Santana Album Review: Supernatural (1999)

Feel free to leave a comment down below to request an album for me and Robby to review. Any artist, any genre, we’ll give it a chance.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Supernatural, the seventeenth studio album from Carlos Santana.

In green is my opinion. I am quite familiar with Carlos Santana’s work, and I am excited to tackle this grand album.

In blue is my cousin Robert’s opinion. Thanks to Guitar Hero III, which featured the hit song Black Magic Woman, he was exposed to Santana. He says that the “rightfully overplayed” Smooth was another big help in exposing him. 

Let’s start our track-by-track review!

(Da Le) Yaleo

This song can be summed up in a few words: ‘Carlos Santana enters a room…’ Yaleo is a welcoming, festive-sounding song that doesn’t hold anything back. Santana shreds his guitar all while horns, piano, and drums are going wild. As is often the case with Santana’s music, Yaleo is ripe for dancing. I can’t dance, but I am perfectly content grooving to this song while sedentary. This track manages to be high in energy without being overbearing, a quality that isn’t easy to attain. Yaleo is an outstanding opening track.

We start off Supernatural with the groovy (Da Le) Yaleo. Sorry, no hably espanol, so I cannot understand anything being said in this song. Regardless, it is easy to tell that it has a fun vibe. Through this song, Santana shows why he is one of the best guitarists to ever pick up the instrument. If this track doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, then you clearly have issues.

Love of My Life (featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford)

This song is magic. There is a very small list of things that I call magic. This list includes Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Popcorn Bowl and Nickelback. Of course, I am wholeheartedly joking. Those are two of the least impressive things on this planet. Regardless, Love of My Life is a standout track that deserves praise. Dave Matthews lends his gruff voice to some romantic lyrics. He is supported by his main man, Carter Beauford, who lays down some hot drum grooves that fit right into a Santana song. Santana pours his heart out through the guitar, accenting the sensual lyrics before coming to an explosion at the end of the track. Love of My Life is a savory treat.

Dave, Carter, and Santana all in one song? Did God really give us this gift? This is another one of those “chill out” tracks. From Dave’s vocals to Carter’s drumming to Santana’s guitar, this song is a pleasure to listen to. Love of My Life is a great love song that I wish DMB would play on tour with Santana.

Put Your Lights On (featuring Everlast)

Everlast’s smoky voice complements Santana’s powerful guitar-playing like asparagus complements a filet: perfectly. The lyrics to Put Your Lights On are powerful. Executed by a commanding, angry voice, they work excellently . Santana takes the song to another level, singing through his guitar with an innumerable amount of feeling. Hearing acoustic guitar among the wicked electric provides freshness to this track, giving it a grand feeling. Put Your Lights On is a track that will be remembered for decades to come, and for good reason. This deep song is musically in sync.

Wow! Who would have thought we would get a deep song from Santana that featured acoustic guitar? I love this song’s lyrics, as they tie in well with Santana’s timeless playing. Everlast (not the company that makes boxing equipment) does a great job with the vocals on this track. This song is just so true with everything!

Africa Bamba

I would dance to this song if I had the physical capacity to do so. This song is rich in Latin flavor, and while it may not be as explosive as (Da Le) Yaleo, it’s still high in energy. The gliding piano adds a lot of substance to the song, working alongside Santana’s stunning guitar-work. The horns that are sprinkled into Africa Bamba are a pleasant topping to an already golden baked potato. Africa Bamba is essentially Yaleo’s older brother: slightly more reserved, a little more mature, but still a great time.

Wow! That intro is just stellar! Africa Bamba is another smooth song I can dance to from start to finish. (Wait…I am terrible at dancing). This song makes me want to pick up my guitar and play my heart out. Africa Bamba is a song that flows really well and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Smooth (featuring Rob Thomas)

This song is the kind of smooth that is illustrated when one throws a cigar into a pool of gasoline whilst walking away from it, or when a man strides into a Victoria’s Secret to pick up a piece of scandalous clothing for his significant other. In other words, this song is smooth. The drums and piano lock in tightly with Santana’s guitar, creating a stellar musical accompaniment to Rob Thomas’s attitude-twinged vocals. He rocks this song, giving it soul that is alluring. Smooth is a badass track.

Here it is: the song we all know and love! Smooth is such a timeless classic. Rob Thomas’s vocals with Santana help this song to shine bright! I always love singing along to this song, as it always puts me into a great mood. Honestly, there is nothing more I can say about this classic tune that hasn’t been said already. Just listen to Smooth and be blown away!

Do You Like the Way (featuring Lauryn Hill and Cee-Lo)

Do You Like the Way can best be described as being an R&B song featuring Carlos Santana. This track is made individual by the sleek horns, which give off a vibe reminiscent to that of Sting’s Tomorrow We’ll See. While this song is listenable, it doesn’t pack a punch like the other songs on Supernatural do. Instead, there is a lot of empty space where neither Santana nor his guests provide much substance. Do You Like the Way doesn’t leave much of an impact on the listener, though it surely is a functioning song.

Hold the phone…is that Cee-Lo I hear? Wait, why is there crap in a Santana song? Do You Like The Way is simply an overfilled collaboration song that is ruined by the rapping. Rap aside, this song is creative, and I always admire the creativity of artists. The question is, do you like the way your soul feels after hearing this song?

Maria Maria (featuring Product G&B)

An interesting fusion between R&B and Santana, Maria Maria is surprisingly successful. The Product G&B provide tender vocals that work in unison with Santana’s rocking electric guitar. Even while the virtuoso assumes the warmer acoustic guitar, Maria Maria remains groovy. This is much to the credit of the bass, which is turned up for the sake of emanating an R&B track. Overall, this track is a chill ride. It is likely a spectacle in the live show, with Santana’s guitar flares dominating the stage.

I always love some nice bass. Maria Maria is a beautiful title to a beautiful song. I love the beat and I love the lyrics. This song is ideal for driving through town on a hot summer day, feeling happy with the love of your life sitting next to you, not giving a crap about the world around you. It does not get any better than this!

Migra

My entire childhood flashed before my eyes during the first ten seconds of Migra. Move Along from the All-American Rejects is a staple song of my childhood soundtrack. Unexpected nostalgia aside, Migra is a party. The drummer is holding a steady, reserved rhythm that amplifies the power of Santana’s wailing guitar. This song has a festive, cultural feeling to it, very Spanish in its sound. If I were to try my hand at bullfighting, I would select Migra to be my battle song. Sure, I would be impaled by the bull, but this song would make the experience better.

Wait, is that Move Along by The All-American Rejects I hear? Nope, it’s more Santana! Migra is the type of song that can pump you up! I love the Spanish vibe given off by the brass instruments. Once again, we are blessed with an amazing Santana solo. Migra is a song that gets you moving.

Corazon Espinado

If Dora the Explorer and her friend Boots were to get married, this would be their wedding song. It’s got everything a grooving Latin American song needs. Rocking piano, tight drumming, sick guitar, and, of course, cowbell. Corazon Espinado is a great song that’s easy to like. It’s essentially a red Solo cup. Nobody can hate a red Solo cup.

I’m not sure if this makes sense, but the beginning of this track makes me feel like I am on an elevator ride…a good elevator ride. This song’s theme reminds me of Clapton’s overplayed hit Layla, though I like Corazon Espinado a lot more. In addition, it resembles Black Magic Woman, which isn’t a bad thing. Oh, love, you bring people together and crush people. I still have yet to be in a relationship, but it does not bother me, and I am not rushing. I just wish my family would stop telling me to get in one.

Wishing It Was (featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry)

My father and I were listening to this album in the car very recently when a revelation was thrust before me by some higher power. It’s not Eagle-Eye Cherry singing this song, it’s…it’s…WILLEM DAFOE! Try unthinking THAT! Aside from the humor of the song that I am now unable to dismiss, this is a solid, funky song. Once again, Santana pours his heart out through that guitar. The inclusion of piano and easy horns gives the song a ton of flavor, which was well appreciated. Wishing It Was is a solid track that is a ball for me to listen to, as I can no longer take it seriously.

I’m not sure who this Eagle-Eye Cherry person is, but he’s got an awesome name. I like the Phish-like vibe this song has, though I didn’t expect anything remotely like it from a Santana song. Wishing It Was is an individual, chill song with blasts of Santana’s remarkable guitar-work.

El Farol

This song is so unbelievably chill. It’s an end-of-the-day kind of song, to be played after the party is over. A breath of fresh air, is what it is. El Farol doesn’t try to make a bold statement. Instead, it’s here to soothe, and it does just that. This track is a satisfying one.

El Farol is a perfect song for chilling on the beach with a pina colada in hand, where one could relax and be taken away by the music. El Farol proves that lyrics are not necessary for a song to be amazing. As a matter of fact, lyrics would easily ruin this song. I wish we had more songs like this one.

Primavera

Primavera is a song Santana rips apart with his guitar. Carlos jams hard on this track, holding back absolutely nothing. The second half of the song is all about him and his guitar. Period. Primavera would be an ideal show closer, as it ends on a loud, incredibly impressive note.

Pasta Primavera anyone? Anyway, I love both the chord progression and the vocals in this song. Primavera is beautiful, a track that deserves to be a classic. It is amazing how Santana can be soulful through nothing but his guitar. Primavera is a bit longer compared to the other tracks on the album, but the jamming makes the song worth your time. I hope a modern jam-band does eventually cover it.

The Calling (featuring Eric Clapton)

The Calling is essentially three tunes in one. The first piece has an ambient, impassioned sound. The guitar that dominates the first tune has a John Mayer-esque vibe to it, as it is very bluesy. Once the ambient introduction subsides, the listener is met with a largely instrumental, soothing jam piece, which retains the classic Santana feeling. The third piece, which is perhaps my favorite of the three, includes acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar at the beginning of this section of the song retains a vibe that is reminiscent of a pirate shanty or Spanish song, which is by no means a negative thing. Given an even further cultural feel through the drumming, which is nearly identical to the percussion in Daniel Lanois’ Where the Hawkwind Kills, the final part of the Calling escalates with electric guitar and rallying vocals. The Calling is a satisfying final song, full of intriguing, diverse sounds.

Go figure! I mentioned Clapton earlier. It turns out that he did a song with Santana. The Calling is a great way to end the album because, within it, you have two of the greatest guitarists on the planet. It is nice to see both a Les Paul and a Fender Strat in the same song, considering the fact that both are rivals. Honestly, what can be better than a song jam-packed with guitar playing? I love that The Calling ends this timeless album. If you are looking for a different sound for your collection, look no further. Supernatural is the definitive Latin-rock album. Thank you for reading. See ya’ll next time!

My Top 3 

Love of My Life

Put Your Lights On

Smooth

Rob’s Top 3

Love of My Life

Maria Maria

El Farol

Supernatural is a bold album that is full of influences from across the globe. Whether Santana is playing with a flurry of Latin instruments, an R & B beat, or warm acoustics, he shines, retaining an individual voice in each song. Supernatural is an album that is diverse in its way yet cohesive in its sound. It is truly remarkable how nearly every track is fitting for both easy-listening and dancing. This Filet is a must-own. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy if you haven’t already. 

~Juck

Advertisements

One comment on “Santana Album Review: Supernatural (1999)

  1. Pingback: Gamerscene: What to Expect in 2015 | GAMERSCENE.WORDPRESS.COM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s