New Santana Album "Africa Speaks"

Santana has a new album out; since it's not quite jazz, and I'm not sure if it's Rock, I'll just throw it up for grabs and see who likes it.

Africa Speaks is inspired by music from the continent of Africa, and has been called a "unique fusion of rock, Latin and jazz". Many of the album's tracks were recorded in one take. The album features vocals from Spanish singer Buika.

Africa Speaks was released on June 7, 2019 by Concord Records and Suretone Records, but this is the first time I've seen it on "you-tube"

Since it has been hard for me to find anything by Santana that I didn't like, I'll refrain from expressing my biased opinion.

What do you think?

Showing 6 responses by millercarbon

Until and unless someone trustworthy tells me Santana has stopped compressing their music to death and gone back to the days of dynamically interesting albums like Abraxas, I will take a pass.

The closest anyone above comes is, "Don’t know why, but Africa Speaks took me right back to 1967." But that could mean anything.

Seriously, no one even thinks to comment on the way a once great talent completely sold out to the dark side? On an audiophile site? Circling the drain, we are.
Orpheus10, apparently not following his own thread asks:
"Seriously, no one even thinks to comment on the way a once great talent completely sold out to the dark side? On an audiophile site? Circling the drain, we are."
Millercarbon, could you expand, and expound on that statement; I didn’t understand what you meant?

The reason I say "apparently not following his own thread" is a couple others besides me have made the same point. You missed it, and may regret asking, but I am more than happy to expand and expound. 

Ever stop to ask yourself what exactly it is about the very best music that makes it the very best music? Maybe you have. Then again maybe not. Even if you have though I bet the one idea that never came to mind was it walks the thin line between order and chaos.

Order, because there’s rhythm. But nobody wants to hear a metronome, so we introduce a little chaos. Change it up a little. Syncopation. Tempo. Whatever. Melody, we repeat but just enough, not too much. So we have a chorus, see? Neil Diamond comes along, what is so freaking good about Done Too Soon? Its a unique song structure unlike any other. Go on, listen, you will see.

Got it? No? Dynamics. Volume. Even the best melody, most fascinating lyrics, you name it, nobody is gonna want to listen if it just drones on and on and on never varying in volume. That is not even music then. Its noise.

Which brings us to Santana. Check it out. What this is telling you is they compressed the hell out of it. (And notice, the LP compressed less than CD- and I thought records lacked dynamic range? So much for that old trope!)

Abraxas is famously good music. Was listening to it just the other night. One can’t hear this on my system and not feel Santana’s mastery over the power in that electric guitar as he takes a note from barely audible to skull searing and back again so fast you’re like did that really happen? Compare that to Supernatural or Africa, where the whole damn album from track to track every millisecond is just skull searing loud. Noise. Not music. Noise. What you have when you compress it this much. Abomination. 

Why? Now we get to the sell out. A lot of music is still played on car radios and other formats where people are doing lots of distracting stuff while absent mindedly searching and randomly switching for something cool to go in the background. Pretty much the opposite of what audiophiles do, which is why its so dismally circling the drain that hardly anyone here gets this and I have to expand and expound on what ought to be manifestly evident. Because Carlos Santana gave in to the dark side, let the producers compress his music into noise, all to get the fleeting attention of the short attention span crowd in order to sell them a few more copies of noise.

Well, you asked. So there you go.
Especially when they attempt musical analysis and philosophize about musical matters in incoherent ways; then, go on to focus on the after-the-fact “compression” of the music which is a production value and ultimately has little to do with the artistic merit of the artist’s message.

Two questions: 

1) Incoherent? Where? 

2) The artists message. Where is this message? Other than in the compressed music. Please explain.
Right. You won't find a lot of free thinkers here I'm afraid, rockysantor, its mostly a special snowflake/NPC kinda crowd here. If this really is one of those not a citizen of any country collectivist claptrap type deals that's just one more reason to give it a pass. On top of what we already know about how bad it sounds. 

Oh, good Lord!

Deep in the jungle
Beyond the reach of greed
You hear the voices of spiritsWith their frequency of light
Making sounds like the crackling of stars at night
Communicating with plants, animals, and mankind
Affirming the universal truth
All and everything was conceived here in Africa
The cradle of civilization
The few make it worth the effort. You’ll just have to trust me on this. I get PM’s. Difficult as it may be to fathom, hard as it may be to swallow, there are other people with other points of view, people who don’t care all that much for being preached at, but neither do they appreciate snotty comments like yours, so they keep quiet. Not me. So snark away. Take it as a badge of honor, I do.