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Classic Album Review: Santana | Supernatural

The Latino guitar hero welcomes an all-star cast to this superb landmark release.

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Now that Latin artists from Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez to Molotov and Café Tacuba are cashing in, it seems only fair for Carlos Santana to get a slice of the pie.

After all, he (along with Ritchie Valens, of course) pretty much singlehandedly pioneered the whole rock en Español thing decades years ago with hits like Oye Como Va? And he still does it just as well on the superb Supernatural, his first studio album in five years. Aided by a roster including Dave Matthews, Everlast, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas and Eric Clapton, Santana applies his unmistakable, ice-pick axe-work to groovy pop-rock, alt-folky salsa, Beckish tropicalia and even flamenco-tinged hip-hop. And even if the who’s who cast does make Supernatural feel like a tribute disc at times, that’s OK. If anyone’s earned one, it’s Santana.