When I received this CD, on the (broken!) CD case is a sticker proclaiming that the album has been 20 years in the making.
I have been waiting much longer than that for this!
One Amazon reviewer has shared his opinion that Santana fans are not waiting for an album like this. I could not disagree more.
Granted, if a Santana album means to you an endless supply of guest artists, radio edits and ego boosting name checks every 30 seconds, then maybe this album is not for you. Never mind, if you quickly turn on MTV something will be along in the next 5 minutes that will be the next big thing.
If you longed for a Santana album of old, maybe your wait is now over. Granted, there may nothing of the quality of Samba Pa Ti, Europa or Toussaint L'Overture, to name but 3, however there is much to love here.
Only one track has vocals, but years ago, when I first started listening to Santana, instrumentals seemed to be more common than vocals anyway.
So sit back and enjoy the music!
I would agree that the album art is not great, and it would be nice to know which musicians played on which track, but that is a small complaint.
This album might not win 10 Grammys or be as commercially successful as Supernatural, but for me it is a great return to form. Is it a retrograde step? No. It is a brave move to turn away from a proven format (although less successful for each successive album)back to just him and the band.
Santana albums at times seem to go in 3's-( the Latin rock influenced Santana, Abraxas, Santana 3; Jazz fusion Caravanserai, Borboletta and Welcome; guest artist led Supernatural, Shamen, All That I Am ). If this is the case here, then I will be a very happy fan for the next few years. Who knows, he may even turn his back on London's o2 and return to the Hammersmith Odeon!