SANTANA — Welcome (review)

SANTANA — Welcome album cover Album · 1973 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Slartibartfast
Santana made such a fine jazz/rock album with Caravanserai, Welcome may have been a bit of a disappointment with his j/r oriented fans. But maybe a return to form for his pop fans. The LP got a decent amount of play around the house when I was in my teens. My older brother and mother were big Santana fans at the time. My sister has subsequently become one. My wife is a fan of the really early stuff and the latter stuff. One big Santanarama family. I didn't really latch on to it in the LP era when I first caught ear of it. I've come to appreciate it more now that I've picked up the remastered CD.

The opening track, Going Home, is really promising. Has a nice symphonic sound to it. It's followed a more pop track (with vocals, of course), Love, Devotion, and Surrender. The album starts a pattern of alternating between commercially appealing vocal tracks and really good instrumentals. The album really delivers at the end. Flame-Sky with John McLaughlin piece stands out in particular. A nice jam, and if you like that you need to check out Love, Devotion, and Surrender, the Santana/McLaughlin duo album released in the same year.

With the remaster, you also get a bonus track, Mantra. Another really good instrumental piece.

All in all, a really joyous album, with no dark moments. Well, maybe the lovey dovey songs a bit in a perverse kind of way. Still an interesting progression from the first three albums, yet as always, distinctively, Santana.
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