Rodrigo y Gabriela: 9 Dead Alive
While the guitar has been around a long time, Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have shown that it still has plenty of potential. On 9 Dead Alive, their latest album on ATO Records, the duo adds nine more examples. The record starts with the irresistibly rhythmic “The Soundmaker” that finds their guitars embraced in a dance that builds as the song goes on and makes you feel like you’re in an exotic location. Each song is a celebration of those who came before (including Eleanor of Aquitaine and Viktor Frankl) but also a look at what their deeds and words mean in 2014. Rod and Gab’s passions for human rights, literature, history and philosophy seeps through as well. The production of the album lets their guitars have full effect, with each note hitting a nerve. Each song is a journey—some that rock out and some that casually seep into faraway worlds.