Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A.’s Area 52 is out of this world when it comes to guitar playing, making for an overall insanely awesome album.

Area 52 is a unique musical undertaking, featuring tropical tunes with an emphasis on the guitar. The nine-track record opens with “Santa Domingo,” a song that leaves you wanting more. It features acoustic guitars, but also drums, piano, bass, viola, percussion, flute and trumpet among other instruments.

“Hanuman” seems like a tribute to Spanish rock legends Mana. But Rodrigo y Gabriela, who are a Mexican musical duo who specialize in playing fast, rhythmic acoustic guitars, deliver in a distinct manner – producing riffs that almost sound like Carlos Santana is in the background.

The album’s stand-out number, however, is “Ixtapa,” which amazes with its fast action in every instrument involved, especially the piano. The upbeat tune combines the likes of Middle Eastern music, jazz, salsa and rock all at once for a winning rhythmic amalgamation.

Area 52 is a must get.

Grade: A+

Area 52 is now available.