Rodrigo Y Gabriela 11:11

Rodrigo Y Gabriela 11:11
Now long-removed from their days busking in the streets of Dublin, veracious Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero return with a fair degree of subtle sonic expansion that takes some close attention to truly appreciate on sophomore release 11:11. While the incredible combination of Gabriela's percussive strums and Rodrigo's intensely precise finger play continue to impress, as it did on the pair's self-titled debut, it's the unexpected changes in tone, pace and melodic emotion that help break up the occasional impressions of repetitiveness. The revealing mid-section of "Triveni," where the continuously snapping acoustic backbeat falls away entirely, offers one example, as do the plaintive piano and duelling guitar lines of the brief "Chac Mool." Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick's surprise electric guitar solo over the Middle Eastern flair of "Atman" helps add a sense of variety to a record that, for all of its technical prowess, threatens in moments to leave non-six-string aficionados behind. (ATO)