Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. It's Buenos Aires' Gaby Kerpel without irony, maybe even Barcelona's Manu Chao without hooks -- ecstatic yes, escapist no.
  2. It's fun and light, and even though for all I know he could be singing about the destruction of mankind, it is bursting with joy and happiness.
  3. Whatever El Guincho's debt to Panda Bear, the decision to keep Alegranza! in the mama tongue lends it a genuine other-wordliness unlikely to be found in the well-traversed topography of American music.
  4. Most of all, it's Díaz-Reixa's intuitive feel for rhythm that marks out Alegranza! as such an unusual and enticing listening experience.
  5. It's the sort of release that will drive some listeners completely nuts simply because of the construction techniques, but it also powers forward with such a giddy energy that it's hard not to get wrapped up in it.
  6. El Guincho's debut album Alegranza is as bright as the feathers of the parrot, as sparkly as the fireworks, and as warm as the palm trees that adorn the cover.
  7. Pieced together from bits of wreckage, this is music created in glorious isolation, drawing on its own influences to create something just as fresh and just as joyous; drifting out into the ocean on its own shonky raft.
  8. The 24-year-old's debut is a tropical soundclash of spiralling steel drums, looped, gnarled local songs and untrammelled joy.
  9. The repetition of the loops turns from mechanical to hypnotic to hallucinatory to ecstatic as the songs barrel along.
  10. Under The Radar
    Alegranza! is full of those bewildering moments, and they never seem jarring, thanks to Diaz-Rieixa's deft sense of timing and rhythm. [Fall 2008, p.80]
  11. 80
    The joyous problem: All the repitition, all the sunshine, all the sound can get tiring. But the same goes for anything that releases endorphins this ecstatically. [Oct 2008, p.122]
  12. Blender
    El Guincho has only himself to get along with, but you'd never know it just listening to his album. [Dec 08/Jan 09, p.78]
  13. As an amalgam of mind-warping melodies and high-minded concepts, Alegranza! is more than deserving of our praise. Then again, El Guincho could have avoided the album’s key missteps by cutting down on the obvious Afrobeat tropes and experimenting more with traditional song-oriented vocals.
  14. It’s hard to know what to make of such attention to individual moments in an album so devoted to the overall spectacle; it’s harder because those privileged moments are spread so sparsely throughout.
  15. It’s more than just clever sampling. If not for El Guincho’s command of unconventional rhythm, the record could be accused of copping the style of the aformentioned freak-folkers.
  16. With Alegranza!, El Guincho takes what could have been a disaster and forms one of the most peculiar, inimitable records of the year.
  17. It’s no mistake that the title of this superbly fun album ends with an exclamation point; El Guincho has created an album that’s relentless in its ferocious rhythms and beats until the very last track.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 3, 2010
    An amazing, amazing gem. Even if you don't understand Spanish you will be able to vibe out to this music. The rhythms are enough to make youAn amazing, amazing gem. Even if you don't understand Spanish you will be able to vibe out to this music. The rhythms are enough to make you enjoy this music. I love that it reminds me a bit of animal collective but this is much different in his own way and that makes this album unique and great but still familiar. Full Review »