Review: Carlos Santana – Shape Shifter

Review: Carlos Santana – Shape Shifter

Santana – Shape Shifter
Track Listing:
1.) Shape Shifter
2.) Never the Same Again
3.) Nomad
4.) In the Light of a New Day
5.) Mr. Szabo
6.) Angelica Faith
7.) Canela
8.) Ah, Sweet Dancer
9.) Eres la Luz
10.) Dom
11.) Macumba in Budapest
12.) Metatron
13.) Spark of the Divine

The Pier Album Rating:

Record Label: Starfaith Records
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Official Website: Santana’s Website

Group Background:
For over fifty-years and over 100-million records sold, Carlos Santana has been a global icon of guitar enthusiasts and music lovers alike. Santana is a pioneer, playing professionally since 1964, and releasing 35 albums along his long journey to musical glory. Now, Santana has something new for his worldwide fan base to grin about.

Shape Shifter is a collection of Carlos Santana’s finer work with his recognizable virtuoso guitar on this particular instrumental project, which has been long awaited by die-hard fans. Like every album with the Santana name attached, he conceived the album’s sequence as thoughtfully as its track selection. Santana has long been making music that breaks through all cultural and language barriers, and Shape Shifter has followed suit, once again.

Album Review:
Before picking up Carlos Santana’s 36th studio album, the listener is in a difficult position. With a Hall of Fame career as a storied guitarist and memorable composer, all predetermined impressions of Santana’s illustrious ability needs to be erased. At least, that theory should be in place to analyze the album in a proper setting. Try to start the album with a blank canvas. Within the first two minutes of Santana’s opening track on Shape Shifter, every recollection of his talents, as well as his all-star backing crew, paints a portrait that would rival the mastery of Picasso’s brush. Carlos Santana takes the listener on a roller-coaster through the neck of his six-string guitar, and the only thing going through your mind is, “can I go again?” Luckily, the intensely wild ride continues on for nine more tracks.

There is not much that you can say about Carlos Santana, his career speaks for itself, and for this particular album, the singing is more prevalent from his guitar, rather than actual voices. The idea of shaping the word with music has never been heard in such a clear tone. Other bands utilize guitars, bass lines and keyboards to emphasize the lyrics, for Santana’s Shape Shifter, the instruments are the lyrics. It is music for all seasons and all emotions for every region of the globe.

Shape Shifter was inspired and recorded with the purpose of giving a musical tribute to all the original inhabitants of the world, specifically the Native Americans. There is overflowing passion, from track to track. Starting with the native chants in the opening bars of title track, “Shape Shifter”, to the stomping bongo beats on “Macumba in Budapest”. Listeners will not only feel like they are walking through all centuries of time, but also feel the emotion of each musical setting. Each album track feels all encompassing, but the travels and melodious messages ring true throughout.

To be clear, this is an album for all musical taste buds and preferences. Santana shows the group’s range with electronically and synth infused track “Dom”, along with the lone song featuring lyrics, “Eres La Luz”. However, for this album, it is difficult to try and pry one song out from the entire ten-track album. The true definition of a great musical masterpiece is when no song stands alone. If one song was excluded or left alone, perhaps the flow would not appear as smooth. And, with Santana’s guitar, the journey remained sincerely smooth, polished and precise, one track after another.

Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]