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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

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Cafe Tacuba
Un Viaje
Universal

By Marty Lipp

Published September 2, 2005

No band expresses the range of Mexican alternative music better than Café Tacuba. The chameleon-like band (with a singer who changes his name for each album) mixes folkloric with contemporary styles and does it with intelligence, heart and an ever-present wit. While the group of former art-school buddies had “cult band” written all over it from the get-go, it has become one of Rock en Espanol’s biggest acts and this CD/DVD combo captures their live 15th anniversary show in their hometown of Mexico City. On the first two CDs, the band whips through its big hits, often with the crowd singing along (annoying as that can be for us home listeners). On the third CD, the band does a medley of hits by other Rock en Espanol bands. The fourth disc is a DVD reprising the group’s hits on stage. The set is a reminder of just how much great music the band has compiled over 15 years. The live versions don’t really add that much; the studio versions are more polished and sizzle with the same energy. This release is probably best for fans, while newcomers should wade in at the shallow-priced end with the group’s earlier single albums.

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