Cuatro Caminos album cover
Cuatro Caminos

Café Tacuba


After switching labels from Warner Bros. to MCA, Café Tacuba pushed their music in an overtly indie-rock direction on Cuatro Caminos. The acoustic numbers, jumpy ska rhythms, and Mexican folk styles were almost entirely excised in favor of cranked-up, almost psychedelic electric guitars, big drums (played live by Victor Indrizzo and Joey Waronker, instead of the programmed beats they’d always used before). The title translates to Four Roads, and they used four different producers — their regular collaborator Gustavo Santaolalla, Andrew Weiss, Dave Fridmann, and Tony Peluso — but they clearly had a direction in mind, so the album never feels scattered. It even had a relatively traditional single, the R&B-ish love ballad “Eres.” This might be the easiest entry point into Café Tacuba’s catalog for a first-time listener, but just when you think they’ve made concessions, they still insist on being 100% themselves, as on the moody, almost Radiohead-esque “Encantamiento Inútil” or the pulsing dance track “Puntos Cardinales.”

Phil Freeman

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