Through the strength of their arrangement, songwriting, instrumental performance, and musical invention, Guaco has earned their claim to being Venezuela's premier supergroup. From their birth in the '60s to their leadership role in contemporary Latino music, working to build bridges and mix styles, the name Guaco has carried a level of excellence. Their 1990 release, Como Era y Como Es not only tells you how things were and are, as the name states, but perhaps in what direction they're heading as well. Gustavo Aguado, lead vocalist and maestro of this enormous band, has done an amazing job weaving together traditional salsa, North American funk elements, timba, and a myriad other contemporary influences to arrive at this record's lush rain forest of sound. The rhythm section is among the tightest of the day, the horn section is punchy and creatively arranged, and the percussion section is agonizingly funky, using the modern drums-timbales-conga combination. Como Era y Como Es is sonically bright and aggressive. With crisp sound and bright tempos throughout, this is the wrong record for a Sunday afternoon nap. Whether choosing to brew a pot of coffee and settle in for a careful listen, or sipping aguardiente and taking to the dancefloor, Guaco will make it an experience worth repeating.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez