“Joy,” as its title suggests, is a celebratory, uplifting track, though that euphoria is couched in a heavy, yearning groove that blends elements of reggae, blues, gospel, and country. There is, of course, a characteristically sublime solo from Santana, while Stapleton adds some guitar and handles the vocals: “Joy, rolling like the thunder rumbles/Time to let the teardrops tumble/Listen to the hatred crumble/Now that I have joy.”
In a statement, Santana said, “I was very intrigued to work with Chris. We talked on the phone about the Covid situation and how there’s so much fear in the world, and I said, ‘We need to create music as a healing force. We must bring hope and courage and disinfect twisted minds infected with darkness.’ That gave him the ammunition to write such incredible words. Somewhere I said ‘flying on the wings of angels,’ so it’s a collaboration. And what an incredible song it is. The choir in it — it’s like the Staple Singers.”
“Joy” is the fourth offering from Blessings and Miracles, following collaborations with Diane Warren and G-Eazy, “She’s Fire,” a rendition of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” with Steve Winwood, and “Move,” the long-awaited follow-up to Santana and Rob Thomas’ classic “Smooth” (the new track also features American Authors). Blessings and Miracles follows Santana’s 2019 effort, Africa Speaks, and the record also includes Chick Corea, Rick Rubin, Corey Glover, Kirk Hammett, Ally Brooke, and Narada Michael Walden.