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Sophomore solo album from Manu Chao, the former leader of French Alt rockers Mano Negra. Though Mano Negra experienced some success while together, Manu Chao's solo career has earned him an international audience of music lovers and critics. Originally released in 2001, Chao extends his musical reach and adds a heavier Caribbean flavor than his debut album, Clandestino. 17 tracks including 'Merry Blues', 'Eldorado 1997', 'Me Gustas Tu' and more. Because
The debut from Manu Chao, the former leader of French world-punks Lo Mano Negra, leaned heavily on Latin America for its inspiration, but this time around he's obviously been spending time--at least in his head--in the Caribbean. Reggae rhythms abound, and the opener "Merry Blues" features some wonderfully wonky Jamaican-style brass, while "Promiscuity" takes its cue from Trinidadian calypso. Of course, this being Chao, there are plenty of playful touches--from ringing cell phones to speeded-up vocals--and inevitably there are the Latin influences throughout to remind you of what remains close to his heart ("La Primavera" in particular is a standout). But there's also some recycling from the last album, with two pieces sharing the "King of Bongo" melody, including "Mr. Bobby," his tribute to Bob Marley, and that's a little worrying. Is Manu Chao running out of inspiration? Certainly this doesn't have the freshness of Clandestino, however enjoyable it may be. If anything, it seems more of a holding action rather than a giant step forward. But sometimes that's necessary to be able to look to the future. --Chris Nickson
Top customer reviews
If you liked Clandestino but wished it went on longer, here's your fix: much more of the same. Even better, if that's possible. If you don't have Clandestino, then order it today.
If you want to dance to a new beat, here you go. Or music to do almost anything to, be it dancing, driving, cooking, working out, painting the house -- it goes perfectly.
If I go on, I'll just gush some more. So I'll sum it up: This is a must-have album. Enjoy.
Manu Chao employs a unique mixture of languages which form a drifting and ever changing cultural context. I've never heard anything like it.
He touches the most serious topics (Mad Cow disease and promiscuity just to name two), but in a very fun way, just like he did when he was lead singer of Mano Negra (a band definitely worth listening). He also continues to borrow from many languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, English), rhythms and styles that you'll find yourself following a reggae, after having listened to a song that closely resembles the tune in a musical box.
My favorite from the album, "Me Gustas Tu".