Monday, October 18, 2010

Guitar Heaven

Is everything that Santana touches guaranteed to turn to gold? It seems since the release of Supernatural (the album with the song “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas) that Santana has found a new niche in the music industry, one that keeps him relevant to radio listeners young and old. People who enjoyed Santana’s music in the 70s are now listening to the new music featuring artists from the current generation. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it provides a bridge for parents and children (or grandparents and grandchildren) to reach common ground. Maybe that was the plan when the Angels told Carlos to release Supernatural.

Enough of that album, let’s look at the recent release – Guitar Heaven. This is a different CD from his past few releases in that it contains nothing but covers. I know what you are thinking: Santana covering other artists songs? Why would he need to do that? Well, he doesn’t need to do that. Let’s make that clear right off the start. Carlos Santana NEEDS to do nothing. He chose to release an album of covers, and for that we should be thankful. Face it, that man can make a guitar sing.

What intrigued me was the track listing. There are covers of Cream, AC/DC, Deep Purple, The Beatles, and The Doors (to name a few). These bands are vastly different than the sound one usually associates with Santana. So it stands to reason that these are not going to be merely covers of great songs, but more of a re-imagining of great songs.

Not only is there a wide cross-section of music, but the vocalists are varied as well. Chris Cornell, India Arie, Joe Cocker, Johnny Lang, Gavin Rossdale, and Rob Thomas (naturally), Hell even Yo-yo Ma is on this album. The most interesting song (and I say interesting in a neutral way because I’m not sure if it is good or bad) is Back in Black with vocals from Nas. That’s right, a rap cover of AC/DC with Santana on guitar. The only thing missing would be a hidden track with The Bongo Brothers Rudi van Disarzio and Spider Dijon.

If you didn’t get the previous Mighty Boosh reference, don’t feel too bad. Not many will.

Last Quote: Airplane

Today’s Quote: “This is all like Woodstock all over again. The idea is you play, and then you scram; but oh, no, you wouldn't listen, would you? You wanted to hang around, didn't you? And then we got loped into tidying up! You, me and Carlos Santana; hoovering for six weeks!”

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