The second major album for the Gipsy Kings on Elektra, Mosaique makes use of a mild range of outside genres and instrumentation that are added slyly to the basic flamenco mix set up by the ensemble. Most notably, modern drum kits and synthesizers make their presence thoroughly known throughout the course of the album. Some rai fusion slips into "Viento del Arena" in a sideways manner, becoming the focus of the sound in turn with the backdrop for the more traditional guitar work. The title track introduces some jazzy guitar riffs mixed in with the proper flamenco palmas to form an exquisite rhythmic structure. The live "Vamos a Bailar" incorporates a Cuban flavor, and the first appearance of the outstanding "Volaré" cover here mixes a tiny bit of Italian song into a huge amount of flamenco power. The rest of the tracks largely follow a more standard set of the Kings' brand of flamenco, which is more than formidable on its own. The star of all the tracks, regardless of style, is the duo of Tonino Baliardo on guitar (often outdoing even his own outstanding father Manitas de Plata in his abilities) and Nicolás Reyes on lead vocals. It's Reyes who really gives the Kings their signature sound, with just enough gruffness in his voice to make a unique sound and enough power to match with any top-league flamenco singer. The incorporation of a number of excellent musicians only sweetens the pot. This is one of the most highly recommended Gipsy Kings albums for anyone coming fresh to the sounds of the group and a fine pick for complete newcomers to the genre as well.
AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg