Albums: Delinquent Habits

<preform>Merry Go Round, </br>Ark21 Records</preform>
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Yet another tale of music-industry woe, this Latino rap trio's last album Here Come The Horns came out in 1998 just as their record company collapsed. They toured exhaustively for two years before returning to their native Los Angeles to start up their own label. But even after their run of bad luck, the vibe on their third effort, Merry Go Round, is unerringly positive, most notably on the second track "Feel Good" where the rappers Kemo and Ives talk about "bringin' love from the 'hood" ­ a sentiment that will have their gangsta peers reaching for the smelling salts. Gangs and guns don't figure in the Delinquent Habits' psyche. Sampling everything from Tchaikovsky to Seventies disco-funk, this is an out-and-out party album. Kemo and Ives move back and forth between Spanish and English ­ plus a blend of the two known as "Spanglish" ­ while OG Style throws in a dizzying array of beats and sound effects. The sound of mariachi trumpets on "Return Of The Tres" lends the proceedings an infectious carnival atmosphere; likewise the smooth Cuban groove of "Boulevard Star". The laid-back "Que Vuelva", bolstered by the slinky vocals of the Delinquent Habits' protégée Michelle, is a song that could happily give Spooks a run for their money. Buy it for when the sun's shining again.