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  Tiempo de Navidad
Artist: Marcos Witt
Label: CanZion
He who looks like Drew Carey's cleaner-cut younger brother staring out from the jewelcase of Tiempo de Navidad  is Macos Witt. The Mexican crooner is arguably the thing deal going in Spanish language contemporary Christian music and should be making his full-length debut en ingles soon.

Witt's burnished, Tom Jones-ish baritone  has fun with big band swing on the titular track, but elsewhere mines subdued samba grooves and a smidgen of salsa and, more often, the big orchestral flavor that's the basis for so much music made for that Bethlehem-born Babe's birthday. "En Navidad" takes him to a mild pop/rock flair reminiscent of the sounds found in the middle of the road of Latino pop radio. 

Witt, obviously aware of commercial considerations and seasonal expectations, doesn't relegate himself to originals. "Santa Blanca," "Santa la Noche" and a holiday medley have familiarity for the non-Hispanic listeners Witt hopes soon to woo and the language appreciated by his first fan base. 

The English bonus track, "Simple Man," tells of one who would like to have been around at the time of Christ's birth to provide him the amenities He lack back when Mary birthed Him. With similar earnestness and likability throughout an entire long player, Witt could be to Fish FM-listening soccer moms what Ricky Martin was for a while to their daughters a few years ago.          

Jamie Lee Rake 12/20/2004


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