Sound — 9
In his second solo album, Proxima Estacion: Esperanza, Manu Chao continues to explore international (expecially South/Central American) themes. This album carries on where he left off with Clandestino with its eclectic mix of Spanish, Mexican, Portugues, French, English, Arabic and Galician styles, among others. Some of the tracks (such as Me Gustas Tu) are instantly liked, with some of the others requiring a few more listens to appreciate them fully. Manu originally drew his influences from English rock bands like the Clash, and this was very evident in the type of music he made with Mano Negra, however, most of Manu's solo work leans further away from traditional Rock and more towards the Latin and Reggae genres.
Lyrics — 8
I can't really comment on most of the lyrics as the majority of them are in Spanish or French (among others). They do seem to fit very well with the multicultured feel of the music, however. Some of the songs are in English, and my favourite song "Le Rendezvous" is a mix of French and English, which produces a great effect.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall the album is very easy to listen to, and, as each track runs into the next without a break, it is best enjoyed as a whole in one listening experience. It makes great background music, but also it is great to listen too deeply as with every listen you discover new elements which make the album so special. The best songs in my opinion are "Bixo", "Me Gustas Tu", "Denia", "Le Rendez Vous", "La Marea," in actual fact there are hardly any bad tracks on the album, save for the odd filler material. However, this is surprisingly good for a 17-track album. I love the international feel and the relaxed, happy atmosphere which this music creates. I would definitely buy this album again if I were to lose it.