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Santana: Guitar Heaven, The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time

by on September 30, 2010

7.2/10

First off, I must make it known that I was raised on Santana; some of my earliest memories were listening to Santana absolutely shred on the guitar while my mother and I sang along with the lyrics.  Santana is and always will be a guitar God, a musical genius, and, most of all, an inspiration to aspiring Hispanic musicians that they can make it. That being said. I regretfully say that Guitar Heaven, unfortunately, falls very short of its titled status.

Being that this is the first review The Sonic Flow has done of Santana, I will make it short with very little historical context on Santana, in the attempt to withhold praise for another album that deserves it…

Quite Basically, Guitar Heaven is a cover album which spans some of the greatest songs, by some of the greatest bands, of all time, including: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Cream, etc. I am generally not a fan of covers, I am of the belief that when a song is great it should be untouched and put on a pedestal for further generations to admire; with the exception of live concerts, where anything goes! Yes, there are many loopholes to my “anti-cover” rule, “All Along the Watchtower”, created by Bob Dylan, later perfected by Hendrix, is the first that comes to mind; however, it must be stated that Hendrix covered the song before it had ever been released in the first place. Let’s just say that in general, I’m very iffy about them.

Guitar Heaven is hit and miss. It brings some singers of great title to the plate such as Chris Cornell singing “Whole Lotta Love”, originally a bad-ass he is currently a sell-out; don’t get me started. Other artists include, but are not limited to, Nas, Scott Weiland, Rob Thomas, Chris Daughtry, and Joe Cocker.

Guitar Heaven is entertaining at best. Some of the songs are pretty catchy, and Santana does show of his guitar prowess, but often those guitar solos fall short due to the songs musical surrounding; at times it’s a struggle just remember to listen to what’s playing. There are some good moments to this album, I really do enjoy Nas’ take on “Back in Black”, and some of the other covers are nice to hear, if not just to know what they’d sound if they were “modernized”.

To judge Santana is to judge a key player in all the music I know and love today. Guitar Heaven is a nice reminder that Santana is out there and he still has all of the talent he ever had.

-Sonic

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