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Santana - Abraxas CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.24 | 538 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars If Santana hadn't created such a memorable effort in Abraxas, twenty years later there would have been a slew of pentagram flashing death metal start-ups vying for Abraxas as their band name. Abraxas must be thanking Santana every day for that.

This brand of world fusion was quite a new thing back in 1970, and the balance this album achieves in blending the latin, jazz and rock influences has rarely been matched since. Beautiful instrumentals such as "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts" and "Samba Pa Ti" sit alongside hard rockers such as "Mother's Daughter" and "Hope You're Feeling Better". Seriously, every time I hear "Mother's Daughter" I keep thinking what a great FM rock staple that song should've been. It kicks, and Rolie really lets it all hang out, ya dig? No matter, I suppose, since this classic boasts "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va"...two songs I've heard countless times outside of listening to this album from tv commercials to bad karaoke attempts. Thing is, these tunes still sound fresh and I don't find myself irritated due to overplay.

The production shines on all the instruments and was accomplished in such a professional manner that this release has a much more modern flair than a lot of rock albums released decades later. Engineers kill to bring about a sound like this to full bloom. The playing is brilliant all around. Yes, Carlos is a master and his fluid and gorgeous approach to the electric guitar was highly influential, but man those percussionists blow me away. "Se a Cabo" displays them struttin' their stuff in grand fashion.

A surprisingly huge seller during that transitional year of rock music, and yet it's also one of the most adventurous. In that sense it can be considered essential, and there's also a bit of personal bias for this since it's maybe the first record that showed me that rock was not some angular genre with strict limits. The album cover doesn't hurt either.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |


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