Kiko Loureiro is the talented guitarist from the Brazilian band Angra. This is his third solo, instrumental album. It’s a real mix of styles with, perhaps, a nod in the direction of his influences.
The CD kicks off with ‘Headstrong’ which is a real mixed bag; there are plenty of good tempo changes and nice solos and there’s a hint of Satriani, jazz rock and some Latin tones too. ‘Desperado’ has a rocky Angra riff, and Al Dimeola style jazzy melodies and a great solo. The drumming, too, is very lively on this track and throughout the album. Track 3, ‘Cutting Edge’ is a really exciting slice of guitar playing; masterful shredding and some really catchy riffs and harmonies. There’s a mood change next with the softer ‘Excuse Me’. This has an acoustic start, good bass playing and an emotive, understated solo. ‘Se Entrago Corisco’ has a Latin and jazz feel to start with, then speeds up with some good guitar / drum interplay. Indeed, over the album there’s interesting mood and tempo changes and soloing while skilful bass playing appears along with a relaxing Latin feel, reminiscent of ‘Moonflower’ era Santana.
Track 7, ‘Corrosive voices’ is a return to the earlier heavier tempo style; a chuggy riff becomes faster and the solos have an interesting tempo. ‘Whispering’ and ‘Mundo Verde’ are both much quieter . ‘Outrageous’ seems to heading down the same road, but soon turns into the heaviest track on the CD with manic drumming and heavy metal / classical style riffs and shredding – it’s very enjoyable. The final track, ‘Pura Vida’ has elements of Santana, Al Dimeola and later Satriani. It is very atmospheric and emotive.
In places the CD does drag a little but it is very enjoyable and listenable in most parts. Kiko is a very talented guitarist and blends different styles and influences together well. Some of the solos are great. There are quite a lot of albums like this but I haven’t heard a better one recently.
By Chris Greenwood