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ozomatliOzomatli/Street Signs

Genre: Rock/Hip Hop/Salsa

Best Feature: Musical diversity


Label: Concord Records (

Ozomatli’s sound begs the listener to expand his or her mind and avoid pegging them as belonging to one specific genre. Combining elements of rock, pop, salsa and hip hop, they have cultivated a sound which has something to offer to anyone willing to listen. Through this, they are able to reach a variety of audiences.

This album is great in its ability to be both musically and culturally diverse. The vocals trade off between English and Spanish, they integrate styles from all around the world – the styles I mentioned before are all present, but they also incorporate some middle-eastern styles as well. Some songs are upbeat with catchy pop riffs and rap “breaks” while some are more mellow and soothing with smooth beats and clean, crisp guitar riffs. They are not afraid to use a variety of instruments as well – the traditional “rock band” instruments are present (drums, guitar, bass), but they also bring in a jazzy piano melody and ska-like horns, further exhibiting their diverse musical talents.

Sadly, this diversity makes it difficult for Ozomatli to get the recognition they deserve. The lack of radio play could be due to the fact that a station manager may hear them, like them, but be unsure whether or not Ozomatli’s sound fits well with the station’s format since they are so difficult to categorize. Fortunately, Ozomatli has received some recognition from EA Sports/Tiburon, who has added the song “Saturday Night” (Track 7) to the Madden 2005 game soundtrack.

Overall, this is a great listen for anyone looking to expand his or her musical horizons, and this would be great music to have playing at a party.

-Andrea Goodwin