I used to be so serious about discussing and or critiquing Carlos and his legacy as an artist, but within the last few years I've tempered both my expectations and my approach. In the end, this man and his music has often served as a catalyst for experiencing great joy and respect for the beauty in life. To those ends, it brings me to Santana IV.
In summation, I happen to love the new lp-it's not perfect, (what is?), but there are many very special moments- many of which, in my humble opinion, deserve to be added to the list of classics:
Suenos: I've literally waited since July of 1997 for Carlos to record and release this track, and I am overjoyed at the result. It's an elegant and beautiful melody and Carlos just kills me when he turns to the electric section. To my heart and ears, it just doesn't get much better.
You and I: wow. I get Suenos AND this on the same lp? Someone please pinch me. Carlos and Neal weave a spell and I'm still lost in it.
Fillmore East: what a vibe! A supremely trippy gem; though it's unconventional in terms of structure, it's hypnotic all the same. Classic.
Echizo: if you don't love this, please check your pulse. Fantastic workout for the two guitarists.
Blues Magic: seems like this one is a bit under-appreciated. I dig the dreamy nocturnal mood it creates, and Carlos lays it out with beautiful taste. A little gem.
Forgiveness: trip to the stars Part 2!! A wholly satisfying closer.
One track with apparently NO love is Choo Choo, but ( regardless of lyrical content) paired with All Aboard, makes me want to pin a Porsche at 125! I love the groove.
I also thoroughly enjoy Yambu, AYWTG,Leave Me Alone, Come As You Are, (you guys hate that one!) and to a lesser extent the two Ronnie Isley cuts, Shake It, and Caminando. Some of the production choices leave me just a bit flat, but I'm not averse to the spirit of the end results.
My final score: 8/10. Loaded with plenty of superb guitar work, Rollie's splendid Hammond work, and SHRIEVE, I am soooo happy this reunion was realized.
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