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Home > Music

Ceremony? A funeral more like.

"Ladies and gents, turn up your sound system to the sound of Carlos Santana..."

- Wyclef Jean

25 January 2004

He can't honestly think it's any good.

He can't.

It's embarrassing: one of the greatest guitarists of all time doing barely glorified session work.

The album is called Ceremony: Remixes and Rarities - and it's not very good. Only one track, Curación, even vaguely stands up. It is a nice, sumptuous, film-tracky twiddle: you can just imagine it wafting behind the bit in the film where the hero has a crisis of confidence and tosses a stone glumly into the lake before pulling himself together and confronting the evil property developer and his cronies.

The solo on Victory is Won is quite fun, but it's drowned in a Latin slush puppy. The rest of the album sucks like a pump.

Let Me Love You Tonight sounds like a Peter Andre cast-off. The Wyclef remix of Maria Maria is positively harmful to the ear and brain. And Track 4 (Foo Foo), sounds like a Majorcan hotel band has hired quite a good guitarist by accident. The other musicians are wondering if they're going to have to pay him extra because the hotel guests think he's quite cool and keep requesting Black Magic Woman.

Overall, this is exactly the problem with the album: Carlos Santana has been reduced to a twiddly attachment to a pointless mush of music. If you're a born twiddler, like Carlos, you've got to be integrated within a great band, or you stick out like a Formula One spoiler on a Ford Fiesta.

As a whole, Ceremony is a flaccid, diluting addition to the oeuvre of a master. Unworthy to be mentioned in the same breath as Caravanserai or Abraxas, the whole album could usefully be traded for the baseline alone of Hong Kong Boogie or six seconds of A Life Divine from Love Devotion Surrender.

Or a cup of tea. A cup of tea would be much nicer.

More music on the ACME music blog.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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