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Santana - In Search of Mona Lisa CD (album) cover



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3 stars For the first time in his long career, Carlos Santana finally releases his first official EP of new music early in 2019. The 3 new songs on this EP are inspired with his recent visit to the Louvre Museum in Paris where he had a personal encounter with the painting of the Mona Lisa where he felt she was talking to him about a past life where they were lovers. Some time later, he also had a dream about it, and then he set about to write music regarding this. The 3 songs on this EP are exclusive to the EP and there are currently no plans to include these songs on the upcoming new album that will be released possible later in 2019.

The EP begins with the 9+ minute track 'Do You Remember Me'. Starting out with just Santana's guitar playing the main melody with another strumming guitar in the background, the track starts out somewhat minimally. Shortly after 2 minutes, the full band kicks in and the guitar improvises around the melody getting a bit more exciting, especially with the signature mid-tempo Latin beat going on around it all. At 5:20, the chorus of 'Mona, Mona Lisa' followed up with Spanish vocals on the verses. At the 7:30 mark, you get improvised solo that you were expecting all along and then it returns to the lyrics shortly after. It's nice, but nothing really surprising going on here, just the great music you expect.

'In Search of Mona Lisa' tells the story of the encounter with Mona Lisa sung in English by Cornell CC Carter to a faster tempo this time and a soulful groove. You get the usual quick Santana licks between the lines of the song, again as you have heard before. The track has that usual popular sound of the Santana singles, with the usual guitar solo in the middle.

'Lovers From Another Time' starts off with an orchestral beginning before settling into a slower jazz ballad style. This one has some airy vocalizations going on, but the highlight is the Latin ballad playing of the guitar, along the lines of his solo ballads like 'Moonflower' but with a lot more orchestral accompaniment. Very nice.

The last two tracks are edited versions of 'Do You Remember Me' and 'In Search of Mona Lisa' cut down to just over 3 minutes each, because, you know, some people only want to hear part of a composition or only see a portion of the Mona Lisa. Anyway, it seems a bit silly to do the edited versions, but most people have short attention spans these days.

Anyway, it's a short EP, and there really isn't anything surprising here that you can't already hear on other Santana albums. The best track is the shortest. Santana fans and enthusiasts and completionists will have to have this, but other than that, there isn't much to get excited about here.

Report this review (#2131914)
Posted Sunday, January 27, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars Carlos Santana one of the remaning artists of the 60īs Woodstock festival is very much alive and well.

This 3 track EP (+ 2 edited for radio versions of its first 2 tracks) is as its title implies- In Search Of Mona Lisa (2019), a tribute to the painting which is the source of inspiration for Mr. Santana.

Anyway let me quick tour you through the music of this release, (if you care for the story behind the "making of", read the footnotes on the disc, I myself could not care less).

Do You Remember Me, its first track, is a slow burning evocative and tropical styled song which sets the mood for his love devotion for Mona. To expect something different in his music composition proposals, something he has not done since a long time ago, will be a useless request and he still is a hell of a guitar player and yet he does not abuse his prowess but this song could easily be lost in any tropical music jukebox, if not for the repeating like mantra of Mona Mona Lisa. ***

Track 2 - In Search Of Mona Lisa, is built on Rockier surface in a mid fast pace tempo. As expected composition wise nothing he has not done, on the positive side this song showcases his trademark guitar ability and sound while we get the story of his first encounter with Leonardoīs painting, but to my surprise this track is the weakest of the disc. **

This EPīs complete last track is Lovers From Another Time. A riskier proposal music composition wise, which actually adds symphonic elements and a piano to play alongside his counterpointing riffs and solos in his simplified Fusion/Rock mid tempo instrumental style and actually make it work by walking the thin line between corny ballad and heartfelt performance and coming up more or less untainted. Again to my surprise this one turn out to be the best track of this release. ***/*

3 PAīs stars.

Report this review (#2204391)
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | Review Permalink

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