La Radiolina


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Now, like an intermittent short-wave transmission that suddenly catches a clear and vivid frequency, Radiolina comes into sharp focus, defining a mature sound in a mesmerizing collection of 21 new tracks.
  2. An album packed with tuneful songs that would sound great coming out of radio speakers.
  3. 100
    La Radiolina reaches out beyond it's core audience to a universal constituency, not so much a world music record as a global-rock mission statement.
  4. 92
    La Radiolina emerges as a delicious bouillabaisse of gypsy punk, reggae and countless indigenous sounds, expertly stirred by a band of brawling pirates who plunder each port for musical spices and then add them to the cauldron.
  5. And though he sings mostly in French or Spanish, Chao's music is so sonically vivid, so gloriously evocative, translation seems almost superfluous.
  6. He's a one-man musical melting pot who synthesizes several continents' worth of ideas, sounds, and slogans into one swinging all-night dance party. This is internationalism at its funkiest.
  7. This is a speedier pop suite suitable for dancing or straightening up the flat.
  8. Lead single 'Rainin in Paradize' alone should propel Chao (née Oscar Tramor) into the kind of stateside fame he's long enjoyed in Europe and South America.
  9. With poetic melancholy, absurdist whimsy and direct shout-outs to a world no more just than it was on his last album, there's enough to carry fans until Chao's next one.
  10. The jumble of languages and sounds gives La Radiolina the feel of a noisy, colorful street bazaar where there's chaotic beauty on the surface and a certain poetic logic that runs underneath.
  11. It's an anarchic mix which is fun, exuberant and passionate.
  12. One of the most poignant protest albums released since the U.S. invaded Iraq.
  13. 80
    Chao’s jovial, chatty, Spanish-English-French crooning helps the ADD sensibility flow into something that feels like a happy incantation rather than a protester’s harangue against George Bush.
  14. On La Radiolina, an unmistakable molotov cocktail of fierce resistance anthems, Manu Chao continues to do what he does best.
  15. The album is not as wholly satisfying as either "Clandestino" or "Esperanza," mostly due to a handful of truncated, underdeveloped tracks toward the end, but it's still full of excellent songs and inspired collisions.
  16. Chao is at best when merging his Latin/salsa influences with squealing, screeching garage-rock.
  17. Eventually La Radiolina's more guitar-based sonics will feel inevitable too, especially once you follow the same dynamic riff through three consecutive songs up front.
  18. Vibe
    He's largely a victim of his own goodwill, sounding consistently exuberant, even when the message--'Politik Kills,' say--seems to beg for more. [Nov 2007, p.98]
  19. A bit jumbled together and disorienting, but overall just about as rejuvenating as anything.
  20. It's a safe album, almost exactly what you'd expect from Chao. The artist continues to be the best (perhaps only) provider out there of Clash-inspired polylingual punk rock, but for a musician who built his solo reputation on quirkiness and innovation, the disc feels a bit flat.
  21. There are some great songs here, including the infuriatingly catchy 'Politik Kills' along with the swirling catalogue of global problems, 'Rainin in Paradize,' and the charmingly upbeat 'Besoin de la Lune.' Then there's the Spanish-influenced 'Me Llaman Calle,' and a furious wailing French rocker about motorway panic--followed by a batch of songs that mostly sound like Manu Chao on cruise control.
  22. The disappointment of La Radiolina is that Manu Chao’s music isn’t as arrestingly odd as it used to be. Too often his band’s ska-punk gets uncomfortably close to dull rock, and the repetition doesn’t communicate we are all singing the same song
  23. Spin
    Though his global messages aren't particularly deep, his skilled, spirited execution sets him apart from other peacenik troubadours. [Oct 2007, p.101]
  24. Q Magazine
    [In the UK], he's still something of a curiousity and likely to remain so, despite Tristeza Maleza's sweet, summery lilt and the Bob Marley-like festival anthem 'Politik Kills.'
  25. La Radiolina is the most rockist album of his solo career--and also the most disappointing.
  26. Desgraciadamente, that's when Radiolina smashes against the wall. Fragments--stadium chants--rather than songs compound a larger issue of 'Rainin in Paradize' drenching the rest of the album.
  27. Mojo
    In Europe, Manu Chao shifts albums by the millions, but there is little here to make one think Britain is missing out. [Oct 2007, p.104]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. DanielleS.
    Oct 30, 2007
    I was deeply disappointed in this CD. I am a HUGE Manu Chao fan and this latest album seemed to me like a scattered, disorganized mess. There I was deeply disappointed in this CD. I am a HUGE Manu Chao fan and this latest album seemed to me like a scattered, disorganized mess. There is obviously a message somewhere in there, but tragically it got lost in a sea of electric guitar tracks and...more electric guitar tracks. Whatever his latest influence is, it needs replacing. Go back to your roots, Manu! Full Review »
  2. TamaraN.
    Oct 16, 2007
    It takes me to so many places in the world in the stagnant air of my small living room!
  3. Andrej
    Sep 27, 2007
    If it is possible, I would vote not just 10, but 10+! It is surprisingly sad, but in same time very vibrant and positive CD.