Rob Thomas and Santana – Sunshine Of Your Love song review.
If you’re expecting a remake of Smooth, then you won’t get it. One of the worst crimes in music is artists trying to recapture the magic of a previous release for the sake of selling records. What inevitably happens is that you get something that not only sounds like it has been done before, but something that has actually been done better before. This is even truer when you create a monster hit like Smooth. The whole world will be comparing the two. And guess what? You’ll always lose.
The only way Carlos and Rob could bypass said comparison is to do something completely different. And with this song they have. This new collaboration takes Sunshine Of Your Love to another level.
The one thing Sunshine does have in common with Smooth is the sense of heart, experience and people being behind what you’re hearing. It has a warmth that comes from playing between friends. It sounds like Rob and Carlos.
Sunshine, like every track on the album, sounds like it’s been pulled through the Santana filter: the classic riff is richer and fuller in sound; the percussion is a nice mix of classic rock drumming and Latin touches; hints of synthesised base offers a modern groove; layered distorted guitar makes the song blow out your speakers; and last but by no means least, the legendary guitar playing of Carlos, not only takes the classic riffs and licks of Clapton and makes them sound like his own, but expand and twist to sound like they’re original Santana creations.
Robs voice holds the depth of a thousand nights on the road yet retains the smooth and delicate tone we’ve all come to know and love. Sunshine has all the elements to let Rob’s voice run free: rhythm; soul; rock; and a wall of sound. However, this collaboration (unlike Smooth) is not Rob Thomas heavy. The song has always been a guitar orientated track and this version is no different. This collaborations, like all good collaborations, puts the song first. Everything is where it needs to be. There is no ego to be found.
It would be easy as a music fan and musician to sit here and hide behind snobbery and declare that a classic like this should not be messed with, but then you remember – it’s Santana! He has written classics, and come to think of it so has Rob. I’m also forgetting to mention the fact that it’s a great cover.
Die hard Cream fans may not jump on board and to be honest die hard Rob Thomas fans might not either. But there is no doubt that Santana has done it again – made a record that transcends genre and age. This record takes some of the best rock tunes of all time and made them current and gives them a whole new lease of life. And after all, isn’t that what a good cover is supposed to do?
Out now and with two bonus tracks and a behind-the-scenes DVD (including appearances from Rob) on the Deluxe Edition, it’s a record well worth getting.
Other notable performances: Photograph (Feat. Chris Daughtry), Back in Black (feat. Nas), I Ain’t Superstitious (Feat. Johnny Lang).