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Sat, Feb. 22

Santana's 'Ceremony' thrives on Carlos' incomparable guitar work

He re-mixes his well-known song, "Smooth," with Chris Staropoli, adding a funky flavor to the album. It is unusual to find such music coming from Santana, but the dance beat with heavy bass adds something fresh to his style.

"Maria Maria," another re-mix from the mega-hit "Supernatural" collection, features The Product G&B in a romantic song with a Spanish beat. Full of subtle rapping about Maria's virtues, the song is a must-have reprise of the original.

"Foo Foo" is a fast-paced, fun song that could easily get listeners into a Salsa-dancing mood. It contains Spanish verses, and another dose of Santana's superb guitar work.

A song titled "Manana" is a slow song about longing for a woman. The rhythm is soothing, and there is very little guitar in this song, except for slight picking.

Santana's unequaled guitar weaves itself over, above and through the raspy vocals on "Truth Don Die," and, in "Let me Love You Tonight," Santana slows the pace down for a few minutes as the song, in an almost seductive voice, begs a woman not to torture his heart.

He picks up the pace a little with two songs called "Curacion" (sunlight on water) and "Victory is Won." both have an almost upbeat classical sound with beautiful guitar melodies.

The last song on the album, "Primavera," featuring Jerry Rivera, combines Spanish and English verses, and has a funky drum beat.

Overall, "Ceremony" reaches outside the boundaries of his usual music and creates many different moods-, from romance to desperation to a little dance.

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