My first impression of this great new release Cd was wow!, wow!, wow!. Carlos Santana is one of the world’s greatest living guitar superman, and this new album comprised entirely of 12 of the greatest rock guitar anthems is generally pretty awesome with only few weak spots. With the help of a superstar line-up of other talent such as Rob Thomas, Ray Manzarek, Joe Cocker, Jonny Lang and others, Carlos Santana rocks through classics such as “Whole Lotta Love”, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, “Sunshine Of Your Love”, “Riders On The Storm”, “Bang-A-Gong” and more.
In some cases, the songs end up more rock and roll than the original, such as “Riders On The Storm” on which Ray Manzarek’s unique signature keyboard style adds authenticity to Carlos Santana’s interpretation. Other songs such as “Whole Lotta Love” are pretty fair new interpretations of this classic rock anthem.
But, it’s T.Rex’s “Bang-A-Gong” that’s a little disappointing here. Carlos Santana just didn’t capture the magic of either the original song or of many good remakes such as the Power Station version, Blondie’s live version or even the rap version by the London Bus Stop. Marc Bolan’s original “Bang-A-Gong” worked on several levels, by capturing a catchy phrase as a rock anthem, using punchy saxophone backup and adding his own unique signature “T.Rex groove” guitar style. It was pure recording studio magic. Carlos Santana just didn’t manage to pull this song off here. This song really failed. But, so much more of this album are so good.
Overall, this is a great Santana album, although it has met with some recent mixed reviews from other music critics.
The Bottom Line: A great new album by Carlos Santana, a true living legend and “guitar superman”. +++(Three Stars, very good by all means. Heck, this Carlos Santana here. He can do no wrong).