "Believe," which matches Arabic strings with dancehall rhythms and psychedelic guitar, Ozo keep the emphasis on the songs. That's the most rewarding development on Street Signs: the band deliver their radical politics with fervor and clarity, especially on the searing "(Who Discovered) America?" and "Who's to Blame," featuring Jurassic 5 rapper Chali 2na. Guests ranging from piano maestro Eddie Palmieri to Los Lobos' David Hidalgo to turntablist (and Ozo founder) Cut Chemist sweeten the pot, but the real spice comes from Ozomatli themselves on this powerfully realized statement.
- Release Date:
- Concord Records
Performance CreditsOzomatli Primary Artist
Hassan Hakmoun Vocals
David Hidalgo Requinto,Jarocho Harp
Eddie Palmieri Piano
Greg Poree Acoustic Guitar
KC Porter Hammond Organ
Paul Livingston Sitar
Yeux Noirs Strings
Ulises Bella Keyboards,Saxophone,Background Vocals,Melodica,Requinto,Group Member
Cut Chemist Turntables
Asdrubal Sierra Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Vocals,Group Member
Mario Calire Drums,Group Member
Walter Miranda Piano
Sheffer Bruton Trombone,Group Member
Wil-Dog Abers Background Vocals,Group Member
Raúl Pacheco Guitar,Vocals,Jarana,Tres,Group Member
Justin "El Niño" Porée Percussion,Rap,Group Member
Chali 2na Rap
Jiro Yamaguchi Percussion,Tabla,Background Vocals,Group Member
DJ Spinobi Turntables,Group Member
Forte Music City Of Prague Orchestra Strings
Jabu Master of Ceremonies
Technical CreditsJohn Burk Executive Producer
Eddie Palmieri Composer
Anton Pukshansky Engineer
Jason Roberts Programming,Producer
Bob Salcedo Engineer
Serban Ghenea Remixing
KC Porter Composer,Producer
Robert Carranza Engineer
Asdrubal Sierra Composer
Ken Takahashi Engineer
Wil-Dog Abers Orchestral Arrangements,Percussion Arrangement
Andy Mendoza Composer
Justin "El Niño" Porée Remixing
Chali 2na Producer
Jiro Yamaguchi Orchestral Arrangements,Percussion Arrangement
JB Eckl Composer
John Hanes Remixing
Seth Presant Engineer
Christopher Lennertz Orchestral Arrangements
Daniel "Blaxxx" Lewis Producer
Beatle Bob Introduction
Don Corleon Composer,Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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this cd was something incedibly diffrent but great. with OZO's goal of bringing cultures and people together this album was great progress cause of some of the middle eastern beats. if OZO keeps it up who knows what will happen with racial differences.
The Ozo crew does it again with this album, this is a compliation with so many different beats and influences which will really make you dance! A little rap, a little cumbia, a little bit of this and a little bit of that with both Spanish and English songs on this album. This is a Must for any type of music fan...You won't be disappointed!!!
This album is a must have. You'll love the ecclectic sounds and awesome vocals. Get it!!!!
'Street Signs' is a PUMPING album, i cannot stress how much i recommend it! It will definately become a regular in your player. Ozomatli are on the way up- and judging by 'Street Signs' things will stay that way!!!!
One word to describe Ozomatli's 3rd cd "Street Signs": variety. You can practically name any style of music and it's on this cd. Hip-hop, Cuban, Spanish and more, all from one band. Even with many musical styles, the songs still flow from one to the next. There are songs in English and Spanish, but that's what makes this cd, as well as the band, unique and worth listening to. Even if someone doesn't understand Spanish, the music says it all and in that way speaks a language everyone understands.
I have bought the first 2 CD'S, the EP and the DVD.I love this band. Street Signs is afar and away their best work to date. Their musical growth shines through each cut. The awesome guest list makes this a reciord you will play over and over.
Ozomatlis firtst CD is quite possibly perfect and while nothing beats seeing them live their newest CD has grown on me like a virus. I am partial to the songs sung in Spanish but while not pigeonholing themselves as a "Latin Hip Hop" band they easily manuever between English and Spanish HIp Hop and Pop. "Who's to Blame" is a Hip Hop Masterpaiece and "Saturday Night" is a Party song to get everyone going. My personal favorites are "Daja me en Paz" and "Viene el Sol" Hopefully with all the promotion these guys are doing and the upcoming tours the whole planet will experience the energy that is OZOMATLI.
Fab new album. If your an Ozo fan you'll love it and if your new to the band it will get you hooked.
Ozomatli fool. If you don't know, you best to get the album(s), quick. A fat mix of salsa, funk and hip-hop that makes everyone that hears them for the first time go, "Hey- who IS that!?" And I don't even speak spanish..! This album goes back to where thay came from on the first record, excellent musicianship and their party vibe.
excellent CD - it won the Latin Grammy for best orignal new Albumn
THIS BAND IS SO AWESOME! I LOVE THIS CD. ITS GOT A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING AND IT TOTALLY WILL GET YOU DANCING. GOOD ORIGINAL MUSIC LIKE THIS IS HARD TO FIND. YOU MUST BUY IT.
This album is amazing. It all comes together on this effort. This is definitely their best album. I encourage everyone to buy the album, and to see them perform live. Whenever I see them live, its like being in a trance, you lose yourself in the music.... rob_sal