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Santana - Santana 3 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 299 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With their third effort, Santana appear to be ready for great things, but unfortunately are still an album away. I love the dual guitar effects, but the album as a whole is just not as coherent as you'd like, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of progression from Abraxas, unless you count sounding more poppy.

Batuka, No One to Depend On, Taboo, Toussaint L'Ouverture. These are the first four tracks, and not by coincidence I imagine, are the highlights of the album. Batuka starts things out with a great Santana beat, also introducing Schon and Carlos playing off each other, which leads seamlessly into No One to Depend On--a catchy and Evil Ways-type of tune. Then we are treated to Taboo, with an irresistable hand drum beat and plenty of restrained guitar. Toussaint kicks up the tempo just at the right time, with plenty of call- and-response between Carlos and Rolie on keys.

Everybody's Everything, Guajira, Jungle Strut, Everything's Coming Our Way, Para Los Rumberos. The final five songs are far from boring, but just a far cry from masterpiece material. There's the poppy song (Everybody's Everything, though catchy as hell), the bluesy number (Guajira), and the more laid-back, happy sing-a-long (Everything's Coming Our Way). The only highlight out of this bunch for me is Jungle Strut, which is an inspired jam, and features great harmonization between Carlos and Schon--the best interaction between them of the album.

I'm not even considering the live album. Of course it's entertaining, but it's nothing you haven't already heard if you've seen Carlos live or have heard another of his live tracks. This was a transition for Carlos into truly enlightened territory, as evidenced by Caravanserai. At any rate, this is quality music, and just what you'd expect from Carlos (but nothing more): plenty of rock, toe-tapping rhythms, and a few melodies that you can't shake from your mind. This would be four-star material if I didn't feel I had already heard it from their first two albums.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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