Some artists simply don’t require an introduction. Santana is one of them. And considering his latest release, Guitar Heaven, is an album of covers of classic rock songs, the songs themselves don’t really require an introduction either. The magic of this record is that it maintains a steady flavor throughout despite adding subtle inflections of seasoning with the help of collaborators including Chris Cornell, Jacoby Shaddix, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, Joe Cocker and Chester Bennington.

Classic rock purists might not be overly keen to hear the lurid vocals of rapper Nas on “Back To Black,” but with an open mind, this turns out to be one of the highlights of the whole album. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, who provided the vocals for Santana’s hugely successful single “Smooth” in 1999 triumphantly returns here to lay down the vocal on “Sunshine of Your Love,” which although fairly similar to the original, also has a slightly more funky latin feel introduced with a nifty little percussive rhythm.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is undeniably a beautiful song, and India.Arie’s sultry voice captures the essence perfectly, while Yo-Yo Ma furnishes the backing track with a cello part that provides a musically picturesque vista.

After decades of collaborations, Carlos Santana has this down to an art. He knows how to work with other artists’ sounds and fuse them with his own to make something that is both fresh and familiar. Guitar Heaven is just that; it’s fun, it’s slick, and thoroughly enjoyable.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Whole Lotta Love (feat. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden)
02. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (feat. Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots)
03. Sunshine of Your Love (feat. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty)
04. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (feat. India.Arie & Yo-Yo Ma)
05. Photograph (feat. Chris Daughtry of Daughtry)
06. Back in Black (feat. Nas & Robyn Troup)
07. Riders on the Storm (feat. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park & Ray Manzarek)
08. Smoke on the Water (feat. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach)
09. Dance the Night Away (feat. Pat Monahan of Train)
10. Bang a Gong (feat. Gavin Rossdale of Bush)
11. Little Wing (feat. Joe Cocker)
12. I Ain’t Superstitious (feat. Jonny Lang)

Run Time: 54:58
Release Date: 09.21.2010