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Shape Shifter

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iTunes Review

After years of inviting various vocalists to accompany his six-string wizardry, Carlos Santana returns to form with 2012’s Shape Shifter, which lets his guitar do the singing. The title track sets the mood with a homage to Native American culture. The sounds of wild animals play alongside some brief chanting before rootsy instruments gradually build under Santana’s trademark leads: a blend of Latin styles played through classic rock guitar distortion. From the get-go, it’s evident that the man’s musicianship has aged well. Chester Thompson’s Hammond B-3 organ playing makes for perfect accompaniment here and throughout. He knows when to lean back and when to take the lead, balancing the call-and-response jamming without upstaging the star. Dramatic string arrangements in the following “Dom” spotlight Santana’s prowess as a composer (he arranged and produced much of Shape Shifter). The standout “Mr. Szabo” pays tribute to the influential Gábor Szabó, a Hungarian guitarist whose '60s albums are well worth searching out.

Customer Reviews

Santana is back!!

Back to that True Santana groove…..Glad all the singers are gone! Great CD.

This record is a true return to form, just like it is advertised.

If you love the earlier recordings of Carlos getting inside the note and melodies that take you on a journey, then this record is for you. The upbeat songs are driving and great for any mix or workout and the mellow grooves are just perfect for intimate moments and setting a great mood. I love the peaks and valleys of this record. I recommend this album to anyone who loves Santana, Jeff Beck, SRV, Henrdix, etc.. Music from the heart for the heart.

Los cueros! me llaman! Los cueros! Me llaman!

Heard all the tracks today. i really miss that primal hypnotic groove. Conga, bongo, campana, timbal, shekere, afro cuban call-response….soulful organ topped off with sizzling blues guitar licks!


Formed: 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Santana is the primary exponent of Latin-tinged rock, particularly due to their combination of Latin percussion (congas, timbales, etc.) with bandleader Carlos Santana's distinctive, high-pitched lead guitar playing. The group was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s. The musical direction then changed to a more contemplative and jazzy style as the band's early personnel...
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