When Manu Chao released his landmark album, Clandestino,
in 1998, it was regarded as an instant classic by most people who heard
it. The 16-track disc was a funky underground pop album aimed right at
the cultural left (and bourgeois right) of Spain, France, South America
and Mexico all at once. Between the songs sung in French, Portuguese,
English and Spanish, and the spliced-in sound bites from Zapatista
leader, Subcomandante Marcos, Clandestino managed to speak for the voiceless with songs that were catchy enough to captivate folks around the world.
need another two years before the album even made it into my orbit, but
I had the same reaction upon hearing it that most others did: instant
classic. I was probably somewhere in the south of Costa Rica or
Nicaragua, the first time I listened to it (on repeat for hours)
but damn if this record didn't guide my entire summer back in 2000 as I
traveled via land and mostly hitchhiked from Panama to Detroit.
years after the album's debut, it's good to go back and listen to one
of its most recognizable songs, "Desaparecido." The video is a bit
trippy, but it's a good shake up for a Tuesday morning.