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Santana - Lotus CD (album) cover

LOTUS

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.84 | 113 ratings

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freyacat
4 stars Perhaps I have an unusual take on this album. I am not a Santana fan, but a fan of progressive music. While I passively enjoy Santana's hits, mostly becasue of their 60's and 70's sound textures, I am very excited about this live album. The sound quality is definitely not the clarity of digital recording in the present day, but I compare it to the murky mystery of "Yessongs." Here is a band with a lot going on melodically and rhythmically, just an explosion of music going on, and the collusion of sounds makes for a surprising and delightful listen.

The ornamentation added by the synths and other keyboards reminds me very much of Miles Davis during the Bitches' Brew sessions and performances soon after. There is is the sense of an organic music being played, song based, and yet stretching for something more, with delicious and well-timed noise interrupting what would otherwise be fairly repetitious arrangements.

Many of the songs on the album flow together as extended instrumetnal suites. "Yours is the Light" shines here in a way that I think the more vocally-oriented album version does not.

The pretense of the "All religions are one" album packaging forces a gasp of laughter out of me, but I can reach back into the 70's and admire the idealism that spawned such a choice. This is one of the good guys, no matter how silly the expression of that seems to our sophisticated, irony-obsessed culture.

"Lotus" is a statement of transcendence, using the building blocks of ordinary songs to create something far more. I think that project succeeds, even decades later.

freyacat | 4/5 |

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