- PROXIMA ESTACION was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.
- Clandestino, Manu Chao's first solo effort, owed its greatness to its character. It was a minimalistic, yet filled with experimentation, album. But, what's most distinctive, it was honest, direct, intimate: the personal diary of someone who had traveled a lot, not only around Latin America but through life. Unfortunately, Chao seems to lose his way a little bit in Esperanza. Apparently intended to be a continuation of what started in Clandestino, it ends being just a clone of it. The reiteration of ideas and formulas takes away from Esperanza everything that made of Clandestino a memorable piece of work. The problem with Esperanza is that Chao, instead of deepening what he proposed in his first album, seems to overfly the surface of his ideas. The consequence of this is that he transforms charm into clich?, leaving the listener with a very light flavor. Anyway, Esperanza still has a bunch of great songs ("Mr Bobby," "Mi Vida," "Trapped By Love," "Me Gustas T?," "Bixo") and good lyrics ("Mi Vida") which amply justify its listening. Dedicated fans will find that Esperanza is not what they were expecting, yet it's really easy-going and accessible so it will end working for them as well as for casual listeners. ~ Alberto Moreno de la Fuente
Rolling Stone (1/03/02, p.119) - Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's "Top 10 2001".
Rolling Stone (8/2/01, p.64) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...A showcase of Chao's musical, political, romatic and literary preoccupations...anchored by unfailing melodies that are quick and tricky..."
Spin (1/02, p.77) - Ranked #12 in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001".
Spin (8/01, pp.133-4) - 8 out of 10 - "...Bubbles with uptempo bounce, complete with drunken horn section and giddy street-corner sing-alongs..."
Q (8/01, p.124) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A rambling parade of effortlessly catchy daftness..."
Uncut (9/01, p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...An extraordinary record which, as its European success has proved, has a potential appeal that reaches far beyond the world music bins..."
CMJ (6/4/01, p.5) - "...With Chao's nasal squall singing lyrics in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French over guitar strumming R&B and reggae chords...[this] plays like a travelogue..."
Down Beat (10/01, pp.70-1) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The music is deceptively simple as Chao mainly works with standard song forms, steady beats and catchy melodies..."
Q (Magazine) (p.118) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n uncommonly rich and heady brew of mariachi and African rhythms, with songs sung in Spanish, French and English..."