Jaguares

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AllMusic Review by

It's perhaps unfortunate that Jaguares have been given the rock en español tag, since it seems to put them in a ghetto. The real truth is that they're a world-class rock band who just happen to sing in Spanish, and those who can't get past the linguistic barrier are losing out. There's still a darkness to their sound, but as "Bruja Canibal" shows, there's also a strong sense of '60s psychedelia. Indeed, they're not afraid to wear some classic ideas on their gaudy sleeves. It's been a long time since they've released any new material, and this makes a welcome return, whether it's the rock/pop of "La Forma" or the gently crazed waltz of "Madera," with leader Saul Hernandez again contributing the majority of the material. While their ideas might come from other places and times, there's something fresh and seductive about the way they put them together; it's the kind of rock music that's not being made much these days -- not as obviously commercial as, say, Tom Petty, but hardly Linkin Park, either. The sound's expansive and sometimes lush (listen to the guitars in "Tu Me Liberas," for example), but without being overpowering -- this is very definitely a group. The addition of Beatles fan Adrian Belew (among a few others) probably helps focus the sound and give it an edge, but there's no substitute for good material, and these guys have that in spades -- even the Cuban-inflected mood of "Hay Amores Que Matan" works. There's plenty of texture in the sound, and Hernandez has developed into a truly charismatic voice. Welcome back indeed.

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