Brazilian born guitarist Kiko Loureiro latest album “Fullblast” is an instrumental journey that can be enjoyed by fans of Satriani and Santana.
On my doorstep this morning landed Loureiro’s latest album, “Fullblast”. Opening up the CD notes, I raised an eyebrow at all the guitar companies who endorse him so he must be an accomplished player. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of instrumental guitarists – don’t get me wrong, I like players like Satch, Vai and Santana but I can only really manage 4 or 5 tracks before I start to daydream. So tonight, with the Mrs out and the kids asleep, I poured a pint of lager and sat down and braced myself for what I thought would be a slightly long winded 60 minutes or so.
I was wrong.
Instantly you’re hit with some driving drums and percussion that escalate to a flurry of notes that Kiko seems to play at ease. The opening track “Headstrong” is a driven, melodic track that’s drenched in tasteful Wah Wah tones.
As the album progressed, a blend of styles and influences are present in the mix and at times I found myself making notes as there are some fantastic breakdowns that really inspired me and added nicely to the dynamics. There’s a number of times Kiko breaks the songs down blending a refreshing mix of jazz & Latin, soon to revert back to a more rock feel. Standout tracks for me were “Cutting Edge” (kind of had a Maiden feel to it) and “A Clairvoyance”, where I’m convinced I heard some really smooth runs from a fretless bass in the background.
The album starts off at quite a pace, chills half way through with more of an acoustic flavour kicking in and then picks up again towards the end. Throughout the album, a Latin sound creeps in from time to time which isn’t a huge surprise due to Kiko’s South American roots.
Listening to “Fullblast” in its entirety made me think of three guitarists – in my opinion, fans of Satriani, Santana and Phil Keaggy would really enjoy this album.
Kiko Loureiro knows his way around the fretboard and not only does he know the where the notes are, he can play them at speed but with feeling and finesse. It’s nice to hear regular breakdowns across the album that include a jazz and Latin feel at times and the backing musicians are fantastic.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I’m not a huge fan of instrumental guitarists, but I have a feeling that listening to this album will open the doors for me to listen to additional instrumental players in the future. Kiko may well have converted me!
For more details about Kiko Loureiro visit: www.kikoloureiro.com.br.