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Santana - Abraxas CD (album) cover

ABRAXAS

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.24 | 352 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 8/10

"Abraxas" has something for the ambitious listener, as well as something for the casual one.

Carlos Santana is regarded as one of the master guitarists of our time, "Abraxas", regarded by the public as his masterpiece. Your Progressive Rock fan might prefer the stranger "Caravanserai" to this one, as really "Abraxas" doesn't have much Prog in it, being more of a strong Psych influence. But it is thanks to "Abraxas", no matter what you think, that now Santana-the band- are considered authentic Rock legends.

The reason why Santana were so popular is because they combined tons of exciting genres together, in a quite innovating way: Psychedelic Rock, Latin Rock, Samba, Jazz Fusion, Blues Rock, and even some Hard Rock. The vibe turned on a lot of people on the Woodstock stage, and when the debut album was released, and with "Abraxas" that sound got much more mature and the audience grew noticeably. It would be almost unthinkable today to have such an album on the top of the charts, an album that is at times quite complex to listen to, but always is of a strong pleasure especially if you're one that appreciates experimentation. Other than the guitars, bass, drums and vocals, Santana used very frequently tons of percussion, organ, Piano, Tabla, always using the irresistible Latin rhythms that made the band so unique. The music featured on this album can be either chaotic, messy, or smooth and seducing, depending on the song. With cleverly alternated instrumentals and sung songs, "Abraxas" has an extremely solid and rigid structure that seems almost studied in an extremely schematic way, without though excluding some anomalies such as ballads or short interludes.

There are the big, famous hits that made Santana huge, like "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va", two light-mood, samba-influenced songs, catchy, memorable, and frankly irresistible too. The more Hard Rock influenced "Hope You're Feeling Better" was released as a single, along with the previous mentioned songs, however it wasn't as popular, even though it has even more memorable hooks and a strong, beastly feeling, especially in the vocals. Among the psychedelic instrumentals, the first track of the album, "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts", with it's climactic feel, or "Incident At Neshabur", a much more enlivened and fast song, almost messy at times. "Samba Pa Ti" is a beautiful ballad, which is also instrumental, but it still has that seducing, mystical magic that the rest of these songs have. "Abraxas" had something for the ambitious listener, as well as something for the casual one.

There is really nothing you can ask more from a band. One of the greatest albums of it's genre, a landmark acheivement historically but also musically, an LP that even forty years later gets people moving to the rhythms.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |

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