December 30, 2021 Santana – Blessings and Miracles (Album Review)
Santana, the band led by Mexican-American Guitarist/Songwriter Carlos Santana, are one of the best selling acts of all-time. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a multiple Grammy award winner, and a leader in crossing musical genres, they legends with a rich history. First making an impact on the Rock scene at the dawn of the 1970s, Santana yet again blazed into mainstream of younger fans ears back in 1999 with their defining collaborator album Supernatural. An album which saw Santana co-star with a list of hot modern day artists, it was an ingenious idea and now the band is back at it again with a new collaborative collection in 2021, Blessings and Miracles.
Sticking with the topic of Supernatural, Santana has certainly tapped into the collaborative well numerous times since then – 2002’s Shaman, 2005’s All That I Am, and 2014’s Corazón… just to name a few. Each recording session the band picked a unique mix of artists to work with, and Blessings and Miracles is no different. Released on October 15th through BMG Rights Management, some of the guests this go around include Chris Stapleton, Ally Brooke, Corey Glover, Kirk Hammett, Chick Corea, Gayle Moran Corea, Steve Winwood, and yes, Rob Thomas once more.
The band’s 26th overall studio album, Carol himself produced it and the current lineup filling out the wall of sound includes Benny Rietveld (bass), Karl Perazzo (percussion), Andy Vargas (vocals), Tommy Anthony (guitar), David K. Mathews (keyboards), Paoli Mejías (percussion), Cindy Blackman Santana (drums), and Ray Greene (vocals). Consisting of 15 songs that latest just under an hour the fun kicks into gear with the smooth, gentle “Ghost of Future Pull / New Light” before jumping right into the rhythmic “Santana Celebration.” This is followed by electronic leaning “Rumbalero,” a song featuring Asdru Sierra and Carlo’s son Salvador.
Moving on, “Joy” is a heartfelt tune featuring Chris Stapleton on vocals while “Move” features a combo of America Authors along with Rob Thomas. Catchy and rhythmic, it recaptures the magic that Thomas and Santana had 20 years after the hit “Smooth” dominated airwaves. Then bringing on Classic Rock star Steve Winwood, “Whiter Shade of Pale” is a deep, thoughtful song before Alley Brooke joins up for the touching love track “Break,” and Hip Hop cut “She’s Fire” follows with Diane Warren as well as G-Eazy.
Changing it up yet again, strong Rock vibes blast straight into your face with “Peace Power” featuring Living Colour’s Corey Glover. This is before the politically driven “America For Sale” featuring Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and the dreamy “Breathing Underwater” with Avi Snow. Speeding it up once more, “Mother Yes” comes before the more mellow “Song for Cindy,” clearing to honor Carlos’ lovely wife, the colorful instrumental “Angel Choir/All Together” spiced up by Chick Corea and Gayle Moran Corea, before beautiful finale, “Ghost of Future Pull II.”
Overall, lightening strikes once more for Santana. Picking a great cast of collaborators, whether they are contribute their voice or instrumental skills, it all just works so seamlessly. No matter what kind of music you prefer, there is at least one song on Blessings and Miracles that you will enjoy, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives it 5 out of 5 stars.