Slippery When Vague
On Street Signs the genre-melding musicians of Ozomatli continue their unique fusion of rock, samba, and hip-hop â€šÃ„Ã¬ but with less cohesion than previous albums. The true talent of this group shines through during their live performances, and this album doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t capture that energy.â€šÃ„ÃºYa Viene El Solâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºDejame El Pazâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are the few offerings that demonstrate the funky, contagious vibe Ozomatli employs to successfully move even the most rhythm-free listeners.
Without drenching listeners in lyrical cheese Ozomatli has the unique ability to create positive messages centered around hope for an improved future. But on this album the themes are too broad. â€šÃ„ÃºBelieveâ€šÃ„Ã¹ was inspired by recent events in the Middle East, yet direct references to which particular events are avoided. The emotional punch is lost in the generic lyrics. “This is/This is my world/This is/This our world/If we believe in our hearts…” lacks impact without a direct statement about who the band considers responsible.
â€šÃ„Ãº(Who Discovered) America?â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºSantiagoâ€šÃ„Ã¹ perfectly showcase the softer mix of melodies and harmonies Ozomatli blends as smoothly as their higher energy tunes. Their awareness of geopolitical issues affecting people throughout the world is a welcome nuance not often seen in pop lyrics. By singing their message in more than one language the group actually practices the togetherness they preach.
Ozomatli has remained true to its jam band mentality of creatively exploring sounds through lifeâ€šÃ„Ã´s everyday themes. Politics, world events, love and loss â€šÃ„Ã¬ all are fused together much like the different genres of music Ozomatli mixes. These lyrics resonate more strongly than bling and Cristal ever will, but need a sharper lens to fully connect.