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Album Review

As one of the hardest-working bands in Christian music, Salvador deserve a break. Since their 2000 debut, the Latin pop/rock powerhouse has been toiling tirelessly across the country, playing hundreds of dates a year and wowing audiences and critics alike with its unique mix of worshipful lyrics and a sonic melting pot that would make modern-day Santana proud. Despite the recognition and a couple of radio hits, a breakthrough album still eludes them. Aware, Salvador's sixth attempt at one, sees the Latin brothers scaling things back a bit — it's easily their most low-key effort yet. It's a more demure approach, perhaps reflective of frontman Nic Gonzales' new lot in life — his marriage to Christian pop singer Jaci Velasquez and her pregnancy with the couple's first child while the album was being recorded. With his bachelorhood behind him, it's almost as if Gonzales now sounds older and wiser, but don't mistake this for an energy slump or musical complacency: Aware is still rife with deft musicianship and rhythmic urgency — Salvador remain faith-based music's version of Los Lobos and Los Super Seven by way of Gipsy Kings and one-off world music beasts Burlap to Cashmere. The only thing they do different here is entertain their adult contemporary side more pronouncedly, as evidenced in the poignant title track or the almost ethereal "You Rescue Me." When not balladeering or offering straightforward pop anthems, Salvador stick to what they do best, namely, explosive, edge-of-your-seat aural fiestas, but the life of the party isn't only the horns, the searing guitar solos, or the percussive breakdowns, but the songwriting as well, which happens to be some of the group's most thoughtful thus far. It all amounts to another strong effort from these mainstays of the Christian touring circuit — more toned-down, yes, but coming from a band that doesn't really know how to make a bad album, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Customer Reviews

Love these guys!

Saw them in Victoria BC a few years ago and felt like they were some closely guarded secret that I felt honoured and lucky to have discovered. Glad to find them on iTunes for my new toy.


Genre: Inspirational

Years Active: '00s

Austin, TX's CCM/Latin hybrid Salvador originally featured vocalists Nic, Art, and Josh Gonzales, keyboardist Adrian Lopez, and percussionist Eliot Torres. The group performed at Acquire the Fire youth conferences and on the Soul 2 Soul tour before releasing its self-titled debut album in mid-2000. The band's lineup has also included keyboardist/vocalist Chris Bevins, trumpeter/flügelhornist Edwin Santiago, trombonist/saxophonist Jared Solis, drummer Robert Acuña, and percussionist Alejandro Santoyo....
Full bio
Aware, Salvador
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