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Although rock en espanol was huge in the Latin market in the '80s and '90s, the language barrier kept it from reaching non-Latin audiences. The non-Latin divisions of major labels shied away from Spanish-language rock, and most programmers at alternative rock stations rejected songs that weren't in English. Released by MCA in early 1999, Fundamental is a rare example of a major label's non-Latin division taking a gamble on a rock en espanol CD. Although not all of the disc's lyrics are in Spanish, most of them are. But whether or not one understands Spanish, it's crystal clear that Fundamental is strong musically. Puya offers an abrasive, forceful mixture of alternative rock, thrash metal and rap, and tunes like "Sal Pa' Fuera" and "Montate" have a lot to offer those who appreciate Sevendust, Korn or Rage Against the Machine. But unlike those bands, Puya sometimes incorporates elements of salsa -- and, of course, another main difference is the fact that most of Puya's lyrics aren't in English. This is a fine album; one hopes that the language barrier won't prevent English-speaking rockers from enjoying it.

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