Album Mini-review: Santana — Santana IV
File next to: El Chicano, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix
After decades of spotty, sometimes less-than-inspired albums (not to mention underwhelming guest spots and collaborations), Carlos Santana has reassembled most of his Woodstock-era band’s lineup to create an album that picks up right where they left off in 1971. The Latin/African vibe key to Santana’s appeal is vibrant and alive throughout Santana IV. “Anywhere You Want to Go” sounds like a lost tune from 1971. The group often channels that bygone era: parts of “Yambu” suggest Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Throughout, the guitars of Santana and Neal Schon are on fire, and Michael Shrieve‘s brutal yet finessed drumming is at the heart of all the songs. Greg Rolie‘s organ, piano and vocals sound and feel familiar in the best possible way, and Karl Perazzo does an admirable job of evoking the original group’s peerless percussion. Thomas Wolfe be damned: sometimes you can go home again.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.