Don't Mess with the Dragon

Don't Mess with the Dragon

by Ozomatli
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Don't Mess with the Dragon

Never a band afraid to push their sound further, to try new things, Ozomatli has been developing their songs past the salsa-inspired, hip-hop-infused rock they played on their self-titled debut for a while now. On Don't Mess with the Dragon, they continue to do this, moving even further from the Latin music around which they formed and into R&B, ska, and rock riffs that often little resemble what the original group focused on. Not that the record is unrecognizable -- the previous ones had progressively moved in this direction, anyway -- but many of the songs on Dragon wouldn't be out of place on a Robert Randolph or even a No Doubt album. "City of Angels" uses horns and female backup singers to build up a strong soul groove, while "Here We Go" is practically reggaeton. Strangest of all, however, is "When I Close My Eyes," a punk-inflected pop song that hearkens back to the mid-'90s alternative scene. It's not that any of these tracks are bad: Ozomatli is comprised of talented enough musicians, and have been doing it for long enough now, that they're able to pretty much successfully pull off anything they try, but these songs move so far from the sociopolitical salsa on which they created themselves that it's almost hard to recognize them as from the same band. Sure, there are still some cuts that celebrate their Latin influences well -- "La Gallina," "La Segunda Mano," "Creo," "La Temperatura," for example -- but it almost seems as if they're so afraid of playing the same song over and over again (ironically enough, "La Temperatura" sounds a lot like "La Misma Cancion" off Ozomatli) that they don't let themselves truly do what they do best, fall into the groove that they know best. Sure, they're capable of everything they try out on Don't Mess with the Dragon, but capability alone doesn't always necessitate action.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/03/2007
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431230526
catalogNumber: 2305
Rank: 217436

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ozomatli   Primary Artist
James Calire   Hammond Organ
KC Porter   Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Synthesizer Bass
Ulises Bella   Clarinet,Keyboards,Saxophone,Background Vocals,Melodica,Requinto,Group Member
Cecilia Bastida   Background Vocals
Asdrubal Sierra   Acoustic Guitar,Trumpet,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Mario Calire   Drums,Group Member
Walter Miranda   Piano
Sheffer Bruton   Trombone,Group Member
Raúl Pacheco   Guitar,Vocals,Jarana,Tres,Group Member
Jiro Yamaguchi   Percussion,Tabla,Background Vocals,Group Member
Pilar Diaz   Background Vocals
Amy B.   Background Vocals
Willy "Wil Dog" Abers   Bass,Percussion,Rhythm Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Synthesizer Bass,Group Member

Technical Credits

John Burk   Executive Producer
June Kuramoto   Contributor
KC Porter   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Robert Carranza   Engineer
Ulises Bella   Composer
Asdrubal Sierra   Composer
Sheffer Bruton   Composer,Horn Arrangements
Jiro Yamaguchi   Composer
Seth Presant   Engineer
Amy B.   Executive Producer

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Don't Mess with the Dragon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago