10 Best Latin Albums of 2017

Ozuna, Bomba Estéreo, Residente and more

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Café Tacvba, 'Jei Beibi'
10
8/10

Café Tacvba, 'Jei Beibi'

For more than 25 years, Mexico's Café Tacvba have constantly revamped the Latin alternative soundscape with a highly eclectic body of work: from the genre-hopping genius of 1994's Re to the intricate prog-rock splendor of 2007's Sino, to the gleeful cynicism of 1996 covers album Avalancha de Éxitos. Yet, Jei Beibi feels like a fresh arrival. It starts with a juxtaposition: happy-go-lucky synths illuminate "1-2-3" while starkly alluding to the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa. "Matando" evokes latter day Doors with crystalline, dissonant arpeggios, which become outlandishly funky on the off-kilter "Automatic." Vocalist Rubén Albarrán plays a female protagonist in the stripped-down "Enamorada," and "Que No" stands out as one of the most beautiful ballads written by the quartet since 1992's "María." Yet it's "Futuro" – a thumping-yet-languid banger laced in dubstep – that truly gives rise to a new sound, a testament to their prowess for rock experimentation. I.R.

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