Since working their way into Christian music with the help of Michael W. Smith in the late nineties, Salvador has released album after album of artistic pop influenced by jazz and worship, occasionally throwing in some latin flavor. For this very reason, the members of Salvador have found a niche within the Christian market - and not because they play catchy melodies that pull family friendly lyrics, but because they throw in that latin spice that is rarely found in CCM.
On their latest album, Aware, Nic Gonzales and the rest of Salvador tone down the Latin flavor a bit and stick more to the pop sound, which makes it harder for the album to stick out musically. The album starts out with "Fly Again," a song about being down on your luck, wanting God to reach out His hand and lift you up. It's upbeat with a slight Latin-flavored melody, which is sure to please longtime Salvador fans. Its follow-up, "What Would It Be Like," has 'single' written all over it. In a world relying more and more on society, this song makes the listener's mind ponder what it would be like if the world were engrossed more in love and Christ. Every album needs at least one song that really grasps the listener's attention. If the artist can't do that, then the album is just another record for the bargain bin. So if there's one song on this album that will be found on repeat, it's this one.
The album's title track takes the listener down a slower road. Everyone, before they find Christ, relies on pride and the desires for success to steer their lives. This ballad is a cry for God to make those blind to the things that really matter open their eyes and take notice. Our society is constantly supplying blindfolds to blind those that should be able to see, and this song helps the listener realize that being aware is a major part of being a Christian.
The rest of the album is pretty upbeat, with a few songs here and there that offer up the same slowness as "Aware." This release is a nice addition to Salvador's discography, giving the listener eleven tracks of spiritual struggle and triumph. Sticking to their Spanish roots, the gang does put one Spanish number into the mix, "Llevame." The song adds to the album what other artists wish they had, and that's a catchy tune that leaves listeners lingering in a Latin lullaby. It's not slow, but it's not overly fast- so the song may have the tendency to lull the listener to sleep.
Salvador doesn't exactly try anything new on Aware, but the guys do continue to perfect what they know all too well and that's making music that pleases. Although this album may not be their best yet, it is one that is needed to round out any music library in need of a little flavor. Like their other albums, Salvador sticks with positive lyrics that are fairly distinctive.
With that said, listeners need to be "aware" of the possibility of developing an even greater love for Salvador with the purchase of this release.- Review date: 4/27/08, written by Jessica Gregorius
Record Label: Word Records
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