Reflecting the urban polyglot of its Los Angeles home, Ozomatli purveys a Latin dance party fueled by horns and covering a seamless expanse of hip-hop, jazz, rock, funk, and salsa. The vibrant sound is impressive live, and the band won a Grammy for its third album, 2004's Street Signs. Like the Mothership if it had landed South of the border, Ozomatli's shows are ablaze with booty-motivating bounce, light-hearted attitude and effortless groove. Conga lines form spontaneously in the audience and the infectious energy is attractive enough to even draw back-row Bobs and Bettys into the action. Ozomatli's new album, Don't Mess with the Dragon, continues the 10-member collective's multicultural explorations with a particular emphasis on its Latin pop roots. If there's ever been any doubt, this album definitively establishes Ozomatli's dance-band pedigree. The album highlight is the limber, wacca-wacca rap and rumble of "City of Angels," a shout-out to their home in which they note, "My hood is tough like it's Clubber Lang."
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