*** Mano Negra, "Puta's Fever," Virgin.: Albums rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic).

This Parisian octet's debut album includes songs in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and sports a rough-edged, sprawling approach reminiscent of the Clash's "Sandinista" album. There's a gospel/metal rap about a dead Rasta, a Bo Diddley-knows-rockabilly exercise, pure salsa, loopy carnival music. . . . The genre-hopping means "Puta's Fever" suffers from an occasional loss of focus, but when drummer Santiago Casariego kicks into overdrive, a rowdy verve pervades the music.

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