Classic-rock reunions are often a question mark: a point illustrated by the return of this early ’70s Santana lineup. In the liner notes, Carlos Santana writes that he felt “a higher calling to reunite the molecules of the original band.” He’s right when it comes to the adrenaline added by guitarist Neal Schon, who’d gone on to form Journey. But there’s a strange disconnect between spiritually infused Latin-rock jams that rightly invoke this group’s heyday and songs burdened with tawdry, testosterone-filled lyrics from singer-keyboardist Gregg Rolie (another Journey founder), who plunges to embarrassing depths on “Anywhere You Want to Go” (“hey baby, what’s your name, come on over . . . and sit on my lap”). Ronald Isley sings two songs in a more hippie-speak style, but the best songs are instrumentals: notably “Fillmore East,” a psychedelic time warp with a drums-and-space excursion à la the Grateful Dead. The album includes 16 new songs, so if you’re a fan you’ll find enough to like. But finding a new lyricist should be a higher calling.
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