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Santana - Supernatural CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.18 | 186 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Carlos Santana's Comeback, sort of. His guitar playing is much improved and dominant in this recording, but this is by no means a latin jazz-rock masterpiece like his early albums. It is just a collection of good pop songs and some other tunes that focuses on the instrumental side. Guest stars are all over the album, forcing this already-diverse album to be even more. Unfortunately, such high diversity hurts my enjoyment of the album slightly, and Carlos Santana sometimes sounds like a guest to other bands, rather than being the star. The music is generally catchy and accessible, with some vocals in Spanish. Add 0.2 Stars if you don't speak Spanish . The reason is because the lyrics are awful. Just read ZowieZiggy's lyrical quotes or check the lyrics out in a website.

Due to lack of reviews, I'll go "track by track"

'(Da Le) Taleo' is a pretty fun piece, with a catchy piano riff that helps the danceable rhythm. The song is pretty diverse and shows what "Supernatural" is about (including dumb lyrics). (B)

'Love of My Life' has constrained and melodic guitar playing and is really just a ballad that turns into a salsa groove in the second half. Not bad at all. (B-)

'Put Your Lights On' is a bit less interesting with the rapper guest speaking more than singing. The song is mainly soft or acoustic song but there is a heavy outbursts in the middle. (C)

'Africa Bamba' has some terrible lyrics but it is a harmless nice mid-tempo latin tune that unfortunately turns into a salsa groove in the wrong moment. (C-)

When the album appeared to go on a downward slope, 'Smooth' proves the listeners wrong. A huge commercial success that is more worthy than most extremely popular tunes in the radio. It is a nice listen, with its catchy rhythm, good vocal performances, great guitar work, and an irresistible happy atmosphere. (B+)

'Do You Like The Way' is a rock&blues song marred by the female hip-hop vocals and the feel that this song just doesn't have the atmosphere present in the rest of the album. I just don't enjoy it much. (D+)

'Maria Maria' was another commercial success and is an adventurous and very good composition that blends rap, flamenco, and latin successfully, as weird as that sounds. The chorus has a great guitar line. (B)

'Migra' is a song that showcases Santana's great guitar skills without appearing like a show-off tune. It has a good beat and a very good chorus melody with horns. (B+)

'Corazon Espinado' sounds like the band "Mana" (the singer is present) but with a better guitar player. Nice latin percussion and easy melodic vocal lines, but overall nothing exceptional. The guitar sounds like him listening to the song with headphones and improvising nicely along with it. (C)

'wishing it does' continues the mainstream sound in yet another musical direction. The guitar solo is very solid but again sounds like if it is pasted into the finished song and sometimes dominates a bit in parts that in my opinion should be dominated by vocals. (C-)

'El Farol' is a pleasant mellow instrumental with emotional guitar playing recalling his early days. A very nice listen (B)

'Primavera' is another nice and smooth latin piece but nothing really special. Not much to say, but it isn't a bad song. (C)

'The Calling' is the very long Santana song in this album with Eric Clapton starring. I remember the high expectations in this piece, but in the end, it is a bit disappointing. It has a nice start with acoustic guitars but then turns into a boring and endless funky tune in the style of Roger Waters' "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" album. Then there is a pause and another song comes, which makes me wonder if putting a song of 12 minutes was done for marketing reasons. This part is much much better and one of the highlights of the whole album: a guitar showcase. This song would have been excellent if the middle part was removed. (C+)

While it is Santana's most popular album, it is far from his best and usually does not represent what Santana's music is about, except maybe for the guitar tone present in this disc and "El Farol". Newcomers should really start with Abraxas or Caravanserai, or maybe any of his first four albums.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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