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Sold Out On Latin Gospel 
Artist: Various
Label: N'Soul
Length: 15 tracks/59:38
Capitalizing on the current popularity of Latin music, N'Soul Records releases Sold Out On Latin Gospel, a compilation chock full of various artists playing many styles of authentic Latin music with a Gospel message.  For the new fans of the genre who don't speak Spanish, N'Soul says there is a translated lyric sheet in the works.  Musical omnivores will enjoy the variety of styles, which range from merengue to mariachi to rock.  All the offerings are well-produced, and the liner notes point the listener to resources to find more from each artist.

The album kicks off with the rousing Latin pop "Aqui si se Goza" by Richard Cepeda, Jr. and sets the tone for the rest of the CD with its lively background vocals and snappy brass stabs laid over a slightly oversequenced piano track. Next Alex Rodriguez shifts into high gear with "Toto Quedo Atras," a full-on salsa jam with the full complement of percussion, brass, and singers.  If this one doesn't get you moving, nothing will.  It is one of the strongest tracks on the CD.

Kindred's "Ritmo Sagrado" sounds mysteriously like Santana's "Smooth," but is still very enjoyable.  Christafari exhibits their trademark reggae on "Edifcate y Exaltale al Senor (Talawa)" backed up by yet more brass.

The CD takes a detour on "Blow Your Whistle" into straight ahead Drum 'n Bass with AJ Mora, an influential Christian DJ from the budding dance/rave scene.  It is one of only two tracks that contains English, the other being "I Belong To Thee" by Kindred, a jazzy, mellow worship ballad.

Sold Out On Latin Gospel accomplishes its purpose in giving a broad overview of various Latin musical styles, then finishes with a techno/dance version of "Feliz Navidad" by Nitro Praise from their Christmas album. Overall, this is a very enjoyable melange of Latin gospel tunes that won't wear out too soon.

Zik Jackson 10/7/2000



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