Internationally acclaimed artists Thievery Corporation release their 5th studio album entitled Radio Retaliation on ESL Music. With Radio Retaliation Thievery Corporation raise the bar with a new cast of musical collaborators including; Nigeria's afro-beat heir Femi Kuti, Brazilian star vocalist and guitarist Seu Jorge, Indian sitar virtuoso Anushka Shankar, Slovakian chanteuse and violinist Jana Andevska, and Washington DC's own go-go originator Chuck Brown. Also returning are long time co-conspirators Sleepy Wonder, LouLou, Notch, Zee, and Verny Varela.
It's ironic that a band with its musical head so firmly in the clouds thinks so much about what’s happening down here on Terra Firma. Yet, that’s what Thievery Corporation's Radio Retaliation
is all about. The musical approach is the same; just as they have on releases like 2005's The Cosmic Game
, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton still bring the dub-oriented beats, silky textures, world musicology and outer spacescapes. And while Thievery Corp have always been tuned into the strange currents and impulses of the now, words have never been so central to their work. Femi Kuti lets loose on Africa's long, sad history of oppression on "Vampires" while Seu Jorge preaches the gospel of peace on "Hare Krisna." Both those tracks are killers, but the record has a way of topping itself. In the midst of all the charged slogans and lullaby charm (listen to LouLou's Gallic flow on "Le Femme Parallel" for an example of the latter), Garza and Hilton will drop a celestial bomb like the painfully gorgeous "The Shining Path." So, while there's no missing how politically engaged they are (the liner notes include relevant words of wisdom from a range of open minds including Einstein, John Lee Hooker and Mos Def), Thievery Corp can still help us return to the serenity of nothing. --Matthew Cooke