Various Artists

Reconquista!: The Latin Rock Invasion

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American pop has been a strong influence on Latin artists for decades, but with the rise of the "rock en espanol" movement in the 1980s, numerous artists from all over Latin America as well as the U.S. and Spain started offering an impressively wide variety of hard-edged, guitar-powered rock with Spanish lyrics. "Rock en espanol" is every bit as diverse as English-language rock, and has given us everything from Pat Benatar-loving hard rockers and Clash-inspired punks to Ministry-ish industrial noisemakers. Reconquista spotlights some of the leaders of the movement, including Argentina's Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Mexico's Maldita Vecinidad Y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio, both of whom incorporate reggae, ska and rap; and the U2-influenced Mexican band Caifanes. While Cuca goes for a Van Halen-ish gloss on "El Son de Dolor" and Negu Gorriak combines salsa and dissonant "alternative" rock on "Ipurbegia," Dividios draws on everything from blues-rock and reggae to Middle Eastern music. For those who haven't yet explored "rock en espanol," this anything-but-predictable CD can be a splendid introduction.

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