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Santana - Guitar Heaven CD (album) cover

GUITAR HEAVEN

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

1.95 | 28 ratings

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KyleSchmidlin
1 stars I initially came here to review Caravanserai, but when I saw that this had no ratings I took the golden opportunity to be the first to warn you all of what you probably already knew: this album is terrible. I consider Carlos Santana to be one of the few (maybe one in a group of five or fewer human beings) to possess supernatural musical abilities. There simply is no accounting for the way he plays his guitar. Like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, there's no book you could ever write to teach a person to put into their guitar what Carlos puts into his. This is what helps albums with weak (or no) songwriting like Love, Devotion, Surrender.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help this one. It sounds like Santana playing Guitar Hero with a rogue band of misfits who have no business going near a microphone (except for Joe Cocker, who only gets BETTER with age in diametric opposition to the album's "star" and whose rendition of Little Wing is perhaps the album's only legitimate high point). How it's possible for a genius of Santana's caliber to disgrace AC/DC... well, of course, a song like Black in Black never did and never would call for the Santana treatment. I love Carlos, and I love AC/DC - they are probably the finest band to ever work with a mere three chords, and that's NOT a denigration. But placing their and Santana's musical gifts on any equal footing is pure ridiculousness.

Long story short, stick to the classic period. I don't even see this as being essential to a completionist's collection. The guitar work isn't even halfway there! It's expected that the guest stars will be dismissible, but at least Santana bothered to put some good licks and feeling into some of the Rob Thomas / Michelle Branch duets. Give those a two. Here... here, he sounds like he's opening for Survivor at my county fair. And that IS a denigration, certainly for Santana.

KyleSchmidlin | 1/5 |

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