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SANTANA Multi Dimensional Warrior 2-CD Sony (2008)


Another compilation, I hear you mutter. Well this time, the Moustachioed One himself has had a hand, remixing and overdubbing some tracks. The emphasis is now on the spiritual and instrumental. And for the first time it brings together material recorded for several labels.

There have been umpteen compilations from the moustachioed one and this 2-CD set duplicates most of them. However for a fresher take on the band's output - and for the unconverted - it does provide a new take on back catalogue.

I first got into Santana with 'III' in the early seventies, revelling in that terrific guitar interplay with Neal Schon, but my interest tailed off in the eighties and beyond as Santana hobnobbed with all and sundry musically and sometimes missed the plot. (This aspect admirably summarised on the 2007 release 'Ultimate Santana').

The two well documented CDs presented here demonstrate that, whilst Santana's guitar style is maybe too samey for some ears, he is a master of melody. And with fluid guitar figures dancing around verse/chorus/verse nobody does it better.

This is a good way of catching up on those eighties and nineties albums you may have missed (among them, 'Beyond Appearances' (1985), 'Milagro' (1993) and 'Brothers' (1994)), and for topping up the iPod, but - as with the original albums - overall, it's a patchy and ultimately illusory experience.


Review by David Randall

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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