The Best of Santa Esmeralda: You're My Everything reveals that the group's recordings have held up quite well. The disc wisely chooses the full-length album versions of the group's tracks, thus allowing the listener to get the full effect of the lush, epic arrangements that characterized the recordings. The up-tempo cuts effectively pit pop hooks and melodies against insistently danceable rhythms and are delivered with brio by the studio musicians: "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" effectively layers staccato handclaps and horn arrangements out of an Ennio Morricone
soundtrack over its stomping dance beat, and "Another Cha Cha" is a bravura disco epic where serpentine horn arrangements duel with percolating salsa rhythms to create dance track that is as suspenseful as it is thrilling. Elsewhere, Santa Esmeralda
takes the intensity down a few notches to create some lovely ballads: "Sevilla Nights" is a lush instrumental that creates a mellow, tangibly nocturnal mood, and "You're My Everything" is a heart-tugging ballad highlighted by a gorgeous, lilting flamenco guitar solo. Special note should also be made of the group's vocalists, Leroy Gomez
and Jimmy Goings
, who keep the music's slick sound from becoming impersonal with their impassioned, rich vocal stylings. In the end, the listener's tolerance for disco will determine how much they get out of The Best of Santa Esmeralda: You're My Everything, but anyone who appreciates Euro disco at its most lush and romantic will enjoy this disc.