Album Review :
Salvador - Make Some Noise

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Artist: Salvador
Title: Make Some Noise
Label: Inpop Records
Release Date: 26/2/13
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre


  1. Make Some Noise
  2. Tirate
  3. God of Forever
  4. Better Man
  5. Este Corito
  6. Higher Love
  7. Inside Out
  8. Who You Want Me To Be
  9. Get Up and Dance
  10. Deeper in Love
  11. Not Alone

Being in the music business for more than a dozen years since their self titled debut album in 2000, Latin American influenced band Salvador have been giving listeners great melodies full of heart, soul, hip hop, acoustic rock and folk, from the heart-warming and encouraging ‘Shine’ to the motivational and uplifting ‘Lord I Come Before You’ and the call to action ‘What Would It Be Like’. From their humble beginnings in Austin, Texas to being one of the premier artists responsible of infusing their Latin American heritage throughout their music, this current 7-piece band have no intention of slowing down as they release their brand-new 2013 album Make Some Noise after a 5 year hiatus since their previous release Aware in 2008. Never straying away from their Latin roots while still encouraging listeners with their faith-based lyrics and rhythmic beats, we are met with 11 songs (2 of which are Spanish) that Nic Gonzales, the lead singer, offers to listeners as a comfort and enjoyable collection of melodies certain to relax and soothe the soul after a long day, or destined to become a favourite amongst previous Salvador fans as they remind themselves that ‘…the God of forever…loves you the way you are…’ (‘God of Forever’). As Nic shares the process of the record, and how ‘…at some point you have to forget about being cool, get in the garage, get your hands dirty and see what happens…’, Make Some Noise is definitely a new sound and a new alternative to other album releases over the last few months as Salvador assert themselves as the different, unique and favourable option amidst the flood of CCM that has been pouring into Christian bookstores lately. Featuring their made-for-radio hit ‘God of Forever’ as well as including a cover of Steve Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’ (also their second single), Make Some Noise will certainly create noise in the form of praise, accolades and popularity as this album becomes one of my highlights in February 2013!

‘God of Forever’ is the first radio single which released on iTunes and Amazonmp3 late last year, and while many may see this song as moving more towards radio-pop for Salvador rather than sticking with the soul and Latin flavour that has been incorporated in many songs in the past, ‘God of Forever’ is still a great song and a uniquely different look at Salvador and how they are able to write a heartfelt CCM radio song about assurance that ‘…I’m the God of forever, and I love you the way you are…’ Speaking to every listener who may need assistance with struggles, trials and issues they are dealing with, this acoustic guitar and looping percussion driven melody is one of my favourite songs of 2012, as Salvador still prove that a simple song about God’s love shown towards us can still have a great impact throughout the world. Radio friendly in its musical approach, we are all called to be Christ’s hands and feet to those who need daily encouragement and assistance and ‘God of Forever’ certainly does a great part in reminding listeners that Christ intercedes for us and advocates on the behalf of the ‘…young man, with questions screaming in his mind every Sunday on the front pew of the church, no tear has ever touched your face without Him knowing why…’ Reminding listeners young and old of God’s closeness during circumstances when we may feel like He’s distant (especially in the heat of the moment), this is a wonderful melody made for stations like K-Love or The Joy FM as it is able to reach many of AC/Contemporary listeners and engage them in God’s presence in a real and relatable way. Well done Salvador for one of my favourite CCM songs released last year and one that’s certain to capture, awe and impact fans in months and years to come.

With the rest of the album moving back to their Latin inspired musicality, ‘Higher Love’ stands out as the lone cover recorded on the album. Written by Steve Winwood and his friend Will Jennings, we are given a heartfelt song that could possibly be sung to a friend or lover, requesting the love that is able to sustain relationships and surpass all trials and hardships, I’m sure listeners (myself included) can’t help but listen to the song and see how it can also be sung about God and longing for the meaning, hope, purpose, motivation and love that only Christ can give as we longingly search for our passion and reason for living. As Nic sings out ‘…without it, life is a wasted time, look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine…’ amidst the acoustics and percussion that gives the song a 1980s atmosphere, we are reminded of the importance of finding something bigger than ourselves that can sustain us and give us a reason to keep living through each day. As Christians we know it’s Christ as our centre for living, and as this cover of the song gains popularity both in the Christian and mainstream industries, listeners who may have heard this song floating on the radio waves over the years hopefully may be impacted by the poignant message it brings to the table of discussion. Salvador also display their Latin influence in singing a few Spanish songs on every album they release, and this is no exception on Make Some Noise. Bringing to listeners two songs in ‘Este Corito’ and ‘Tirate’, we are given songs of praise and honour as I decipher the lyrics via Google Translate (I did learn Spanish when I was thirteen and fourteen but I have since forgotten most of it). Nevertheless, even if you don’t know the language, listening to the musical instruments in both songs display the Latin genre accurately with keyboards, saxophones and light percussion played with a rhythmic sound infusing Spanish influences together with the music that comes out of the Southern States of America, Salvador have created songs with simple phrases like ‘…the chorus is to praise God, if you praise Him too, I feel the same…’ (translation from the first line of ‘Este Corito’) and while they may seem lyrically simple, the profoundness and crucial message they portray about the abandonment of everything before God and honouring the Saviour of our souls in poetic song is a unique experience as I hear praise and worship in a language other than English. Well done Salvador for these songs of hope as the band delivers songs to engage and motivate their Spanish listeners and buyers of their music.

The rest of the album uses a great deal of saxophone, acoustics, instrumental music sections to portray worship through music alone, and a whole lot of passion, enthusiasm and heart as Nic and the rest of Salvador portray prominently relevant messages that speak to the generation of both yesterday, today and tomorrow simultaneously through ingeniously thought-out music destined to lead this album to be one of my favourite albums of Salvador’s career. The electric guitar and saxophone driven ‘Make Some Noise’, an anthem that inspires us to unleash what we have inside of us- the love and peace that Christ gives to us- to the world so that we can show them our new-found freedom and hope, and the slow tempo ‘Better Man’ (reminiscent of some 90s ballads similar to artists like Avalon and Carman) lets us know that Christ sees the better man in each of us even if we don’t see it ourselves. The 3 minute guitar dance melody ‘Get Up And Dance’ shows us that we can’t help but move our feet and dance in response to the everlasting life Christ as given to us, as Salvador gives us a number of musical genres and a wide variety of themes covered on Make Some Noise, increasing it’s appeal and relevance to a wide audience of listeners around the world through online outlets and in stores too.

‘Who You Want Me to Be’ touches upon the goals and plans we want to make in light of God’s sacrifice for us and our response out of gratitude and love for our Father in heaven through a great grooving melody with a mesmerising and powerful saxophone; while ‘Deeper in Love’ is an up-tempo love song sung to Jesus declaring that He is the ‘…God of the impossible, there is nothing You can’t do…Saviour so incredible, and all our praise belongs to You…’ Penned with his wife Jaci Velasquez and met to be reserved for a worship project for either Jaci or Salvador in the future, ‘Deeper in Love’ surprisingly fits amongst the Latin American music as a fresh and invigorating change in tempo, pace and theme as Nic delivers his praise and adoration to the Father. Yet it is the slowest song on the album, ‘Inside Out’, that is one of my favourites as we listen to the groovy keyboard notes bringing out the Latin musical influence that invokes a great deal of emotion, pride and encouragement as we hear Nic declare that ‘…it’s a crazy world, but it’s all we’ve got, so let’s keep looking for a way to make it beautiful…’ As we are reminded to make the most of our time here on Earth, Salvador give us a song that is destined to become one of the hits on Make Some Noise and hopefully a potential radio single in the future. Well done Salvador for such an emotional song that gives us some clarity that ‘…each person [is called] to change the world, we all need to start from the inside…’

Overall: Salvador’s 7th English album is one to savour amongst the rest of CCM, hard rock, rap and hip hop albums releasing lately. A breath of fresh air within a music industry destined to show listeners something unique, ingenious and creatively interesting and invigorating, we are reminded of God’s love and how as we travel deeper into His unending grace showered upon us, we can’t help but be conduits of this love we carry to everyone we meet as we make the noise God longs for us to unleash inside of us. Similar to other artists with a multicultural flavour like Carman (Italian) in the 90s and Julissa, Jaci Velasquez (Spanish) and Paul Baloche (French Canadian) currently, Salvador’s message of hope and encouragement is just as strong throughout every release. Promoted and crowned as the Christian band of Latin American influence, Salvador’s album is one that will be remembered months down the track as inspiring a generation to ‘…take the time we have reaching all the lost, from the inside out we’ll make this world so beautiful…’ (‘Inside Out’). Well done guys for such a musically different and inspiring album and a highlight of February 2013!

RIYL: Paul Baloche, Carman, Jaci Velasquez, Julissa

Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3