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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Unbreakable Bond

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Apr
Unbreakable Bond
Sounds like … a fusion of Latin pop with tropical and adult contemporary pop tendencies, akin to Son by Four, Marc Anthony, Salvador and The KatinasAt a glance … GB5 plays it too safe during the ballads, but they truly sizzle when it's time to vocalize, dance, and have fun praising GodTrack Listing Holy, Holy (feat. Jonathan Butler) You Who Reigns (feat. Tata Vega) As Long As I Can Pray Te Alabo If I Should Fall Just to Know You Glorify Your Name I Sing Just for You I Show My Love Don't Give Up

Aside from singing around the house for fun, brothers Louie, Jamie, Isaac, Mark and Aaron Gutiérrez never aspired to share the stage or record music together. At least not until the pastor at their home congregation one day kindly asked the sibling quintet to lead worship. That served as the launching pad for GB5, leading to additional concerts and a recording career for the release of their national debut, Unbreakable Bond.

Don't let the group's church-based beginnings fool you. Though the album opener "Holy, Holy" may give the impression that GB5 simply wants to cater to traditional tastes and sing to the choir, that's just the call to worship. The real fiesta starts right after it. "You Who Reigns" and "Te Alabo" could very well be the most exciting displays of Latin fun, syncopation, and praise captured on a recording since Salvador recorded their under-the-radar hit "Lord I Come Before You." When given such a free-spirited context—hats off to producer Alberto Salas for working his magic—the guys simply kill it vocally, sounding like veteran soneros in the process.

If only the rest of Unbreakable Bond were as exciting. Like so many other vocal pop groups, GB5 relies on multiple collaborators and outside songwriters, and unfortunately they're not as daring as Salas in their approach to mixing and composing. There's nothing wrong with their work, but there's nothing specifically outstanding either with their placid, well-sung expressions of worship to God that are large on vocalization, but short on depth. With groups like Son by Four, The Katinas, 4Him, Brother's Keeper, True Vibe, and Plus One delivering such straightforward pop before them, GB5 would be much better off avoiding emulating this style too closely in the future if they want to stand out from the pack and find artistic longevity.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.