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Into Motion - Click to view!Continuing their strong showing on 2000's self-titled debut, Salvador released their follow-up album, Into Motion, in 2002. Recognizing that their sound was enhanced by the horn section on the first disc, the group expanded its lineup to include full-time members Pablo Gabaldon (Trumpet) and Billy Griego (Trombone), while Adrian Lopez was replaced as keyboardist by Chris Bevins. The resulting mix of players is something to behold. While maintaining a semblance of the high-energy group that debuted, the new lineup has a cooler sound. More relaxed and a little more mature, the flow of this project is just smooth.

Part of that more mature sound is a stronger emphasis on the message of each song. There are still plenty of lyrics with wonderful praises to send up to God, like the opening track, "Breathing Life."
You built a bridge
That reached from heaven down to me
Though I'm unworthy
Once a captive now I'm free
But there are a number of songs that move beyond the introspective, instead exhorting God's people to do something for God. Whether it's setting an example of the freedom found in Christ, as in "City on a Hill," where Nic sings, "There ain't no reason to be down / Stand like a city free and proud," or holding fast in the face of adversity, as in "Psalm 3"'s words: "I will not fear the tens of thousands / Drawn up against me / On every side," the band's words speak consistently to the daily duties of God's people. There is always joy in attending to those duties, though, as expressed in the lyrics to the appropriately titled "God People": "God people, let's do this thing / We can dance / We can sing / Salvation and the joy it brings / God people."

Another continuance from the previous work is the all-Spanish track, "Alegria." The rhythm of this song just makes you want to dance, which is just what you'd expect from the lyrics. "Tengo gozo en mi alma tengo vida / El Espiritu de Dios asi me guia / O que gozo siento en mi corazón." You say you don't speak Spanish? My online translator says this is roughly equivalent to: "I have joy in my soul, I have life / The Spirit of God is my guide / I feel joy in my heart." So, I couldn't have said it better myself and I see no better reason to dance.

There are some changes in Salvador's sound from before, though. While they made some improvements, like further incorporating the horn section, not all modifications work well. One of the things most evident is the use of some pre-programmed electronic sounds. They are really apparent on "Can't Keep It In" and "Worthy." It's not an unpleasant thing, but the harshness of a drum loop and various "beeps" stands out in what is largely an understated sound to this album. One other noticeable difference is the heavy base-line of "Mighty King of Love," which promises funk but comes off sounding like the theme song to "Knight Rider."

All in all, this is a really good album, even if "Nick" somehow became "Nic" between Salvador and Into Motion. It climbed all the way to No. 10 on the Billboard Top Christian albums chart in 2002 and garnered a Latin Music Award nomination in 2003 from Billboard for Christian/Gospel album of the year. Don't let the critical acclaim sway you though. Take it for a spin and see if you don't want to keep it.
- Scott Bush
January 2005
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