Reworked, Revived, Reborn
What do you get when you mix hard rock and electrifying flamenco? The answer is Area 52, the fifth album from the brilliant duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Be prepared to expect the unexpected, as it rearranges nine songs from their catalog while adding an astonishing third element: C.U.B.A, an accomplished 13-piece Cuban orchestra that helps round things out.
The album explodes from the very beginning, kicking you off on the nine song roller coaster with “Santo Domino.” It’s an alluringly chaotic instrumental with thick strumming guitar strings and rapid piano chords, and it flows seamlessly into the metamorphosed “Hanuman.” Consistently a fan favorite, it might astonish even the most loyal of fans in its new form. “Ixtapa” slows things down, carrying on for eight minutes of sensational flamenco. Ending the album is “Tamacun,” a hip shaking tune overflowing with horn and piano, and leaving you anxious for more remasters.
Area 52 may not be original in content, but it is most definitely genuine in quality. A duo that never disappoints, Rodrigo y Gabriela have reconstructed their work, and in a way, themselves, into something profoundly bold and equally colorful.