Ozomatli is starting off summer right with their fifth studio album, Fire Away (conveniently released on 4/20 *snicker snicker*). This is the album you should be listening to while drinking beer on your porch and getting a little rowdy. Fifteen years of making music and they can still kick ass as much as they do. Pretty impressive. I’m not even what is affectionately referred to as an “Ozohead”, but I can certainly appreciate a good time.
Ozomatli are one of those bands where there’s just so much going on, it’s bound to break down into a cacophony of funk sometimes, which can be a little overwhelming, but for this time of year, it’s juuuuuuust right. The categorically eclectic jam-band infuses their flavors of salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, rock and more into a upbeat, raucous album full of incredible horns, beats, and vocals.
From the beer swigging “45” to the laid back 50’s inspired “Gay Vatos In Love” to the ska driven “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” to their collaboration with Jack Johnson “It’s Only Paper”, this album is just spectacular. Of course, when you have seven to ten members at any given time, you might as well have a full, delicious sound. This album is certainly an “I Have To Be In the Mood” album, but when I’m in that mood, this certainly hits the spot. It’s driving around with all the windows down music. It’s happy, summer, friend-filled good times. This album seems to drop some of the tones of activism featured on previous albums, but I really don’t mind. That’s not everything that they are. We still hear a little bit of that history in “Malagasy Shock” and “Caballito”, though.
Additionally, there’s very few down-tempo tracks on this album, which you may want to skip for that raging block party. Only “Love Comes Down” and “It’s Only Time”, really. On the plus side, they’ll be great to listen to in the morning when your head feels like it’s going to explode and you’re praying to the porcelain gods.
All in all, it’s a pretty good album and they couldn’t have picked a better time to release it. Start your summer off right…get a case, a few friends, and this album. Enjoy. B
Check it out over on their Myspace.
“45” (Dear whoever made this: Way to pick the weirdest picture ever. You kind of fail.)