The Spanish title literally translates to ‘heart’ and the compilation could not have earned a more apt moniker. Corazon is all about emotive music and love-kissed melodies underlining conscious lyrics. Even Bob Marley’s rebel anthem, “Iron Lion Zion” is revived and refreshed on the album with Ziggy Marley doing a commendable job of filling his father’s shoes. Santana and Marley are joined here by ChocQuib Town, an afro-Colombian hip-hop group.
Marley manages to capture his father’s infectious spirit in his delivery and the revamped rendition preserves much of the original song’s raw texture. Where the horn section flourishes in the original track, Santana replaces this with his own psychedelic riffs on the guitar and the song is given a colourful new shell.
Of course Santana’s prowess on the guitar is the wind that guides the album’s impressive sails and his band expertly creates an aural panorama that highlights his gifted fingers while adding something of lush complexity to the albums sonic backdrop. Santana has always been a multicultural band even since the original group formed back in 1967 as the Carlos Santana Blues band. Its chicano/blues rock sound with its innate Latin flavour is typically enhanced with African rhythms and jazz inflections.
Corazon carries much of this same fusion sound that has brought Santana acclaim with the same skill and creative genius that has secured the band’s place among the pantheon of timeless musicians in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Supernatural has been Santana’s most successful release to date with a tally of nine Grammy wins and selling over 30 million copies. The album’s commercial success was partly owed to the fact that it featured some of the more promising young musicians of its time including Lauryn Hill, Cee Lo Green and r&b duo The Product G&B.
Corazon also tapped into this era’s diverse well of young talent with pop-funk rockstar Miguel, joining Ziggy Marley alongside a talented Latin cast which includes Pitbull, Gloria Estefan and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
“Indy” carries a stripped-back, soft-rock, jazz groove and captures both Santana and Miguel in their elements. Miguel’s smooth crooning and Santana’s scintillating riffs are locked in bewitching synchronicity and the singer delivers a distinguished contemporary r&b performance.
Gloria Estefan and Santana team up again and the two veterans demonstrate why both their names are etched indelibly in music history. Estefan’s “Besos de Lejos” (Kisses from Afar) is one of those memorable Spanish songs that you can connect with even if you don’t understand the lyrics and Romeo Santos also delivers a similarly stirring performance in “Margarita”.
The album brings to light the immense pool of talent that is present on the Latin music scene and gives listeners just a taste of what they have to offer. Samuel Rosa’s “Sadiero” and the flamenco flavoured “Una Noche en Napoles”, which features a gifted female cast in Lila Downs, Nina Pastori and Soledad, will both make you want to learn some Latin dance moves.
It’s a given that when a band like Santana releases an album there is going to be exceptional instrumentals but the album also highlights a cohesive production in that the vocal performances are just as alluring and the two come together seamlessly.
It was recently announced that Santana will be joining Wyclef Jean and Shakira in Rio De Janeiro for the World Cup’s much anticipated closing ceremony to be held on July 13. No matter what songs the musician decides to pull from his extensive repertoire, television viewers and the live audience alike can rest assured that they are in for a treat.