Various Artists

Hace Mucho Calor

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As a collection of Latin rock and pop acts, Hace Mucho Calor is a worthy sampler, though it seems oddly chosen at times. Maná, possibly the preeminent Mexican rock band of the day, is represented not by one of their many originals but by a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain." It's a pleasant enough version, but not really representative of the group's talent. Similarly, Café Tacuba's contribution, "Las Persianas," is adequate but hardly their best work. Revolver, by contrast, serves up one of their better songs, the Springsteen-esque "Eldorado." Celtas Cortos delivers one of the album's most interesting tracks, "Siempre Tarde," which melds Latin pop with Celtic flutes and fiddles. La Ley's "Animal," however, is the best selection, a murky, ominous epic similar to a Tool song, but with a more Latin feel. Ultimately, even the lesser songs have enough lively energy to recommend this compilation, and the best will encourage listeners to seek out the full-length releases from these artists.

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