Santana - Corazon
Every few decades Carlos Santana manages to filter through from the pages of the guitar magazines and into the consciousness of the music buying public. First it was his 1970 album Abraxas and the instantly recognisable ‘Black Magic Woman’. 30 years later he hit big with his mega US hit ‘Smooth’ which also got big radio play in the UK. Now comes the Mexican guitar maestro's first proper Latin album, Corazon, and another chance to hit the big time.
Or maybe not. Here's the one line review: Santana does (mostly) Latin. It is exactly as you’d expect it to be. As with pretty much all his other work, the songs are carefully constructed around Carlos’ signature styles, and that high pitched squeal is particularly in evidence on early tracks ‘Saideira’ and ‘La Flaca’ (this album's attempt at another ‘Smooth’). Despite the early promise it sags horribly in the middle: Pitbull makes an appearance on ‘Oye 2014’ and there's a completely incongruous cover of the reggae ‘Iron Lion Zion’ with Ziggy Marley. The best of the guest appearances comes from Gloria Estefan whose presence, and English/Spanish vocals make ‘Besos de Lejos’ the highlight. Corazon is lacklustre, not quite committing to the Latin experience that it promises. Santana’s tried and trusted techniques are still in evidence, but the shine has dulled a little with the years.