“Blessings and Miracles” Santana Album Review

posted October 25, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Jon Mead

With a career spanning almost 50 decades, Latin rock group Santana released their newest studio album “Blessings and Miracles.”

Formed in San Francisco in 1966 by Mexican American guitarist Carlos Santana, this band remains one of the most influential with a sound that contains elements of jazz, blues and psychedelic rock.

Santana played a huge role in bringing Latin and Chicano rock to the masses, especially with Carlos Santana’s distinct and signature technique.

They made their mark with their iconic 1969 appearance at Woodstock and would reach more commercial success with releases such as their self-titled album “Santana,” “Abraxas” and “Santana III.”

Over the years founder, Carlos Santana has remained the only consistent group band member.

Music listeners may recognize some of the group’s greatest hits such as “Smooth” with Rob Thomas, “Maria, Maria” and “Oye Como Va.”

With this latest LP, it seems that Santana takes a more pop-infused approach, with the addition of many featured artists.

The first tracks “Ghost of Future Pull/ New Light” and “Santana Celebration,” will take listeners back to that unpolished and purely Latin rock sound of his debut album.

The gentle sounds of Carlos Santa’s guitar, the piano and the sound of chimes greet the listeners’ ears, something sure to hype the audience up for a thorough and cohesive experience.

The result and later progression throughout the record is quite disappointing though.

Santana makes the same mistake it made before with all its newer LPs in “Blessings and Miracles,” and that’s the oversaturation of guest artists.

Each song is very hit or miss, and the whole tracklist is inconsistent and all over the place. Chris Stapelton’s vocals go well with Santa’s wailing guitar riffs and Rob Thomas’ appearance came as a major surprise.

But “Move” was way too poppy and wasn’t as eye-catching as other songs Thomas has appeared in.

The thing about this band is that it makes the same mistake as other older bands and their newer works, and that’s smashing two opposite genres together and expecting them to go over well.

“She’s Fire” is a prime example of this in that G-Eazy's rap and heavy beats completely overpower everything else in the song, it just comes off as dorky and repetitive.

Although not the greatest album, the last two songs ‘Song for Cindy” and “Angel Choir/ All Together” audiences may like.

The thing about bands is that they evolve throughout their duration and that can be an amazing thing, experimenting with new genres, lyrics, instruments, switching out band members and even a new or unheard-of collaboration.

When their work is inconsistent and just mashed together though it doesn’t come outright, and that’s what makes this LP so disappointing.

Rating: 5/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Track: “Ghost of Future Pull/ New Light”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Tracks: “Move” and “She’s Fire”

Jon Mead is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jkm6040@psu.edu.

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