At long last, Gustavo Cerati returned to straightforward guitar rock on Ahí Vamos, following an extended run of fairly experimental albums that interwove electronic and orchestral flourishes into the fabric of the Argentine rock legend's guitar-driven style. If you've followed Cerati's erratic solo career, not to mention his latter-day efforts with his longtime band, Soda Stereo, it's difficult to view Ahí Vamos as anything except a back-to-basics return to form -- something for which a lot of fans had long been pining. In fact, a certain segment of fans had abandoned Cerati years prior to the release of Ahí Vamos in 2006; after all, he hadn't released an album of good old-fashioned guitar rock since Soda Stereo's Cancion Animal (1990). His experimentation -- or pretension, some would argue -- began with Soda Stereo's poorly received Dynamo (1993) and continued with his solo releases, peaking with a pair of bold 2002 releases: 11 Episodios Sinfonicos, a live album recorded with a 40-piece symphonic orchestra directed by Alejandro Terán, and Siempre Es Hoy, a long and meandering 17 tracks of unruly electronic rock. So the straightforward guitar rock of Ahí Vamos came as a surprise, especially since Cerati had been inactive since the boldness of 2002, and a pleasant surprise it is. Indeed, Cerati hasn't sounded this accessible since Cancion Animal, crafting direct rock songs with soaring choruses, his guitar heroics at the forefront of every song. In fact, the album's lead single, "Crimen," a gentle piano ballad, could well be mistaken for an old Soda Stereo hit, with its yearning, reach-for-heaven chorus and its urgent climax. "Adiós" is another such song -- gently melancholic in its elegance, and instantly memorable because of its melodies. However, the surging guitar rockers here are the highlights, especially the opening three songs ("Al Fin Sucede," "La Excepcíon," and "Uno Entre 1000"), each dynamic and uplifting, driven by fierce riffing. Again, if you've followed Cerati over the years, or at least have a sense of his career musically, it's clear that Ahí Vamos is a back-to-basics statement of purpose. Even the album's stark cover image sends a clear message: Cerati as guitar hero, plain and simple. Moreover, the modest running length of 13 songs helps make Ahí Vamos one of the most easily enjoyable efforts of Cerati's career. It's an album that should appeal to Soda Stereo fans as well as newcomers unready for the challenges of his prior solo albums, of which Bocanada (1999) is the masterpiece, albeit a difficult one that feels a world apart from the ease of Ahí Vamos.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier