Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Manu Chao: La Radiolina [Nacional/Because, 2007]
What Chao does seems so easy that it's hard to believe it took him seven years to follow up the sweetly relaxed, justly beloved Proxima Estación. Maybe he's just lazy--it's not like he's a work ethic guy. Or maybe he wanted to do something different and took a while settling into what that might be--namely, a new tempo. This is a speedier pop suite suitable for dancing or straightening up the flat. The guitars remind us that Chao launched his career from the Eurorock-en-Espanol Mano Negra, and the lyrics in French and Spanish seem as conscious as the English-language offerings "Politik Kills" and "Rainin in Paradize." These are rock moves, you could say. Yet the deepest accommodations are with glitzy, synthy, militantly shallow Europop. Seven years after 2001, what other populace can a radical internationalist such as Chao hope to enlighten? Not ours, I'm afraid. A-