What is the best Manu Chao album?


3 Abr 2006, 3:46

Haha, what a silly question. It depends on a lot of things. Manu Chao is an ex-punk rocker who now plays a very unique style of music which, I feel, exemplifies what is meant by world music. To decide which album is the best starting point, you should consider what you want to get out of it.

If you would like to start what is to be an extensive Chao collection, either his first album, Clandestino, or an album from his former band, Mano Negra (I recomend the best of album or Puta's Fever) would be best.

If you speak Spanish, his first album, Clandestino, has probably the most poignent spanish lyrics.

If you speak French, his most recent album, Sibérie m'était contéee, is a mix between what we've come to expect from Chao and french singer-songwriter in the ilk of Jacque Brel and Georges Brassens.

If you want a very somber album, Clandestino takes the cake.

Proxima Estacion: Esperanza is sometimes called the little sister of Clandestino, and as his second album, Esperanza is much more hopeful (pun intended).

If you like live music and the spontinaity of a live album, his live album is good, but is not a starting point unless you are very particular to live albums.

If you plan to listen to his music socially (with a significant other or at parties), Proxima Estacion: Esperanza is the best.

If you do not speak any French, Spanish, or Portuguese, and you have no interest in learning a bit, you probably won't get very much out of Chao, as he uses his lyrics as a part of his music, juxtaposing the silly and the somber, the upbeat and the dramatic.

His starting point as a songwriter is often Bob Marley, but he is unafraid to delve into more personal subjects, as in La Vie a 2. I've never found a musician who compares, although amadou and mariam had Chao on as a producer on their very good recent album Dimanche à Bamako, and that album references Chao heavily.

In conclusion, my favorite is to listen to all of his albums end to end, like some sort of musical Star Wars fanatic. Thus he is abnormally high on my list. Last word: Proximo Estacion: Esperanza is the easiest and most fun album, start there if you are unsure.

Please pick apart this analysis, list similar artists I have missed all these years, and generally call me an idiot to buy into what Chao has so deftly packaged as anti-globalization music when he so obviously benifits from globalization. Oh, and private notes on my spelling would be more polite, but feel free to mention those as well.


  • cetaphil

    alright but what is your favorite.....

    3 Abr 2006, 23:55
  • 7-

    he has said that he just worries about everything depending on globalisation i think he's doing more good than harm on the balance of things, so sorry i'm in a rush [woosh]

    4 Abr 2006, 8:28
  • oruiz

    It depends a lot with me. If I'm in a french mood, I like Sibérie M'était Contée much. But Clandestino I like a lot too. And I don't agree with the people who think that Proxima Estacion... Esperanza is kind of a rip-off (little sister) of Clandestino

    14 Abr 2006, 13:01
  • smmurphy

    I don't think that little sister means rip-off. I think it means that the two albums are a pair, with Esperanza being the more lively and Clandestino being the more somber. I would rather dance to or cuddle with a loved one to Esperanza, but I would rather drive or scream to Clandestino.

    14 Abr 2006, 14:54
  • oruiz

    oh sorry than I understood you wrong. But than I agree with you

    14 Abr 2006, 19:46
  • araien

    Clandestino is the best because when it appeared nobody expected a disc like that

    15 Sep 2006, 14:49
  • leninIdebian

    Where is Radio Bemba Soundsystem in your list? After my small opinion it's the coolest manu album.

    29 Oct 2006, 22:06
  • Gezzaia

    Thanks a lot. This journal was exactly what I needed right now.:) Going to start with Esperanza (choice for [i]unsure[/i]) :p

    3 Ene 2007, 23:48
  • sinkfloridasink

    haha i went to manu chao's page to ask this specific question and i saw your journal haha decided i am going to check out radio bemba sound system and Proximo Estacion: Esperanza thanks for posting this!

    29 Jun 2007, 23:06
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