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World - Released August 30, 2019 | Radio Bemba

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Europe - Released October 6, 1998 | Radio Bemba - Because Music

The first solo album released by the former frontman of Mano Negra, Clandestino is an enchanting trip through Latin-flavored worldbeat rock, reliant on a potpourri of musical styles from traditional Latin and salsa to dub to rock & roll to French pop to experimental rock to techno. Chao's voice tends to be a bit nasally, but the best songs ("Mentira," "Mama Call," and the silly novelty "Bongo Bong") here benefit from his infectious, freewheeling delivery which incorporates balladry, chorus vocals, rapping, and tossed-off spoken-word passages. Just about every track has odd sampled bits from what sound like pirate radio-station broadcasts (a possible link to the title). There are so many great ideas on this record that it's difficult to digest in one listen, but multiple plays reveal the great depth of Manu Chao's artistry. ~ John Bush
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World - Released June 28, 2019 | Radio Bemba

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 14, 2009 | Radio Bemba Because Music

Riding high on the success of La Radiolina (2007), his first internationally released studio album in seven years, Manu Chao embarked on a lengthy tour in 2008 with his band, Radio Bemba, that took him around the world. The live album Baïonarena documents a triumphant concert from the tour that took place in Bayonne, a city in southwestern France in the heart of Basque Country. The 33-song concert set is spread across two CDs in audio, with a bonus DVD featuring the entire two-and-a-half-hour concert in video plus the promotional videos from La Radiolina and a half-hour documentary, Carnet de Voyage. Baïonarena spans the entirety of Chao's career, from his days in the band Mano Negra ("Mala Vida," "Sidi H'Bibi," "Casa Babylon," "The Monkey," "Machine Gun," "Hamburger Fields") all the way up to La Radiolina, which is represented by a half-dozen songs spread across the concert. There are also old favorites like the title track from his solo album debut, Clandestino (1998), as well as the hits from his second album, Próxima Estación: Esperanza (2001) -- "Merry Blues," "Me Gustas Tú," and "Mr. Bobby" -- along with a lot of material that was performed on his first live album, Radio Bemba Sound System (2002). All that's left out is material from Sibérie M'Était Contéee (2004), the French-language album that was little heard outside France. While most of the material on Baïonarena should be familiar to longtime fans, the live versions of these songs often diverge from the originals. For instance, "Clandestino" includes a crowd singalong while "La Primavera" (which includes "Me Gustas Tú") veers off into a riotous protest against U.S. president George W. Bush, whom Chao declares to be the world's deadliest terrorist. In some ways, Chao is best heard as a live performer rather than as a studio artist, particularly in terms of energy and crowd involvement (indeed, he seems to draw his energy from the crowd), and so Baïonarena is something of an ideal greatest-hits collection, even if hits like "Me Gustas Tú" aren't performed in a straightforward manner. More than anyone, fans who have heard Chao's albums a hundred times over will enjoy Baïonarena, for the album casts familiar material in a new light. Newcomers, on the other hand, are better off starting with Radio Bemba Sound System, a double-disc live album from six years earlier that was reissued in 2008 on Nacional Records. It's a better introduction to Chao that includes a lot of the same songs as Baïonarena (with the exception of the La Radiolina material, of course), but they're performed with less haste and rearrangement.
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Europe - Released June 1, 2001 | Radio Bemba - Because Music

Booklet
Clandestino, Manu Chao's first solo effort, owed its greatness to its character. It was a minimalistic, yet filled with experimentation, album. But, what's most distinctive, it was honest, direct, intimate: the personal diary of someone who had traveled a lot, not only around Latin America but through life. Unfortunately, Chao seems to lose his way a little bit in Esperanza. Apparently intended to be a continuation of what started in Clandestino, it ends being just a clone of it. The reiteration of ideas and formulas takes away from Esperanza everything that made of Clandestino a memorable piece of work. The problem with Esperanza is that Chao, instead of deepening what he proposed in his first album, seems to overfly the surface of his ideas. The consequence of this is that he transforms charm into cliché, leaving the listener with a very light flavor. Anyway, Esperanza still has a bunch of great songs ("Mr Bobby," "Mi Vida," "Trapped By Love," "Me Gustas Tú," "Bixo") and good lyrics ("Mi Vida") which amply justify its listening. Dedicated fans will find that Esperanza is not what they were expecting, yet it's really easy-going and accessible so it will end working for them as well as for casual listeners. ~ Alberto Moreno de la Fuente
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World - Released November 1, 2004 | Radio Bemba

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Europe - Released September 17, 2002 | Radio Bemba - Because Music

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Europe - Released August 30, 2007 | Radio Bemba - Because Music

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World - Released May 31, 2019 | Radio Bemba

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Europe - Released September 14, 2009 | Radio Bemba - Because Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 15, 2008 | Because Music

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Rock - Released July 2, 2007 | Radio Bemba

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World - Released October 5, 2009 | Radio Bemba

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 21, 2008 | Radio Bemba