Freddie Colloca

Dance El Ritmo

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If Ricky Martin did his singing for the Lord, he might come up with something like what this young Latin-influenced CCM singer has -- an irrepressible burst of brassy energy, dance bounce, and intense joy, tempered with lovely ballads directed at You Know Who. Producer Alvaro Lopez could be accused of putting too many synth tricks into the fiery mix of the title track (which features happy crowd sounds), but he balances them with the playful organic touch of the flamenco guitar. The mid-tempo "Love's Raining Down" keeps the flamenco flavors going, and gives us a better idea of Colloca's powerful, emotional voice. "Live It to the Limit" extends beyond the borders of Latin pop and incorporates not only a mariachi flavor but jungly exotic chants as well. "Close to You" and "In Your Eyes" are ballads that cut to the core of his heart -- maybe they're a little less fun, but it's important on this kind of album to be heartfelt too. It's as if Colloca is sucking the listener in with danceable action tunes before giving us (and God) a truer piece of his heart. And he has a sense of humor toward tradition too. The normally sing songy staidness of "At the Cross" is given a spirited reggae-dipped rendition. Fun and spiritual at the same time, this release is a real revelation.

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