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Corazón (Santana album)

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Corazón is the twenty-second studio album (thirty-seventh album overall) by Santana, released on May 6, 2014.

Produced by Lester Mendez, the album features collaborations with various singers like Gloria Estefan, Ziggy Marley and Cindy Blackman.

„La Flaca“ featuring Juanes, the first single from the album was released in November 2013. The album was certified double platinum in the Latin by the RIAA for shipping over 120,000 copies in the United States; furthermore, it has sold over 95,000 copies in the country according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album received mixed to positive reviews by critics. Rolling Stone’s Will Hermes considered the album a Latin pop version of Supernatural and that its music „remains an unmistakable, undeniable sound“. Thom Jurek from AllMusic felt „Santana actually sounds hungry again“ and stated that „while some of these cuts are forgettable, his inventive engagement with Latin pop here is not only successful, but satisfying“. Billboard’s Leila Cobo considered the album to be guitar-driven despite of the many vocalists. Overall, she praised the album, but pointed a few songs that she considered not to have worked, such as „Feel It Coming Back“, in which she felt that Diego Torres struggled with the language; and „Indy“, in which Miguel’s improvisations „lack structure and tend to meander“. Jeremy Williams-Chalmers from So So Gay felt the album might „be the record that finally knocks Supernatural off its throne as Santana’s definitive release“ and considered it to be „everything a Santana record needs to be“, while joining Cobo on criticizing Torres‘ English skills. The Independent’s Nick Coleman said the album „contains a brightly recorded, punchy collection of ‚Latin‘ beats and melodies, plus some rock, featuring a handful of distinguished guests and the familiar overflying drone of Carlos’s own guitar obbligati“ and that it „is certain to be a hit in its target territories“.

Relix’s Bill Murphy considered Carlos Santana’s guitar playing in the album to be the „best he’s done in decades“ and felt that „where too many cooks may have overwhelmed Supernatural, Corazón simmers with spicy variety“. Jon Pareles, writing for The New York Times, considered the songs to be radio-aimed and described the contrast between Santana’s guitar and the guest singers vocals as follows: „The way Mr. Santana answers the lyrics and grapples for the foreground until verse and chorus gave way to full-fledged guitar solos is the audio equivalent of photobombing the lead vocal. Luckily, Mr. Santana’s guitar can be as impassioned as any singer’s voice.“ However, he considered some tracks (such as „Oye 2014“ and „Yo Soy La Luz“) to be „awkward moments“.

Writing for New York Daily News, Jim Farber was not so impressed by the album. He criticized it being promoted as a Latin pop album while having half of its lyrics in English. He also saw negatively the artists chosen for this album: „Santana’s glistening leads compete with, rather than complement, these artists. […] Latin alternative music features so many artists who would have paired better with Santana’s style. […] Wrangling artists like those would have made this album a true first“. Ultimate Guitar Archive’s team felt Santana himself had little space in some of the songs and considered the album to be „a compilation of well formulated, radio-friendly Latino pop which often times ends up sounding somewhat bizarre“. They also labeled the lyrics as „repetitive“ and concluded by saying: „The outcome which appears on […] Corazon falls short of any preset expectations. […] Considering the album’s pop-driven outcome it leaves the listener puzzled as to where Santana was hoping to proceed with this effort“.

The album was nominated for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album at the Latin Grammy Awards of 2014.

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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