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Santana - Caravanserai CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 709 ratings

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5 stars I initially gave this album only four stars, and with good reason: 2 of its 10 tracks, or 1 in 5 of them (a star's worth!) are not songs. They are not even sound collages. They are nonsense, pure and simple. They produce zero melodic effect and little to no (to NEGATIVE, depending on your particular mood at the time and how you feel about nature sounds in music generally) effect in maintaining the incredible spiritual resonance brought on by the rest of this album. Clearly, they should deprive the album of a star.

But not this time. This is one of the rare few cases of an album with filler which is still a solid, unflinching masterpiece. See, Santana's filler, at the very least, isn't potential "hit single" nonsense, and since it isn't even music it's fine to just skip the first song and think of "Future Primitive" as an intermission. Only three songs follow it, but they are the album's strongest - it closes on such an astonishing note as simply must be heard to be believed. Carlos is more than a guitarist. And whatever spirituality he was into at the time, the whole rest of the band must surely have been totally locked into as well. They do better than keep up - they keep Carlos up, too. It's primarily instrumental, with jazz being an obvious and significant influence, but far from the only one. It's probably the most religious album I have ever heard - forget about "Christian rock", if you're looking to induce a spiritual catharsis, Caravanserai is the album with which to do it (along with a few of Stevie Wonder's best records, of course - and I'm looking at you, Innervisions, with your unreal "He's Misstra Know It All..." repeating ending. Can we add Wonder to the list of prog artists, for no reason other than that I want an outlet to review his albums?).

Anyways, this was a Santana review, I think. Buy the album. You gotta have it, there's no excuse not to give it a couple listens. It'll probably never make your "regular" rotation - it hasn't mine - but one can't well have a profound religious experience on a daily basis.

KyleSchmidlin | 5/5 |


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