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Café Tacvba 

Sino (Universal Music Latino)

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As rock en español becomes less adventurous and more homogenized, leave it to the genre's principal exponent — Mexico City's Café Tacvba — to make one of its most wide-ranging albums. While Sino doesn't quite simmer the way earlier records did, the mix of '80s new wave, classic arena rock, and head-nodding power ballads still manages to transcend any cultural gaps left by the Spanish lyrics. Café Tacvba (which has been making weird, noise-embracing albums for 15 years) brings Sino full circle, starting with a brief piano song ("Seguir Siendo") and wrapping up the hour-long odyssey with "Gracias," a slow-burner that comes complete with a drum solo. The highlight is "Volver a Comenzar," an epochal rocker that includes squealing synths, a mid-song acoustic breakdown, and a fist-raising climax that jumps several genres in eight breathtaking minutes.

Speaking of CD Review

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