Hola de nuevo, salseros!

DLG, or Dark Latin Groove, is a salsa ensemble that creates a very modern, enjoyable brand of salsa. The band originally comprised of 3 singers, Huey Dunbar, Fragancia, and James ‘Da Barba’ de Jesus. They had many hits including, ‘No morira'(it will not die), ‘Volvere’ (I’ll return), and ‘Todo Mi Corazon’ (all my heart) to name a few. After a successful run, the lead singer (Dunbar) decided to pursue a solo career and the band disassembled. In 2007 the band was re-introduced with de Jesus returning along with a female lead vocalist, Yahaira Vargas. They continue to put out great music (I recommend you check out their version of the Peruvian folksong ‘Toro Mata’ [the bull kills] done to salsa) but the songs that will battle here are from the Dunbar days.

The contenders:
1. Todo de Ti. DLG; album “Swing On” (1997).
2. Es Una Promesa. DLG; album “Swing On” (1997).

Right off the bat these songs both sound like they won’t build up to the usual quick pace of DLG songs but they both nicely work in the salsa feel into the ballad-like intro. These are love songs, meant to be tender and full of adoration. Todo De Ti means ‘All of you’ whereas Es Una Promesa translates to ‘It’s a promise.’ Both are very sweet songs, just see for yourself.

All of you

In this dwelling that looks out at the city
Even when I’m alone I don’t miss the ocean
I sail travel through your eyes no matter what

I just have to close my eyes to feel as if I have all of you

All of your kisses, your gentle laugh
All of your breath, your passionate love
Your entire body burns against mine
When I remember you again, my love

In this great city my life passes by alone
In this solitude I’ve learned to love you in any way

I just have to close my eyes to feel as if I have all of you

All of your kisses, your gentle laugh
All of your breath, your passionate love
Your entire body burns me again
When I remember you again, my love

It’s a promise

I can’t live without you; you are my everything

Give me your permission, please, and I’ll die in your gaze
It will be an engagement from me to be driven crazy
Crazy with love and from my heart I’ll make you a promise

To fall in love with you more every day is a promise
To not be able to live without you again is a promise
To always take you with me in my soul and dreams is a promise

I just need for you to also offer me
At least a bit of your wine and strawberries
And I’ll be crazy with love and from my heart I’ll make you a promise

It’s a promise to fall in love with you
I promise to give you all of me (sing it)

Just can’t live without you

I also can’t live without you
And without you I swear I’ll die
Because this man enjoys his time with you

Because you are what I want most
And all I want is to give myself to you
Take you to heaven and give you the stars
I will be your king and you will be my queen
Come closer to me, I ask you not to leave me
I promise to love you however you wish

So, as you can see, these songs are expressions of love spoken in a way anyone who’s been in love can relate to. The feelings are raw, simple, powerful and, at times, full of longing. I think one of the reasons these songs connect so well with the listener is that the sentiments expressed are universal and familiar to all of us. Now, let’s move on to the judging.

Sound of the song

DLG’s sound tends toward a more pop/hip-hop style of salsa. Having said that, both songs have a similar sound yet are all their own. ‘Todo de ti’ has a section about 3 and a half minutes in that slows down and maintains the faint salsa rhythm which transits nicely into a salsa crescendo. ‘Todo de ti’ is also a slower song. Compare with ‘Es una promesa’ and you’ll see that that one has a more driving beat. On their own each song is very enjoyable but when heard back-to-back I find that ‘Es una promesa’ stands out more (at least in my opinion). Having said that, my vote goes to ‘Es una promesa’ by a score of 4.5-3.5.


Based on my above assessment, this verdict will be a result of my personal taste in the tempo of a salsa song. When it comes to very quick versus slower, I prefer slower. However, when both songs are mid-tempo, I prefer songs that are instrumentally more complex. I enjoy the driving rhythm of ‘Es una promesa’ and find it overall more intriguing. Therefore, my verdict once again goes to ‘Es una promesa’ by a score of 4.5-4.

Musical and lyrical sync

As usual, this will be the most difficult category to judge. ‘Todo de ti’ is a supplication, a longing for someone. In a way, these songs are a before and after. ‘Todo de ti’ is the original question, asking someone to give of themselves. It is hopeful and therefore more under control, slower. ‘Es una promesa’ is like the promise the person makes when the other has answered their question in a positive way. In that scenario, there is an overwhelming joy, triumph, victory in the first. This makes the tone more excited, as the first is filled with joy at the answer and wishes to assure the second that everything will be better. Seen in this context, both songs are perfectly suited with the sound of the music. I really enjoy these two songs as a call and answer. My verdict is a draw, 5-5.


These are solid, enjoyable songs full of emotion. On their own they are probably pedestrian salsa beats but as a set they are quite extraordinary. The numbers decide this winner and that song is…’Es una promesa’ by a score of 14-12.5.

Hasta la proxima,

Sigan Bailando!