Santana
Abraxas


5.0
classic

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
May 8th, 2012 | 37 replies | 6,895 views


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "You got your spell on me, baby…"

There is an essence of allure that exudes from the content of Abraxas. The music is jubilant, with a mesmerizing melody that entices the listener into a sensation of musical ecstasy. We open with "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts", immediately it induces a trancing atmosphere to set the mood, a seductive ambience decorated in sensual mysticism. And just as the music has us succumbing to its will, when we give up all restrain and let our senses sink deeper and deeper into the trance, all of its arousing teases reach their purpose. It was all just a build up into the album's highlight, "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen". This is Carlos Santana and his band exploring all of the possibilities within musical hypnotism. The music of "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" flourishes with sensuality, delicate in nature yet it induces an irresistible magnetism.

As we progress further into Abraxas, we find that it is very versatile within its mood, containing moments of both delicacy and aggressiveness. The music has a very lively texture, amalgamating the rhythmic grooves of traditional Latin music with the enthusiasm for instrumental improvisations that are found in Jazz. "Oye Como Va" marks the beginning of the more elevated side of the album. It has a Salsa like rhythm that gives it a feeling of looseness, almost encouraging the listener to dance to it's melody. "Incident at Neshabur" and "Hope You're Feeling Better" represent the more aggressive side of Abraxas, displaying instrumental eruptions of passionate dexterity from the musicians. "Incident at Neshabur" is a much more elaborate piece because it is composed of two contrasting sections. The song immediately takes us into an invigorated jam, wasting no precious time in properly introducing us to the piece, Abraxas chooses to instead bombard us with a truly dynamic Jazz Fusion display. Initially presenting itself as wild and eccentric, the music continues to build up momentum as it deploys solo after solo. And then, all of a sudden, "Incident at Neshabur" relinquishes all aspirations of ferociousness and instead flourishes into a mellifluous bossa nova ending. It's quite marvelous how flawlessly "Incident at Neshabur" was able to pull-off such a surprise in its change of pace, and it really shows just how suspenseful this album can be.

"Hope You're Feeling Better" is an entirely different kind of breed. This song is one of the few moments that Abraxas gets to be 100% rock and roll. Carlos Santana's roaring guitar antics are drenched in distortion for added volume and intensity. Keyboardist and vocalist, Gregg Rolie, does a fantastic job augmenting Carlos Santana with his organ ornaments and his awfully bluesy tone of voice. "Hope You're Feeling Better" is quite frankly one of the finest moments of the album because while all the other songs frequently stand on the boundary of genres so as to easily transcend into another form at a moment's notice, "Hope You're Feeling Better" drops all of the experimental tendencies to deliver a traditional, but still as captivating, rock performance. Abraxas, as a whole, is a truly impressive album because it unionizes many different musical genres. The intensity of Hard rock, the lengthy instrumental passages of Jazz, the melodious dancing elements of Salsa, and even the decorative surrealism of Psychedelia- It is all coalesced with such confidence and precision that even with all of the constant genre-hopping, the album's transitions all manage to fluctuate so naturally. In conclusion, Abraxas is a classic. And it will remain as such, forever to be enjoyed by generations to come.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ThroneOfAgony
May 7th 2012



3485 Comments


great review. this is some good stuff

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2012



4334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Throne. Yeah this is a fun album.

Cells
May 7th 2012



1875 Comments


sweet review, album is indeed a classic.

Ire
May 7th 2012



41453 Comments


my cool aunt met santana 10 years ago in an elevator and she was a big fan so she asked for an autograph and he was like "noooo i am 2 busy" so she was like wtf and then he was ugh and drew a stupid looking guitar on a napkin and she was like fuck off fag you're not even that good you fat balding poseur sellout


true story

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2012



4334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Ire

Wow, that is very rude of him. I saw Liam Gallagher from Oasis once at a store in London. I was with my girlfriend at the time
who was from America and she loved Oasis, so she went up to him just to say hi. as she approached him, he literally without
even looking at her said "Fuck off." Celebrities can be pretty smug, though i suppose they get bugged all time and that could
take it's toll.

Hep Kat
May 7th 2012



13999 Comments


well liam gallagher is well known to be a complete asshole. noel too

also this is an awesome album

Digging: Casanovas In Heat - Belvidere b/w Destiny St.

iFghtffyrdmns
May 7th 2012



7047 Comments


amalgamating

now that's my kind of word
sweet

fageren
May 7th 2012



23 Comments


good review

CaptainDooRight
May 8th 2012



26351 Comments


Sup bro haven't jammed Santana in days. Maybe ur my
Motivating factor maybe indeed. I love the variety of albums you've reviewing as of late and as any other postanovich the third

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



4334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Captain
I heard Black Magic Woman on the classic rock radio station today, then it got stuck on my head so i decided to review the album. It's a Jazzy Psych Rock album so it kind of fits with the Prog phase you've been having lately.

CaptainDooRight
May 8th 2012



26351 Comments


Hell yeah bro so u know I'm gonna check it. The phase is still going strong indeed

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I always said I have to check this guy's early work but I never took the time to actually do it. I am downloading this right now. Great review man! Pos. How long does it take to write this shorter type of review ?

Digging: Amplifier - Echo Street

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is really good, I love it.

Imperial
May 8th 2012



1681 Comments


Abraxas ft. Chad Kroeger.

ZedO
May 8th 2012



1096 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Whoa, signore Santana, I only heard few of his LPs, especially LPs that released in 90s and next...
btw, pos

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

From what I've heard of his early career it's great. Supernatural is a huge fail.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



4334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Insomniac
It took me 4 hours, though not consistently I worked on and off on it. My reviews have been getting really short lately. I've been experiencing a writer's block.
As for Santana, i like his earlier stuff, but his most recent work are not very good. but that's just me.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe it would help you to step aside a few days and focus on other things.
Santana's collaborations have no value unlike this material.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



4334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, this is probably my last review for a good while, unless inspiration strikes. I think he "peaked" too soon. I mean he has some good stuff in his latter albums but theyre weak compared to his first two. but this is my opinion, of course.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have yet to listen to a big part of his work, but the early stuff is really good. Caravanserai is another gem in his discography, also Santana and Santana III are amazing. These are the ones I've listened to so far.



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