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Santana - Zebop CD (album) cover

ZEBOP

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.93 | 96 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I really did not expect anything great from Santana any longer. I must admit though that since "Amigos" I have been suffering like hell in listening to their work ("Moonflower" hlding only a few studio tracks). But maybe this one would be an album of another kind ?

The opening track shows no good thing : accoustic guitar intro and an almost gospel vocals. Very poor and not really encouraging (although there is some great guitar work at the end). A very, very poor opener.

The intro for "E Papa Re" sounds like the one of "Taboo - back to Santana III !". This feeling only last for about 45 seconds. After that, we get a crapy disco/soul track like Santana has been used to since "Inner Secrets". Very good guitar again during the last minute or so.

"Primera Invasion" reminds me of My Santana : fantastic ryhtm and percussion. One of the highlight here. Unfortunately as on other albums, the best track is way too short : just above two minutes (it happened already in "Inner Secrets" with "Life Is A Lady" and "Wham!", as well as with the title track "Marathon"). This track reminds me of ... "Abraxas" and "Santana III". I must be dreaming !

I have to admit that with "Searchin" we are still in good territory (vocals are not a highlight though on this number). A good latin-rock track with a very emotional guitar part. This is heaven !

Just to bring us back down to earth : "Over And Over" is as awful as the disco influence on Santana could have been. Terrible. The following track "Winning" is as bad as the previous one. There are little words to describe this : just have a listen and you'll find out by yourselves. We are on par here with their two previous works.

The next track "Tales Of Kilimanjaro" is a good jazz-rock Santana tune. I have to say that it has been a long time that so many good tracks have been released on one album (some "Moonflower" studio track back in 1977). But Santana is really playing with our heart in mixing so much poor and great moments. "Abraxas" mood again.

"The Sensitive Kind" is another good song. A bit reminiscent of "Black Magic Woman", you know when Santana was gorgeous... The latin rythms back again : strong percussions and fabulous guitar. What else do we need from Santana ? "American Gypsy" keeps on with the good old latin percussions and rythms. Incredible rythm. Good keys as well. You'll have to get up and dance on this one.

I can not count how many efforts Carlos did to reproduce "Samba Pa'Ti"(it must be the eight's one since ""Life Is A Lady/Holiday" on Innner Secrets" was the seventh one). "I Love You Much Too Much" is as beautiful of the other ones, a very nice Santana song. Fabulous guitar and good backing band. You see, I am quite easy to please : just put me an average song with good Carlos feeling, and on my way : I will follow.

"Brightest Star" has a beautiful guitar intro, and one can only regret that this is not another full instrumental song (but since Gregg left ages ago, vocals have always been a poor side of Santana). I really wonder how Carlos recruited these singers ! Apart from this weakness, it is another good song (I must be dreaming : at least seven good tracks on a Santana album) ! What a good news ! Finally Carlos is back to business for the biggest joy of fans like me (and some other ones, I guess).

"Hannibal" is not their worse closing number (but it is not very good either).

After two disastrous albums, this one has the merit to propose several good (even great) songs, which was scarcely the case for the last four years. It is a return to the old sounds of which I am so found of. Even if this album is not as good as its legendary predecessors it is a quite decent one. It is a pity though that some tracks are so weak. Still, three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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