Manu Chao / Proxima Estacion: Esperanza

Fan Post by Evan Wynn

 

Before writing about Manu Chao’s Proxima Estacion: Esperanza, I’d never heard of Chao, let alone the album.

I was excited and intrigued to listen to this album and wanted to go in completely blind. I put on my headphones, pulled up the tracks, and was immediately transported into the music. The opening track, “Merry Blues”, begins with a short snip of a man speaking, moving immediately into a soft but steady pitter patter of high-hat, complemented by horns playing a simple, sweet melody and a sound akin to a car alarm.

Immediately, I could feel the atmosphere that Chao was going for. Proxima Estacion just oozes that feeling of being at a cafe in Spain and hearing a live band play. The album has a very personal vibe to it, like Chao made this in his bedroom with only a guitar and laptop, so it wasn’t surprising to learn that he primarily records his guitar and vocals through his laptop, and goes into the studio to overdub the horns, drums, etc.

As the album progresses I noticed how much I enjoyed the theme, the repeated melodies and the way each track flows into the next. While the album can sound very different from track-to-track, it only adds to the overall quality and enjoyment of the wonderful music on display, especially the Spanish guitar at the forefront of every song.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and how I would react to Proxima Estacion, but after listening to it I can say that I am a fan of Manu Chao, and will be listening to this album and Manu’s other works in the future.

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