Santana - All That I Am EP
Santana returns with another collection of tracks featuring a range of vocalists to compliment his music. His biggest hits in recent times, and those that got the whole collaboration ball rolling were with Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) and Wyclef (Fugees). His new album 'All That I Am' follows a similar path to that of 'Supernatural' and this EP is a snapshot of what we can expect.
Here the guitarist is teaming up with Aerosmith frontman Stephen Tyler, Joss Stone and Sean Paul, Will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas, Mary J blige and Big Boi from Outkast and some soul bloke called Anthony Hamilton who may or may not be the snooker player.
The best way to describe this is intriguing. 'Just Feel Better', with Steven Tyler on vocals does sound a little bit Bon Jovi, which is no bad thing, and this is actually the best on here by some way. 'Cry baby Cry', with Sean Paul rambling his way through and Joss Stone making her presence known during the chorus is essentially an R n' B track, but with the distinctive Santana classic guitar solos throughout, making this more than just your average bland R n' B tune.
Unfortunately the guitar solos can't save 'My Man' featuring Mary J Blige and Big Boi from that fate, as it's the least exciting of the five. Sandwiched in between the two is 'I Am Somebody' with Will.i.am, which is the one track that moves away from what you might expect from the guest vocalist, as it is more Scissor Sisters style disco than Black Eyed Peas R n' B.
The EP closes with another fairly unremarkable song, where Santana is working with Anthony Hamilton. This is a little more reggae based but still doesn't really stick in the mind.
Basicly what Santana is doing is getting a load of artist he likes, creating music that is exactly what you'd expect from those artists, and playing all over them to give it the Carlos touch. I would imagine they'll be some who don't get this but ideally this is an EP for people who are as open minded about pop music as he is. A bit too heavy on the R n' B thing for my liking but 'Just Feel Better' is excellent and is a well justified lead song.
All this said though, this man has a career that spans four decades, has sold over one hundred million records and his new album will be his thirty eighth, so really he can do what he damn well likes and has the recruiting power to work with who he likes. It's hardly going to make any difference what you or I think of it.