MANU CHAO

LA RADIOLINA

2007-09-17

As the enfant terrible of Latin alternative music, Manu Chao once again creates a frenzy by mixing rock, punk, salsa, French pop ... and by bouncing from Spanish to French to English. Chao bleeds enthusiasm and creativity and, in his first studio album in six years, he foregoes traditional song structure (choruses, etc.) in favor of guitar scribble. Chao's anti-establishment, anarchist values are present in La Radiolina's 16 tracks (plus five bonus tracks). Track 3, "Politik Kills," is particularly potent, and track 7, "Tristeza Maleza" is a defiant message regarding "senor presidente." But this album is far from dismal. Track 3, the peppy "Rainin in Paradize," and track 7, the flamenco-inspired "Me Llaman Calle," are two danceable highlights. The accessability and worldwide popularity of Chao's work proves that no one blends protest and party quite like he does. - Sara Cosgrove

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