Album: Santana, Shape Shifter (Starfaith/Sony)

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The Independent Culture

Caramba! Certainly not Caravanserai.

This is the album you always suspected Carlos had inside him – a meditative programme of instrumental, mid-tempo melodic rock arranged in carpet-warehouse-friendly squares of synthesized harmony and strings. Yes, it is lent colour by its "spiritual" affinities and the occasional outbreak of bongos – but these are passing moments. Mostly it's clichéd Pelion heaped on cheesy Ossa in a mountain range of sickly gestures.