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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    French-born songwriter Manu Chao sings in six different languages – French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Galician and English.

    Chao is most widely known for his hit “”Me Gustas Tǧ,”” from 2001’s PrÇüxima EstaciÇün: Esperanza and for his infusion of rock, punk, ska and Latin rhythms.

    His fourth studio album, La Radiolina, pales in comparison to his previous albums. Comprised of 21 short tracks, Chao’s typical driving guitars and siren-infused music seem too intense and almost forced.

    La Radiolinda
    Manu Chao
    2.5 stars

    On “”Politik Kills,”” Chao tries to send a message of peace with his lyrics “”Politik needs votes/politik needs minds/politik needs human beings/politik needs lies.”” Redundant lyrics and guitar riffs bog down the chorus. And this track doesn’t even feature Chao’s illustrious siren.

    On La Radiolina’s first single, “”Rainin’ in Paradize,”” Chao again reiterates his thoughts about world issues, especially countries in Africa and the Middle East.

    For the most part, Chao’s in-your-face political antics take a backseat to his musical expertise on tracks like “”Me Llaman Calle,”” a rumba-like track about sex workers.

    As the album pans out, Chao’s tracks become more forceful. “”Panik Panik”” is almost too harsh for the listener to enjoy.

    The album closes smoothly, however, and becomes reminiscent of Chao’s earlier works. On the final track, “”Amalucada Vida,”” Chao and the Radio Bemba Sound System achieve their best sound yet.

    Acoustic guitar and subtle beats are Chao’s strong points, along with his thoughts about current affairs. Chao’s anthems for peace are reminders that his music has a voice.

    – Laura Hassett


    Looking for something new to add to your music collection? Ferraby Lionheart’s Catch the Brass Ring may be a good choice for you.

    It’s the first full-length album for Lionheart, who grew up in Nashville, Tenn. The album is reminiscent of the laid-back songs heard on “”Grey’s Anatomy,”” giving it mass appeal to people who are looking for the next best thing.

    The album doesn’t contain any fancy layered recordings, where the songs are so full of voices that it is hard to pick out who is the actual singer. Lionheart has a very distinct and intentional voice that leaves the listener entranced.

    Catch the Brass Ring
    Ferraby Lionheart
    4 stars

    “”Call Me the Sea”” is so reminiscent of John Lennon, it is almost eerie. “”The Car Maker”” is a more involved and interesting song that leaves the listener wanting more.

    “”A Bell and Tumble”” has a Beatles sound that is much like the group’s first releases with a contemporary twist.

    His remake of “”Pure Imagination,”” originally sung by Gene Wilder for the cult classic “”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,”” is a new twist on a sometimes creepy song.

    Overall, the album is an original take on an old sound. It is definitely worth taking a listen to.

    – Allison Warren


    Oreskaband sounds like an early-’90s No Doubt singing the opening to “”Pokemon.”” The first track, incomprehensibly titled “”Pantime,”” begins with what sounds like a heated argument in Japanese and ends with a high-pitched yell of “”Showtime!”” and that’s exactly what the self-titled album is, through the very last track.

    On the surface, Oreskaband has the same upbeat guitar riffs, quick vocals and blaring horns you would expect from any American ska band. The only difference is that you quickly realize that this sextet from Osaka speaks very little English. The majority of the tracks on this album are passionately wailed in Japanese.

    Oreskaband
    Oreskaband
    3.5 stars

    Surprisingly, Oreskaband is very catchy. While you won’t have any intelligible words stuck in your head, songs like “”Pinocchio”” and “”Yeah! Ska Dance”” will have you “”do, do, doing”” all over campus.

    Not only is Oreskaband painstakingly catchy but they are also very talented in an instrumental sense. The fifth track, “”Shall We Dance,”” opens with the traditional, “”Ha! Ha’s!”” and “”Chickita, chickita’s”” commonly heard at ska shows. As the song progresses into multiple trumpet and saxophone solos, you begin to realize this is not just a novelty band. In fact, Oreskaband toured around the West Coast on this year’s Warped Tour circuit.

    If you are looking for a straightforward ska band that you can sing along to, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for something a bit different, and have an open mind, this talented “”Picachu-pop”” ska might be for you.

    – Otto Ross

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