Ryan Alexander-Tanner

The following is the second in a four-part series examining the lasting impact of Carlos Santana’s electrifying album Supernatural, released in 1999. Part one gave a broad overview of the album, pointing a microscope at the first track “(Da Le) Yaleo.” And now, part two.

Close your eyes. Clench them tight. Block out even the slightest hint of daylight. I’m going to put words in your head. Dynamism. Passion. The Spanish-American War. Ciudad Juárez. Heart strings. Guitar strings. Liars. Thieves. Fools.

Now open your eyes. Who do you see? Dave Matthews, right? No? Well guess what, you fucking chump, that’s who Carlos Santana saw. On the second track of the album, “Love of My Life,” the Guitar Witch of Northern California has drafted Sir David of Matthews to aid him in serenading the love of someone’s life. At one point Dave says, “from your lips, all the heavens pour out”—which is both lazy songwriting, and also an absolutely horrifying picture. Just some woman, unhinging her horrible jaw, as billions of righteous ghosts come screaming past her teeth. Harps, angels, clouds, the Judeo-Christian God. Everything. Not even God’s finest angel himself, Carlos Santana, can rescue me from this horrible image or this horrible song. So we must move forward.

At this point in the album, only two songs in, you think to yourself, “Whoa. Carlos is a man in love. His heart is on fire, and you’re a fucking idiot if you think he isn’t going to talk about it.” Nobody would blame you for thinking that. You’re wrong, though. Because track three isn’t about love. It’s about light... and a monster, and I think the monster is a metaphor, but it’s impossible to tell what it’s supposed to symbolize.

The song is called “Put Your Lights On” and it features House of Pain frontman, Everlast. While I don’t know exactly what the song is about, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty who it’s for: guys who drink a lot of Monster Energy and are going through a divorce. It sounds like a Staind song on spring break in Mexico. However, this is the connective tissue between Carlos Santana and Limp Bizkit. Everlast was in House of Pain with DJ Lethal, who was Limp Bizkit’s DJ. Somehow this didn’t lead to Fred Durst guesting on a Santana song, and I will never be whole.

The next song on the album is called “Africa Bamba,” which I think translates to “Africa Bomb.” Also the whole song is in Spanish, and I barely speak Spanish. I’m not going to translate the song, either. If you want Spanish translated, go buy a fucking book. This is a free newspaper. How dare you come at us with your hands cupped, begging for more than the already generous portions we give you WITHOUT EVEN A SECOND THOUGHT AS TO HOW WE’RE GOING TO PAY THE FUCKING RENT.

Listen, this song is really boring. It has horns in it, but like, boring horns. This song should be called “Boring Horns (Unremarkable).” No matter. The next song is all that matters here. It’s called “Smooth.” And one week from today, we open the kimono on that shit.