by: Son by Four

From their beginnings as the bad boy quartet of edgy, modern salsa, no one would ever have guessed that Son by Four would end up where they did with their 2004 release Renace. SB4's boy went from winning the hearts of Latin America's 15-year-old girls to wooing their mothers, from disappearing with your underage daughter for a night on Miami's club strip to showing up at the front door with flowers. There's a distinctly adult contemporary flavor to the scope of the record. The majority of the tracks are emotive pop ballads that seem to be gunning for "the quiet storm"'s number one spot. Renace also marks Son by Four's debut on their own label, SB4 Music. Perhaps casting off the shackles of major-label obligation allowed these young gentlemen the freedom they yearned for. They no longer are forced by corporate interests to sing red-hot modern salsa, and are free to pursue their true artistic identity, nondescript watery-eyed pop. To their credit, all stylistic commentary aside, SB4's vocal performance is high quality as always, featuring the R&B-inflected four-part harmony that caught one's ears in the first place. Just know that Renace would better fit the drive to church than Friday night out. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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