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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Into Motion

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jun
Into Motion
Sounds like … explosive Latin rhythms over acoustic backdrops with some party-flavored worship thrown in for fun and faith buildingAt a Glance … Salvador can be grouped in the same category as Freddie Colloca when it comes to the Latin sounds and Burlap to Cashmere in terms of detailed percussion work, but the group really does stand on its own.

When Salvador debuted in 2000 with a self-titled release, the music community instantly latched onto their robust instrumentation, Latin edge, and super-charged lyrics of worship. The seven-piece band, complete with a sizzling rhythm section and equally entertaining horn section, toured endlessly, performing to over 10 million fans since its inception! At each stop along the way, they got concert-goers to dance in the aisles along with "Lord, I Come Before You," "Ain't It Good," "David Danced," and "Now It Moves," and to bow in prayer for the vertically focused "Cry Holy," and "Crucified." Highlights during their initial two years of traveling include crusades with Billy Graham throughout the United States and his son Franklin Graham in Latin America, along with Ron Luce's Acquire the Fire and the Promise Keepers rallies.

Such high-profile gigs literally have exposed music fans all over the world to Salvador's charisma, and the sheer quantity of their live shows truly has tightened up the band for their sophomore project, Into Motion. Several of the songs were written and produced by the group's primary vocalist Nic Gonzales, with additional co-writing and production assistance by Chris Rodriguez and Peter Kipley. The disc's opening cut, "Breathing Life," was penned by Rodriguez and famed singer/songwriter Cindy Morgan, while Salvador's extensive lineup added the fever-building acoustic direction and subsequent percussion backing.

Other examples of such flavorful force include "Alegria," a tune sung entirely in Spanish, and "City on a Hill." "Alegria" pays tribute to group members' ethnic roots, while "City on a Hill" soars with a Pablo Gabaldon's trumpet playing and Billy Greigo's trombone touting. The horns also are the focal point of "God People," a song fans probably are already familiar with from the group's live shows. "Mighty King of Love" is by far Into Motion's most funky cut, driven by Gonzales' soulful croon and a bulky bass beat. Along the same plane is "God People," a tune that also could have made a favorable showing by a group such as All Together Separate, but in the end has a distinct Salvador stamp. "Salt and Light" again highlights the horn section, drawing out their blasts to keep pace with the chanted harmonies: "You are the salt of the earth / You are his feet, his eyes, his hands / You are the light of all the world / High on the hill, so let us stand / Shining bright, salt and light."

Even when the band members aren't unleashing rhythmic brilliance, they're still able to hold listeners' attention with their thoughtful and highly engaging lyrics. Songs run the gamut of simplistic yet effective to simply beautiful. "Psalm 3's" mantra-like chant, "Arise oh Lord and deliver me, Oh my God," is an unpretentious cry to the Lord, while "When I Pray" puts God's infinite desire and ability to create into a human perspective. Gonzales sings about how he's constantly reminded "That the very same God that dreamt of the oceans / That set the stars into place / Well he knows me by name / That the very same God that put the world into motion is listening today / He hears what I say."

Only are few cuts on Into Motion are unappealing, and that's only because they fall out of bounds with the musical direction of the rest of the record. "Can't Keep it In" sounds a lot like a frivolous boy-band pop tune. "Worthy" is a basic middle-of-the-road contemporary song that seems like it would have been more suitable for a vocal group such as 4Him or the blue-eyed-soul style of Bob Carlisle.

All in all, Into Motion proves that Salvador can pick up where they left off with their debut disc and beat the sophomore slump. They'll have no problem bridging the gap between radio formats, denominational walls, and even racial lines. And just like they're prone to do, Salvador's touring schedule is already in motion to hit a different city nearly every day through the end of the summer.