Magazine article New Internationalist

[Chao, Manu. Proxima Estacion. Esperanza]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Chao, Manu. Proxima Estacion. Esperanza]

Article excerpt

Proxima Estacion... Esperanza

by Manu Chao

(Virgin France 7243 8103212 1 CD)

The next station to which the title of Manu Chao's long-awaited follow-up to 1998's Clandestino refers, is not of the railway variety, although it might well have been. This Spanish-born, French-raised singer recruited members of his former band, Mano Negra, from among the wilder, punkier buskers of the Paris metro, bringing with them a raucous enthusiasm for love, life and liberty.

But it's far more likely that the 'next station' of the title is to be found on the radio dial. Indeed, Proxima Estacion... Esperanza is structured like a series of radio opportunities. Seventeen songs in a polyglot of languages - Spanish slides into Portuguese to create 'Portunol', while English, French and Arabic are all quite audible - in the service of a lilting soft reggae rhythm and punctuated by bursts of brass. …

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