Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Non-Prog CD Reviews

Santana

Shaman

Review by Gary Hill

Carlos Santana has certainly had a long and wonderful career, and with the talent and spirit of the man he deserves it. His most recent effort is Shaman. This collection of songs, as with its predecessor Supernatural features a lot of guest vocalists. This is both strength and a weakness. Certainly the variety of people involved in the project provides for a diverse sound. That diversity lends inconsistency to the albums, though. That said, this disc is much more solid than the previous one, which had several throwaway tracks. I do think that he should start doing albums with just him and his band again very soon. Still, just having this incredibly talented man still releasing music makes our world that much brighter.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Adouma
This is a killer jazzy Latin jam that calls to mind the more ethnic sounds of vintage Santana. Carlos thoroughly wails on this one in an expansive and expressive explosion of sound.
Nothing At All - featuring Musiq
This is balladic and reflective at the start. After a verse in this mode, the rhythm section enters, and the cut takes on a traditional Latin acoustic groove. The vocal performance is a bit trite, and the track becomes rather overproduced, but Santana's guitar work is impeccable.
The Game of Love - featuring Michelle Branch
Now, this is quite cool, both accessible and straightforward, but still heartfelt and potent. The chorus is oh, so catchy - it's no wonder this was chose as a single. This shows that pop music can still be worthwhile sometimes.
You Are My Kind - featuring Seal
This has a modern, electro dance groove, and Seal seems to complement Mr. Santana's style quite well. This is another very strong piece with an extremely powerful chorus.
Amore (Sexo) - featuring Macy Gray
This has a fun and appropriately sexy Latin groove, and strong modern texture. The chorus is quite powerful.
Foo Foo
An energetic, fairly traditional Latin jam, this works quite well.
Victory is Won
Slower and bluesy at first, this does pick up some energy, but the main charm of this instrumental comes from the B3 solo and Santana's expressive guitar work. This gets quite powerful in its jazzy arrangement and is most likely a show stopper live.
Since Supernatural - featuring Melkie Jean and Governor Washington
A modern R & B hip hop texture rules this cut, I have to say portions are overproduced. That said, the vocal performance on the verses is quite strong.
America - featuring P.O.D
This hard-edged rap metal type rocker seemed pretty weak at first listening, but it definitely grows on you. It is not one of the highlights of the disc, but the chorus is certainly catchy.

Sideways - featuring Citizen Cope
Now, this is a smoking blues number and one of the strongest cuts on the CD - too cool!

Why Don't You And I - featuring Chad Kroeger
This is another with more traditional Latin modes at times, but the vocal performance is that of a more modern rock vein. This cut on the chorus feels like an updated take on the Guess Who's "Share The Land", but this is another strong piece on quite a solid album.

Feels Like Fire - featuring Dido
Another one that has a strong techno leaning, this time with a balladic style. This is alright, but definitely not a stand out.

Aye Aye Aye
More in the vein of early Santana material, this is energetic and quite cool.
Hoy Es Adios - featuring Alejandro Lerner
A mellower Latin groove dominates this one, and the more traditional arrangement and performance lend a definite charm to the piece. This is another shining star on the album.

One of These Days - featuring Ozomatli
Yet another high energy Latin jam, this one really smokes. The vocal performance is one of the strongest on the album. At times this track reminds me of War, and there is definitely nothing wrong with that.

Novus - featuring Placido Domingo
This reflective piece has a powerful texture, and I have to say, even though I am not a fan of opera, Placido Domingo's performance (although a bit over the top for my sensibilities) won me over. This cut contains what is arguably Carlos Santana's most emotional playing of the whole disc, making this a great choice for album closer.

 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock

Ultimate Indie Bundle Banner
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com