Area 52 - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Area 52 Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Producer Peter Asher and a 13-piece Cuban orchestra help reinterpret some of Rodrigo y Gabriela favorite songs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 83
    Call it Buena Vista Shredding Club. [27 Jan 2012, p.71]
  2. A seething, soundtracky, high-gloss, high-energy orchestral Latin "fusion", full of licks and stabs and twiddly bits.
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    80
    Area 52 is hands down the duo's most grandiose, outlandish opus yet.
  4. 70
    As an Afro-Cuban record, it's solid.
  5. Jan 31, 2012
    60
    They're still best when the basic Paco Pena influences surface. [Feb 2012, p.94]
  6. Jan 23, 2012
    60
    With clean production and virtuoisitic precision, imagine a Latin, metal, jazz inspired mellow mele, on acoustic instruments.
  7. Jan 24, 2012
    50
    It's a nice project that might have been put to better use as a one night only concert, because it's certainly not the crucial next step in the continued evolution of this otherwise fascinating duo.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    I found this album on an airplane, of all places. I have a love of big, brassy Latin jazz ensemble work, so this seemed intriguing, evenI found this album on an airplane, of all places. I have a love of big, brassy Latin jazz ensemble work, so this seemed intriguing, even though I had no previous exposure to Rodrigo y Gabriela or C.U.B.A. I don't quite know how to describe the album, but I know that it works. The guitar work is virtuosic at times (Gabriela, I assume), but the brass band adds something to the mix that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. It is like melding two very different, albeit Latin, worlds. Because I did not listen to this album knowing what Rodrigo y Gabriela sounded like on their own, so I assumed, actually, that the two groups always recorded together. I guess that is a compliment, as they sound like they belong together to me. Expand