As he proved in 1969 with "Soul Sacrifice" and frequently thereafter, Carlos Santana doesn't need lyrics to make eloquent music. This largely instrumental debut release on his own label has moments of shit-hot playing (see the smeared runs on "Metatron"). But the arrangements, oversweetened with too many synthesizers, lean toward lite jazz. Maybe fellow Latin-rock visionaries the Mars Volta could sign on for Volume Two?
Listen to 'Shape Shifter':
• Photos: Random Notes