en: Rodrigo y Gabriela (album) [info]
Mexico's liveliest pair of pluckers is back with a follow up to their successful 2003 debut Re-Foc. There seems to be a bit more of style, substance and everything else on the new record, and while there's evidence of influence from rock, flamenco, jazz and metal - and The Shadows - the duo now have a stronger signature sound.
Most of the songs are breathless, built on sublime reels up and down the frets and fast, Andalucian-style call and response. Perhaps it's relocating to Dublin that has made Rodrigo and Gabriel so free and easy with their own folk roots: they'll take on anything.
Two tracks feature fiery fiddler Roby Lakatos, who brings his Hungarian gypsy soul into the mix, while a version of Stairway to Heaven re-imagines the song as a quasi-medieval meditation. Virtuosity is everything on this disc, and Rod and Gab will continue to appeal as much to guitar students as folk music fans. They have a youthful energy that is infectious and a winning, fresh-faced style. A bonusDVD comes with this release, in which they give a guitar class -it's great fun, but get the ice ready for your fire-singed fingertips.