Former Mano Negra front man Manu Chao's follow-up to his phenomenally successful Clandestino is one of the most anticipated discs in Latin alternative music.

Former Mano Negra front man Manu Chao's follow-up to his phenomenally successful Clandestino is one of the most anticipated discs in Latin alternative music. Like its predecessor, próxima estación is a mix of urban sounds and experiences hailing from all parts of the globe. The result is rather like a multicultural marketplace, attractive and colorful, if a bit chaotic. Chao is fond of layering sonic elements—snippets of radio programs (a recurring theme), different musical styles (reggae, calypso, and jump, to name a few), and a variety of languages. As attractive as the sonic mix is, musically speaking, it's lacking, with melodies relegated to the role of repetitive mantras over changing backdrops. In the end, this makes an ever-interesting and intellectually stimulating set—with something new to be found in each listen—though not truly (or always) compelling.—LC

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