In support of her comeback smash hit album Tarántula (2008), Mónica Naranjo mounted a concert tour whose Madrid date is documented on the live album Stage. Released on CD/DVD, the album opens with a selection of her early hits performed in the electro-rock style of Tarántula. Interestingly, she revisits her first three albums -- Mónica Naranjo (1994), Palabra de Mujer (1997), and Minage (2000) -- while eschewing Chicas Malas (2001), the much-maligned album that led to her seven-year sabbatical. Three songs from Palabra de Mujer ("Desatame," "Entender el Amor," "Pantera en Libertad"), two from Minage ("Perra Enamorada," "Sobreviviré"), and one from her eponymous debut ("Solo Se Vive una Vez") are refashioned with slashing electric guitar, hard-hitting beats, and a sense of ferocious attack. With the exception of "Sobreviviré" as the grand finale, all of these early hits open the show. Then, beginning with "Usted," Naranjo works her way through the heart of Tarántula. She performs eight songs in a row from the album, concluding with the highlights "Amor y Lujo" and "Europa," the latter of which is nearly as tremendous on-stage as the album version. The audio recording quality of Stage is near-perfect, and while the DVD version is preferable for the addition of its visual component, the CD is perfectly suitable for fans. Indeed, devoted Naranjo fans will want to hear Stage, particularly the refashioned electro-rock versions of her early hits. Not only is she in fine form; Stage is only her second live release to date, and its Tarántula-era set list is in sharp contrast to Tour Minage (2005), which had been recorded on the supporting tour of Minage almost a decade earlier, prior to her sabbatical.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier