Following one of his most daring albums to date, Galería Caribe (2000), Ricardo Arjona returns to the symphonic pop/rock style of his 1990s efforts on Santo Pecado. While it's not one of his masterworks, Santo Pecado is nonetheless a well-crafted album with at least a half-dozen great songs. Those fans who were disappointed with Arjona's rather surprising turn toward tropical music on Galería Caribe should find this album more familiar in style. Others might find it overly familiar. In many ways, it's similar in style to Sin Daños a Terceros (1998) or any of Arjona's mid-'90s efforts, albeit with a more refined range of pop/rock styles. No doubt to the chagrin of hard rock fans (i.e., those fans who prefer "Mujeres" to "Jésus Verbo No Substantivo"), Santo Pecado has a number of songs in a symphonic style similar to "Buenas Noches Don David" from Sin Daños a Terceros and they're sequenced intermittently. These symphonic songs are fine in and of themselves, showcasing Arjona's versatility as a singer/songwriter. Most impressive is "La Nena (Bitácora de un Secuestro)," an eight-minute symphonic epic with dramatic bursts of electric guitar and crashing drums. The problem is that Arjona's orchestral flights of fancy too often disrupt the momentum of the album. Take for example "Quesos, Cosas, Casas," a pleasant enough song that is unfortunately sequenced in the midst of the album-opening rock highlights "El Problema," "Dame," and "Minutos" and just begs to be skipped over. While the abrupt shifts in momentum can be frustrating, a few of the slower songs are quite extraordinary, in particular "Mujer de Lujo," "Me Dejaste," and "Amarte a Ti," the latter of which is not to be overlooked at the end of the album. Needless to say, Arjona's songwriting is masterful. Even if the musical style of a particular song isn't to one's liking, the lyrics are always a wonder to behold.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
Track Listing - Disc 1