Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Live In France

BY Kerry DoolePublished Aug 16, 2011

This duelling guitar duo from Mexico are definitely one of the biggest success stories in world music over the past five years. Selling a million albums in any genre is impressive these days, particularly so for instrumental music. The fleet-fingered dexterity of the pair endears them to live audiences, as can be heard by the loud cheering and clapping of the French audiences here (the album was recorded at different venues during their recent 11:11 world tour). The Rodrigo Y Gabriela sound draws upon gypsy and flamenco styles, but their "faster is better" approach owes more to Steve Vai than Django Reinhardt. A rock sensibility, as typified by wah-wah, pervades many of the all-original tunes. Their instrumental prowess isn't in dispute, but it'd be nice for them to slow down and concentrate on melody over speed a little more, as they do on "11:11" and "Rodrigo Solo." The album is more likely to work as a souvenir for those who've been to a live show rather than as something that'll entice many new fans.

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