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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cinco Santos


Review by Gary Hill

I like this set a lot. The quickest explanation for the type of music within would be to call it “Latin music.” The thing is, there is a lot of range within that header and not everything here is restricted to that. Sure, the lyrics are all in Spanish. There are definitely some traditional Latin trappings here and there. The disc stretches past that. I should address the language barrier, too. Let me just say that I had four years of Spanish in school. That was longer than I care to admit, though. So, since I didn’t use it, my comprehension of Spanish is quite limited. Sure, I can understand what most of the titles mean. I can’t follow the lyrics, though. My point is, this is a great album even without understanding what’s being said. So, don’t let the language barrier hold you back.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review

I suppose one could consider some of the rhythm section to be Latin. The lyrics are in Spanish. Beyond that, though, this is almost like jam band music. There is definitely some serious funk and some fusion in the mix. I love this track. It’s got a lot of energy and a great groove.

Azucar Y Amor
This piece is mellower and more purely Latin. It’s still got plenty of energy. It also has some awesome Spanish guitar.
More of a rocking tune, I love some of the melodic guitar soloing on this thing. They drop it down to mellow, Spanish styled sounds for the verses.
Un Poco De Ti
Soft rock is merged with fusion and Latin sounds here. This is another cool tune that lends a different side to the proceedings. Some of the more powered up sections really have a classic rock feeling to them.
Te Quiero Aqui
There is a weird remix introduction here that doesn’t work. Beyond that, though, this is turned into a cool soft rock meets Latin piece that flows well. It’s got a great mellow groove and some nice vocal lines. There is some particularly expressive melodic guitar soloing on this thing.
No Me Digas
I love this song. It’s got a great horn section and some really energized jamming. It’s Latin music meets fusion meets pop. While there is some killer instrumental work, the vocal arrangement really steals the show. You don’t need to understand the lyrics to hear the emotion in the singing.
While there are still some Latin elements in the mix (some of the guitar along with the Spanish lyrics), the title track is really a soaring kind of melodic hard rocker. It’s a killer tune with a lot of energy and style. In some ways the instrumental sections on this make me think of modern progressive rock. Some of the guitar soloing, though, comes in closer to Al di Meola to my ears – and that’s a major compliment as far as I’m concerned.
Nunca Mas

Although there are no real surprises here, this pop rock meets Latin number works really well. It’s melodic and energetic. It also has a great Latin groove to it.

Te Cantare Todos Los Dias
There is a real soulful groove to this one. Beyond that the usual suspects are still present. This is quite an effective number, really.
Driven by acoustic guitar, this is nonetheless a driving number. It’s another solid example of Latin pop music.
It would be hard to decide which thing steals the show here. The vocal performance and hooks would be in the running. The energetic song itself would be another contender. The killer bass work has a shot. So does the guitar soloing. All in all, this is another awesome melodic Latin rocker.
No Me Digas – Remix
I’m not always a big fan of remixes. Of course, a lot depends on the format or mode of remix. This one really works. It’s got a great jazzy approach. The energy and vibe are wonderful. It’s an exceptionally strong way to end the disc in style.
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