- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Nov
- Can You Feel (The Supernatural)
- You Are There
- This Is My Life
- It Comes Back to You
- Cover Me
- For More Than Ourselves
- Let It Be Said
- Glimpse of His Heart
- So Natural
- La Palabra (live)
Forget what you know about Salvador for a moment. Since their surprising debut in 2000, the Latin-spiced powerhouse has gone through many changes, both in personnel and stylistic tendencies. The then quintet turned many a head with their self-titled debut, a Santana-informed fiesta that served as a good introduction to their craft, but which boasted too much outside input—including that of producers, writers, and session musicians-to be credited entirely to the band. Then in 2002 came the disappointing
But Salvador has learned from its mistakes, and that's evident in
One needs not look further than "Can You Feel (The Supernatural)" to realize that the band has seen a transformation. They're still a Latin-pop outfit at their core, but if you break this song into its basic components, you'll hear some funk, some Rock En Español a la Molotov or Café Tacuba, and even a bit of Dave Matthews Band. In "Fabricated," they move effortlessly from jazz-inflected lounge pop to progressive salsa, with a lyric that ponders the puzzling nature of God. On "Let It Be Said," the guys are even capable of impersonating the oh-so-funky Red Hot Chili Peppers at their best.
Even in terms of songwriting quality, Salvador outdoes all of its previous efforts by kicking the level of lyricism up a notch. Whereas past material was largely vertical and praise-filled, it relied too heavily on simplistic sentiments and was not as avant-garde as the music that accompanied it. This time around, primary songwriter Gonzalez and his co-writers went to great lengths to make the tunes more memorable, and the poetry is above average, even when they're doing the worship thing. Examples are the syncopated "Glimpse of His Heart" ("A subtle innuendo that lifts you from the dark/Shows you a part of someone that you never knew/Living deep inside of you") and the bohemian "It Comes Back to You" (co-penned by Cindy Morgan), which ponders the sow-reap principle of Galatians 6.
Amidst all this originality, the only head-scratcher on the album is a cover of "Heaven," the recent mainstream pop hit by Los Lonely Boys. Musically, it's a fine rendition—if not a bit too verbatim—that'll resonate with Salvador's core audience, but is it necessary? Its inclusion is curious because the album has enough self-penned compositions to ride on, like the white-hot "You Are There" or the lovely "This Is My Life," and for the label to have chosen "Heaven" as the first single, one must wonder if their intentions were to showcase the band's talent or to simply get a quick radio hit.
All in all, however,