30th December, 2000

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I haven't tracked it in this blog, but the entire back half of 2000 has been punctuated by Son by Four's "A Puro Dolor" -- nearly every song we've looked at since has had its chart reign interrupted by the return of the millennium's silkiest salsa band. Now, here at the end of the year, Son by Four are back with their second, and final (as of press time), number one.

As a piece of popcraft from songwriting to production to performance, it's far superior to "A Puro Dolor," with a tense, dramatic arrangement, gorgeous tropical instrumentation, and Ángel López singing to save his life. Despite the title ("When you are mine") setting the emotion in the future, it's a grownup song about adult relationships (the physical very much included), where "A Puro Dolor" is sheer adolescent bathos. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call "Cuando Seas Mía" an undiscovered gem, but if I were assigning these songs numbers out of ten it would easily clear the 6.

But it only topped the chart for a week at the slowest point of the year, and that was it, from our vantage point, for Son by Four. Ángel López left the group several years later for a solo career which has so far only fizzled (he campaigned for Bush in 2004), and the rest now produce Christian music for the evangelical Latin market. Gentle as doves they may have been, but in the cutthroat music business serpent's wisdom is preferable.

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