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**** Santana -- Supernatural

It's nice to see Carlos Santana getting some attention again, although I get annoyed with people who say "He's not back -- he never left!" Sorry, Mr. Garcia, but the 60s ended a long time ago, and to say that Santana has been an ongoing musical force since, say 1977's Moonflower, is a bit naive. Not to say that his talent diminished or anything, but even AOR stations stopped playing new Santana a very long time ago. On this album, which has topped music charts most of this year, there's a mishmash of players, including Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews, so one would expect a variety of styles, and that's true, although there's an obvious Mexican flavor throughout. Frankly, the better songs are the ones without the "superstars", generally instrumentals that focus on Santana's immaculate guitar playing. I was a bit cynical when this album swept the Grammy's this year, but I'd have to say that it was more than just paying homage -- this is a really good album, certainly compared to most of the dreck that's out there these days

Reviews by A. D. Jensen
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