Place In the Sun
Ozomatli frequently mix genres that often don’t go well together. Yet for six studio albums (besides their children's album, Ozokidz), the Los Angeles–based group have taken a Latin-music base and incorporated elements of rap, reggae, and rock until casual listeners become hardcore fans. Working with their longtime engineer and producer Robert Carranza (who’s helped out Eels, Jack Johnson, Los Lobos, The Mars Volta, and Supergrass over the years), Place in the Sun is a high-energy mix of tunes. From the opening title track, it sets out to be the party album of the year. By keeping tempos up, centering on the tunes, and foregoing silly jams (no song tops four minutes), Place in the Sun delivers what it promises. Ex-Eurythmics member Dave Stewart joins for the upbeat reggae of “Brighter,” while Voces Del Rancho are featured on the accordion-wielding “Paleta.” The entire album is dance floor–approved with no loss of soul or identity.