LA ESPERANZA, [formerly, Esperanza [on NoVo Records], before signing with Higher Octave/Virgin Records] charted on Billboard’s Top New Age Albums at #22 within 2 weeks of it’s debut and the second release, ESPERANZA II hit the Top New Age Album charts at #17. ESPERANZA has been featured on various HBO shows including “Sex in the City” and continues to receive placements on other tv shows, movie trailers & films.  

This album is available at a special price through our web store.  Also available through iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and  Esperanza II can be found here and also available on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and 


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Editorial Reviews
 -  The freshest take on flamenco since the millennium flipped over comes from a Spanish rocker who candidly admits he has no formal background in the gypsy-guitar genre. Session and soundtrack work have served Carlos Villalobos beautifully, however, lending him an ear for cinematic textures plus the versatility to bring them to life. Distinguishing Esperanza II from the gaggle of ambient flamenco excursions out there is a fine-honed acoustic-guitar approach combined with an aggressive edge to the playing and assertive rhythmic textures. Urban dance beats and multicultural digital samples lend the dreamy compositions a contemporary club slant without stepping on the toes of their traditional flavor. "Mysterioso" kicks off with hip-hop percussion, leans into an electric guitar and bass riff, and then sails smoothly into understated Middle Eastern textures. "Foreign Affair" slips a shimmering vibraphone into a bustling guitar theme backed by hurried backing beats suggesting a tasty clash between modern tensions and centuries-old musical styles. None of the excursions would work this well if Villalobos weren't such a nimble player, not only on guitar and keyboards but also using the full recording studio as his instrument. -- Bob Tarte

Superb, energetic -- really gets me going, April 22, 2002


Scott (Northwest Florida) - See all my reviews

The music is very melodic and intense in places. At work I'll have my headphones on and I can't not “move” to it. It sounds like a flamenco, gypsy, and new age fusion. It really brings me up, much like some of Marc Antoine's faster numbers do. Has some really great, solid rhythm underneath, with complex guitar pieces on top, some mid-east influences (Esta Noche). Rio is a favorite of mine.

La Esperanza Rocks, February 23, 2002


Chris Korblein (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews

Carlos Villalobos is a true master when it comes to blending traditional influences with modern beats. His guitar performance is solid and the melodies enchanting. I hope this will not be the last Esperanza record.

Amazing, Enchanting, Delightful, January 14, 2002


Hana Candelaria (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews

I have owned Esperanza II since November 2001, and have seldom played anything else since. I listen to it in the car on the way to work, then bring it into work with me to pick myself up during drag time. I'm still not tired of listening to it. Esperanza II was a big hit as Christmas gifts. I've received nothing but rave reviews from everyone. 
There's something for everyone here, no matter whether you're dancing, smooching, or just relaxing...this is the perfect complement to nearly anything you're doing. 
Obviously...two great big thumbs up!


Editorial Reviews
 -  Chicago-based Carlos Villalobos has created a romantic, danceable music made up of flamenco guitar and percussive overlays on La Esperanza or "The Hope." There are reminiscences of the Gipsy Kings in here but Villalobos makes a recognizable niche through these instrumentals that are introspective, urgent, and quietly uplifting all at the same time. The album dips where the Spanish flavor moves aside for a smooth jazz feel, but this is rare enough to boldly interrupt listen ability. The appearance by singer Glenn Medeiros was enjoyable, but real highlights include "Gabriella's Lullaby" for its tropical melody and expert brush work (although it's unclear from the credits whether this was programmed or played by Villalobos himself), "Teaser" for its emotional vibrancy and percussion, and "Sueños," which dips into world-beat waters. Overall, La Esperanza pleases well with energetic rhythms and vigorous expert guitar--not bad for an album whose biggest flaw is its jacket's rather dull, two-page list of grateful acknowledgements! --Karen Karleski

HOT EAR CANDY! April 2, 2000


Jody (Minneapolis MN) - See all my reviews

In July of 1999 this cd pulled me in...It is so seductive and bewitching. If a man’s passion for a woman can be expressed through his guitar, this is what it sounds like. These tunes make you want to get up and dance or get down and dirty! My favorite songs are Teaser and Suenos..."te quiero"...This cd will ignite flames of desire and you'll need to hear it again and again!

Great, relaxing, pleasure listening music, September 17, 1999

Reviewer: A music fan

This is a cd that you can put on continuous play, and enjoy with your favorite person, or at your favorite place. - Good for atmosphere or background music.

Moody, delicious ear candy!, August 22, 1999

Reviewer: A music fan

This technically brilliant Spanish guitar album is Fabulous! I bought it for a friend, and he played it so much I had to get my own copy, which I am listing to on my computer right now and LOVING! It's a wonderfully refreshing blend of intense Spanish rhythms spliced with hip-hop beats, and it's not leaving my CD changer!

La vida perfecta, August 18, 1999

Reviewer: A music fan

La Esperanza is Ricky Martin's dream band. Erotic, moody, and introspective... this album is fodder for the soul. Admittedly, I listen to this CD way too much, but I hear something new every time. I'd also like to add that It's wonderful to hear Glenn Medeiros sing on something with some real Spanish flavor. I hope to hear more soon!


La Esperanza
Artist: La Esperanza
Label: Higher Octave Music

CARLOS Villalobos was the talent behind Yasmeen Sulieman's recent debut. He does good work here in what is essentially a solo instrumental project. His blending of acoustic guitar and electronic instruments is reminiscent of Kapono Beamer's landmark early solo recordings, but with a rich Hispanic ambience.

Unlike local record producers, who use synthetics as simple sonic filler, Villalobos uses them creatively while also allowing the silence between notes to add impact. The last song features Glenn Medeiros as guest vocalist and should get local radio play.


Artist: Esperanza Title of CD: Esperanza II Record Label: Higher Octave

Carlos Villalobos uses his astounding nylon-string guitar work, among other skills, on Esperanza II (Higher Octave HOMCD 10387; 43:57), a musical sequel to his popular 1998 release combining traditional flamenco styling with modern electronics. Some artists have attempted such hybrids with disastrous, Scotch-taped-together sounding results, but Villalobos' vision is one of true integration, bringing elements of mood and color together in a unified whole. A great example of this is "Esta Noche," wherein dizzying revolutions of techno-electronic drones and plucky metallic sounds...


CD Album Review:  
"ESPERANZA" Vol.2 featuring "Carlos Villalobos" takes the listener to where the Hip-Hop rhythms of urban America meet the pulsating techno thumps of European dance clubs. Like its "Esperanza V.1" predecessor, this new release by Carlos Villalobos continues into fashion global dance grooves with the energizing textures of Flamenco and Spanish guitars. This veteran composer, performer and producer has created another masterpiece of contemporary and acoustic guitar favorites. This new album incorporates a unique harmonizing of even handed guitars, and more assertive rhythmic structures. If you enjoy the range of romantic Spanish guitar and the excitement of Flamenco rhythms then you'll love "Esperanza Vol.2".

New Age Music Best Seller #7
 Esperanza V.2
 Artist: Carlos Villalobos 
Category: World Flamenco


La Esperanza takes the Spanish, guitar-laden sound most notably popularized by the likes of The Gypsy Kings and infuses it with sexy, saucy and modern beats all in one highly seductive record. File La Esperanza right near your Barry White and Teddy Pendergrass in the "works every time category" because this record could be the elusive 'Spanish Fly.'
La Esperanza, composed and performed by Carlos Villalobos with special guest, André Barboza, is a seamless album that clearly captures a moment. Some of the highlights include "Spanish Eyes," "Love and Lust" as well as "Teaser." The weakness of the record is the last cut featuring the vocal styling of Glenn Mederios, as it disturbs the overall mood by implying a kind of Adult Contemporary agenda.
Sonically La Esperanza is excellent; a true resource for your music system. The flamenco guitars and percussion float in air with imaging way outside the limits of your two loudspeakers. If you dig on flamenco-Spanish style music and you are looking for a solid 63 minutes of up beat Spanish sex-appeal, La Esperanza is a must for your collection.

 Reviewed by
Jerry Del Colliano, Publisher of The Audio Revolution 
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