19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2007
Having also followed Manu Chao since the release of clandestino, his first solo outing, and then back tracked through the Mano Negra days, his previous outings with his brother. I was as you can imagine very keen to hear the new album - Radiolina. Having read a rather dissapointing review in the Times last weekend i was even more concerned that this would not live up to the other albums, in paticular Esperanza.
However I am happy to report that this is not the case, on a typically dull and grey Summers day i popped the CD in the player and listened to the whole 22 tracks.
Radiolina is a slight departure from the more mellow and sample infused Clandestino and Esperanza, However it is replaced by a much more upbeat and heavy sound reminiscant of the early days of Manu Negra. Still chock full of Political commentry, The stand out tracks for me include the highly infectious Politik, and Raining in Paradise, although it is hard to single out specifics as the whole album is a gem.
Despite the uneducated and down right crooked views of the Times reviewer, This album is a must buy for the Manu Chao fan. People who do not know Manu Chao give it a go you will be hooked.
Manu Chao up until this point has enjoyed a somewhat cult following in the UK, Our cousins in Europe and South America have embraced him as his talent deserves, Joe Strummer of the Clash rated him and I think you will be hearing a lot more from this Manu - Look out for his UK tour !
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2007
I think that the best thing I can say about this record and Manu Chao in general is that my friends have hard time believing me when I tell them I am a big fan of Manu Chao. This is because normally I listen to progressive and hard rock.
Clandestino has been in my top ten records of all time since its release and "La radiolina" even is not as brilliant it is very good, actually I think is the best and more coherent record I have bought this year far above the average music you can get in the shelves nowadays.
If you do not speak Spanish I strongly recommend to copy the lyrics into a translator and get the meaning of them. Good stuff.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2007
Once more, Manu Chao has outdone himself. His style is slightly different than before - leaning more towards anti-politics and rock than reggae and drugs. I adore his multilingual approach, and the content of his tracks give the audience, multilingual or not, something to think about. The quality of music is awesome. A must have not only for language students all over, but for people who adore good quality music and lyrics of a man who obviously puts heart and his soul into what he does.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Manu Chao is a not what you think of "world music" as being. For many people, that equals weird, inaccessable music played on instruments you can't identify.
In the case of Manu Chao, it means something far warmer and more enjoyable, full of driving catchy Eurorock rhythms, funky edges, a crazy Spanish flavour, and vaguely political sensibilities. It's been six years since his last internationally-released album, but "La Radiolina" (translation: the little radio) was an event worth waiting for.
It kicks off with the "13 D¡as," a racing blur of folky-rocky-guitar and lots of mumbling. But that's only the warm-up into the melodious, brass-band-edged rocker "Tristeza Maleza," which sounds like Spoon got invaded by Andalusian musicians, and the hypnotic guitar-rap of "Politik Kills ("Politik needs your mind/politik needs human beings/politik needs lies...")
And with the driving, blurring, siren-laden "Rainin In Paradize," the album really blossoms into all it can be -- colourful bouncy folkpop, sensual ballads, meditative little tunes, driving little rockers flavoured with odd sounds and fiery tight guitars, and a long stretch of swirling Spanish-inspired music.
It finishes up with a wicked trio of songs -- a kinetic, high-speed electrorocker with a sly smile woven into all the buzzing, a meditative little instrumental on acoustic guitar, and finally the driving "Y Ahora Qu_" with its blazing bass and ringing riffs.
It's a suitably energetic finale to an album that is uptempo and intense, but without being oppressive about it. Instead, Mano Chao gives his music a relaxed feel -- it's like being at a colourful nighttime party with plenty of food, drink and dancing, but in a city full of turmoil during the day.
The main instrument here is guitar, and it's played here with extreme versatility -- depending on who's playing it, it can form driving, hard riffs, peppy pop rhythms, or a sensual cascade of gentle flamenco strings. Wound around it is a colourful array of other instruments -- blaring rows of trumpets, rattling drums, strong basslines, and waves of looping, buzzing and/or shimmering keyboard. It's pretty intense,
I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know more than a spattering of Spanish or French, and only a little more Spanglish. But the meaning behind many of these songs is pretty clear, with Chao taking aim with his smooth voice -- the violent face of politics, the "wind of Washington," and the "paradises" of the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe with its fatalities, atrocities, and rain.
Manu Chao's colourful, world-music style is one that it's hard not to warm to, and "La Radiolina" is a primo example of what he can conjure. Beautiful, creative and full of life.
on 1 February 2008
When I first listened to Radiolina I thought, Manu, you are starting to repeat yourself. But then I found myself listening to the album again and again, and started to wonder what made this such a compelling cd.
Even more than his previous work, this album exudes a sense of urgency - an emotion which is in delightful contrast with the dominant reggae rhythms. The beats are faster, there is less pause for slower songs. There is only one break between the songs, at a moment that strikes the listener as unsatisfactory. Manu then picks up the music once more, for a couple of more songs, and when silence strikes again, it leaves the audience (or me at least) with the feeling that this was a natural ending.
Maybe Manu is repeating himself, but how wonderfully does he do it.
on 18 January 2009
Manu Chao is a man with a lot to say but, despite some serious lyrics, this album is full of light and catchy tunes. Its fun, its lively and I've been listening to it over and over since I bought it over a year ago. You'll find this tucked away in the World section of most stores, and this is one performer who truly merits being there. You can hear a mix of latin, reggae and punk in Manu's music and he sings in English, Italian, French, but above all, Spanish.
Just about all the tracks are good, but I really like Politik Kills and Mundoreves. Why Manu still isn't getting much attention in the English speaking world I do not know, but its our loss. Look him up and you'll see what I mean.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2007
I have been following Manu chao's musical development for years. It was clear that from the early punky-reggae songs with la Mano Negra he had a talent for writing and performing songs that made you happy. Manu started his solo career quite late but with all his experience with La mano Negra (which toured the world and especially south america) Manu has influences from all over the world, therefore his music is global: he is the 21st century Bob Marley. He doesn't enjoy notoriety and relishes his travels. In this new album, Manu retains the same patchwork style (bits of music and words) that he used and re-used in his 3 previous solo albums only this time there is a country/bluegrassy feel to it that makes the new songs sound more punchy. Raining in Paradise is the first single, it has catchy lyrics and as usual with Manu it just makes you smile. If you have the chance to see him live don't miss him. If you liked the previous 3 albums you will in no doubt love this one.