Short Cuts

311, Harry Chapin, Santana

"Love of My Life," a jazzy, love ballad duet with Matthews, rolls along softly and melodically before bursting into a fiery salsa jam. "Put Your Lights On," a duet with hip-hop artist Everlast, has commercial success written all over it. Santana injects potent lead lines between acoustic guitar rhythms and the scratchy low voice of Everlast to produce a ballad with a dark and damp feel. "Smooth," featuring the vocals of Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, and "Maria Maria," produced by Wyclef Jean and featuring the vocals of the Product G&B, are both spiced with a heavy dose of Latin flavor. Other tracks on the disc are reminiscent of Santana's earlier work, which should satisfy his longstanding followers.

And finally, imagine for a minute Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain playing a game of pickup basketball together. Sweet, huh? Well, Supernatural provides the guitar equivalent to that fantasy as Santana collaborates with Eric Clapton on a bluesy track titled "The Calling." With few words and a lot of heavenly picking, the song is an appropriate way to end a divine effort. -- David Norrie

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