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Radio Retaliation

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Amazon.com

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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ESL Music
  • ASIN: B001DDBD72
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,199 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's often said that if a piece affects a person emotionally, the piece is a work of art. Thievery Corporation's latest album, Radio Retaliation, is that work of art.

There is something about listening to T.C. once again since their release of Versions that, in a strange way, elevates their music and makes it sound that much richer.

Without giving away too much information, I'll write my own comments on each of the tracks. I am a big audiophile and a musicphile, so your own experience may differ, however.

Firstly, this music is pretty psychadelic and contains lots of rich beats through the use of bass and percussion instruments, so it's my recommendation that you listen to this album -- as well as any other T.C. album -- on a quality sound system! Now then...

Sound the Alarm - This track starts off the album in a classic TC way, a multitude of Euro and African genres come into play to a nice, bass-rich beat. Definetely a great intro track.

Mandala - At first, this sounds like "yet another TC track", but you're in for a big surprise half-way through which I won't spoil. Let's just say that it sounds amazing. The entire track has a very nostalgic feeling to it, and is primarily an Eastern/Indian track, but a very powerful one at that. Once again, nice high-tempo bass is playing throughout.

Radio Retaliation - Very Reggae influenced track, following in the footsteps of "The Richest Man in Babylon" track a previous TC album. Nevertheless, a very laid back track that is just so damn catchy. Nice Jamaican-styled singing.

Vampires - Vampires seems to be inspired by David Byrne's collaboration with TC, as it appears to borrow quite a few beats and voice patterns from it. Nevertheless, this is a relaxing, classic track.
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Format: Audio CD
I had to make this a review, from a comment earlier, after reading so many reviews that called this the "best theivery corp album yet". That opinion is one of a newfound fan of this duo, but for older fans, something is fishy here.
This album displays a huge lack of effort from a group who has previously frontiered their genre. After giving it a listen, I found that many, if not all, of the songs had samples recycled from previous albums. In some cases, they were not even recycled, they were just used again, in the exact same form! As far as the vocals go, there was little to no prduction on them post recording, which is a strange thing for T.C. The release of The Cosmic Game was a nice movement from their records before that in a new, more rock oriented direction, with a flourish of full production work, all new material and work that seemed to be really toiled over. This release just kind of shuffles it's feet in the way that the remix albums usually do. It's almost as if they fell backward, into the trends from around the Versions/Abductions days. I hate to write a bad review for a band I've loved for so long, but there's nothing new here. For newfound fans of the group, you could own this album and love it, but if you eventually purchase Mirror Conspiracy, Richest Man in Babylon, and Cosmic Game, you'll find that this album was a wash. For old time fans of Thievery, it's definately amiss, don't bother. It seriously feels like it was completed in a week.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
while better than 98% of music ever created, this is definitely thievery's worst effort to date on a non-remix album. i dont mean to complain about a very good product, but this album had more of the feel of an artist showcase than of a thievery corporation album. of course, thievery have collaborated with artists successfully throughout their career. but with this album, the guest artists seem to be what's featured while thievery provide background music. i dont have any other musically technical terms to describe it with, but it's the difference between thievery using elements of afro-beat to make a great track versus them actually going ahead and making an afro-beat song just because they have femi-kuti singing. if i wanted a full on afro-beat song, i might pick up a femi-kuti album, but i listen to thievery for other reasons. and, because the music seems so particularly geared to particular artists, the album has an uneven feel to it in a way that ive never experienced with a thievery album. again, a good album and i will keep it in rotation for a long time, but they seem to have overextended a bit.
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Format: Audio CD
A previous reviewer knocks them for not sounding like they did in their first two albums, then knocks them for sounding similar to their recent albums. I think this sounds better than the most recent ones. They have blended their style with more fast paced Afro-beats and Latin rhythms. I think they nailed it and I love that they are bringing in more guests and experimenting with different sounds. Mirror Conspiracy and Hi-Fi stand by themselves, no need to mimic the same style just because it worked so well for them 10 years ago.

As for the political aspects of their music, there is good reason for artists to be vocal about their views. This theme is recurring in a lot of music today as anti-establishment sentiment is growing; it should be no surprise that artists from oppressed cultures like those in the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America are leading the charge. Art imitates life.. and true to the title of the album, this is their retaliation. Well done!
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