Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rodrigo y Gabriela Head To Area 52

If you're acoustic guitar wunderkind's Rodrigo Y Gabriela how do you improve your songs and make them better? Why you add more instrumentation to them...in a foreign country (Pretty obvious if you ask me.). And as fate would have it that is exactly what they've done on their new album Area 52. Taking nine of their own songs, re-arranging them, and recording them in Cuba with producer Peter Asher and a 13 piece Cuban orchestra has given this dynamic duo a whole different dimension. While that might seem like a hard thing to do, they've actually topped perfection here and created one stunning album with Area 52.

While there can be no doubt that Rodrigo y Gabriela are beyond talented but being just guitarists puts a limit on how organic your sound can be. Now with the help of the orchestra and Asher, this duo sound absolutely massive. Area 52 as a result is a Cuban wonderland of Latin influences, grooves, and emotions. A beautiful record through and through the strength of Rodrigo Y Gabriela's songwriting ability is highlighted and the new arrangements that they've come up with allow the new versions of the songs to shine like the Havana sunshine.

Taking a bit of a backseat to the orchestra, Rodrigo Y Gabriela allows all the musicians to shine giving their ability and chops the chance to take center stage. The orchestra is fricking amazing to say the least. Their playing, along with the songs will have you leaping out of your chair with a strong desire to salsa. Area 52 is simply amazing. Every song, every run, every riff, every bit of the horn section, piano, everything will leave you in awe. This is proof that music is the universal language and that no matter what political philosophy you believe in music can unify people and uplift them and everyone around them. If you love music, you should own this record, period.

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