Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation

January 01, 1970

(ESL Music)

There is no doubt that Thievery Corporation’s core duo, Rob Garza and Eric
Hilton, are talented electronic music producers well versed in both world music
and DJ culture. The problem with the beats and compositions they make is that
it is often bogged down in mid-tempo car-commercial-ready tones and themes that
don’t require much from the listener. Perhaps Radio Retaliation was never meant as a challenge. But as the
Corporation mines Middle Eastern, Jamaican, Latin American, and African culture
for their samples and ideas, as well as their guest vocalists, the music
listlessly falls into the murky and broad moat of “world music.”


There are some inspired moments, such as the opening
dub/reggae tune, featuring Sleepy Wonder, “Sound the Alarm,” and the
revolutionary-spouting jazz of “Retaliation Suite.” Elsewhere, Femi Kuti, Seu
Jorge, and Zee all lend their tuneful vocal talents to the record. Great as
background music for a clothing store or cocktail lounge, there’s just not
enough bite on Radio to make one want
to come back for more.



“Beautiful Drug,” “Sound the Alarm” JONAH


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