The Isley Brothers & Santana - Power Of Peace album review

A new millennium love-in

Cover art for The Isley Brothers & Santana - Power Of Peace album

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Surely only a churl would baulk at the sentiments presented on the title of this pairing of titans whose reputations were forged in the heady days of the 1960s?

While the Isleys are in fine voice throughout, and Carlos Santana’s mastery of his instrument remains as idiosyncratic as ever, your enjoyment of this collection of covers (and one new song) will rather depend on your relationship with the originals.

The winners prove to be the moments where the participants hold back on the bombast to groove. Billie Holliday’s God Bless This Child is silky smooth. Elsewhere, Curtis Mayfield’s Gypsy Woman perfectly fuses Santana’s Latin tones with those celestial Isley voices. Best of all is Cindy Blackman Santana’s original I Remember, that points to future possibilities.

Alas, Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground suffers from heavy-handedness, a fate that awaits I Just Want To Make Love To You.

Not quite a harvest for the world but no spoilt crops either.

Julian Marszalek

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.