Corazón is Carlos Santana's first album for a major label since 2002's Shaman. It marks his reunion with executive producer Clive Davis, who masterminded 1999's multi-platinum Supernatural. Billed by RCA as his "first Latin album," Corazón is the studio counterpart to the guitarist's HBO Latino concert special that featured his band performing with a host of Latin music superstars in his native Mexico. The singing was (as it is here) mostly in Spanish. For the most part, Santana actually sounds hungry again. His studio band is filled with killers, including drummer Dennis Chambers, timbalero Karl Perazza, and conguero Raul Rekow. Opener "Saideira" features his trademark tone in a passionate, stinging, gritty exchange with vocalist Samuel Rosa, from the Brazilian rock and reggae band Skank. Jittering, insistent horns and layers of percussion push both men to escalate the battle. Juanes lends his soulful croon to first single "La Flaca." It's got an anthemic hook with layers of backing vocals framing Santana's tight and tasty solos.
Los Canarios created an outstanding 73 minute work based on Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Obviously, the music is very Baroque in nature because of the original but Los Canarios's version is much heavier because of the electric instrumentation of a rock band. You may instantly think of ELP's take on Pictures at an Exhibition but Los Canarios take a more refined approach relative to ELP's bombastic and sometimes erratic interpretation. But don't be fooled: Ciclos is a heavy and dynamic work in its own right with plenty of synth and organ work as well as guitar. Ciclos is a classic of the Spanish progressive scene. If you like heavy prog dominated by synth and guitar, check this out.
The debut long-player from the eclectic Austin-based combo, Samsara delivers a rich and hip-shaking amalgam of pop, soul, R&B, funk, gospel, and psychedelic rock. An assured effort, especially for an inaugural release, the 13-track set bristles with intent, yet plays with its quarry like a bored house cat. "Monsters," which evokes the Heavy's "How You Like Me Now" by way of the Fixx's "One Thing Leads to Another," makes for a bold and brawny opener and segues nicely into the like-minded lead single "Testify." Both cuts make a strong case for Los Coast's reputation as a voltaic live band, and allow frontman Trey Pivott, who sounds like an amalgam of Cee Lo Green, Wilson Pickett, and Mystikal, to channel his Southern Baptist upbringing.
This album aims to provide a selection of some of the most representative classic of world music, as well as a selection of recent successes, universalized in version "World". This denomination, we have baptized for the occasion as "The Music of the Gods", provides a spectrum of influences, whose origins are in the most remote places on earth. Sounds, percussion and voices of the Amazon jungles, islands of Borneo and Indonesia or multiple regions of Africa converge here with influences from very different cultures and current rates.