Guitar Heaven, by Carlos Santana

There are two worthy new versions of rock classics on Carlos Santana's latest compilation album: one is a tag-team take of Carlos on his soaring guitar and Rob Thomas on guest vocal, recapturing and possibly surpassing Cream's greatest hit, "The Sunshine of Your Love"; the other is "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," about which Olivia Harrison reportedly told Santana, "It made me jump for joy." It is sung beautifully by India Arie and features the guitarist covering George Harrison's memorable riffs with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The remainder of the album, however, is disappointing. Music marketing wiz Clive Davis couples Santana with brand-name guests — Joe Cocker, Chris Daughtry, Jonny Lang — but they can't save the listener from the poor song choices and often muddy sound. Davis tried to sell the sizzle rather then the steak, hyping Def Leppard's "Photograph" and Van Halen's "Dance the Night Away" as great guitar classics and including Nas rapping AC/DC classic "Back in Black," which just leaves a bad taste in one's ear.

  • Album: Guitar Heaven (2010)
  • Artist: Carlos Santana
  • Label: Arista
  • Songs: (1) Whole Lotta Love (2) Can't You Hear Me Knocking (3) The Sunshine of Your Love (4) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (5) Photograph (6) Back in Black (7) Riders on the Storm (8) Smoke on the Water (9) Dance the Night Away (10) Bang a Gong (11) Little Wing (12) I Ain't Superstitious

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