Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Impressive work from two youngsters.
on August 7, 2011
I first heard about Rodrigo y Gabriela a few years ago when I read an article about them in a music magazine, and saw the video for Diablo Rojo soon after. I was blown away to see a Spanish guitar track get a music video, played on a major network at that. But what really got me was the music- that track was crazy. It wasn't the best guitar work I've ever heard by any means, but coming from two fairly young kids, I was impressed. Only recently did I decide to give in and buy their album, and I have to say that the whole album is very good, and if you like Spanish guitar or even Latin jazz, you should get this. The only other album of theirs that I have is 11:11, and I can easily say that this is a great introduction to the dynamic duo.
99% of the music on here is just Rodrigo and Gabriela, with Rodrigo doing some very fine lead work and Gabriela providing equally fine rhythm work while at the same time beating on her guitar as if it were a percussion instrument. To be fair, the only way to understand what these two are doing is to either watch a music video of theirs or listen to a sample, though I highly recommend seeing a video so you can see that what they're playing is done in real-time, with nothing edited in. This album kicks off with a bang with Tamacun and then it continues with Diablo Rojo. Vikingman has a fun bit involving radio tuning to make it seem like the station changes, which is where the music style changes. The tracks that follow are all pretty good, including covers of Metallica's Orion and Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven. Rodrigo and Gabriela manage to do covers of these songs and really make them their own.
My reason for giving this album 4 stars instead of 5 is because, while I do enjoy every track on here (a few more than others), there's not much diversity. A lot of the time it seems like the duo is going 'hey, look how fast we can play', and other times they stop playing for a second, then start playing for another minute or two before the track's really over. It got a little old. I would've liked even just one slower track where crazy palm muting and guitar beating wasn't the focus. There are a few tracks where they'll start playing slower, but kick back into gear in no time. But as it is, I can't see anyone who doesn't like Spanish guitar music hating this album. Do yourself a favor and watch live performances of Tamacun and Juan Loco, and if you like those, go ahead and buy the album without worry. I'm glad I bought this album and hope their newer work takes things to a higher level. This is the kind of album that makes me want to start playing guitar again.