It didn't take me long to give into "The Game of Love," the single from that newish Santana album that Michelle Branch sings--maybe four or five times on the radio, then one or two on the CD as I checked the liner notes to see if they actually gave a songwriting credit to one-time New Radical Gregg Alexander or just figured the eight people who bought Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too were hardly gonna write into ASCAP or who the hell ever. That's a big improvement over "Smooth," the one that Rob Thomas sang a couple of years back; even now--having heard it as many times as, say, "I'm Too Sexy," or maybe that "King of Wishful Thinking" thing from Pretty Woman--I'm not totally sure I didn't start liking it on the off chance that it'd stop showing up every five minutes to try again. I suppose it's great: Branch does a cool falsetto thing in the chorus, and the guitar solos you bought the album for weave around her vocal in a way that doesn't seem all that showy (at least considering the circumstances); they function more like ripples in Branch's wake than proper melodic elements, which they haven't really been since, like, 1987 anyhow. As he gets better at this pop-song thing, though, Santana is quickly losing touch with the rock-auteur vibe he once championed; his trick these days is product, not process. I'll be disappointed if you have to hear the inevitable Murder Inc. joint to know it by heart.
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!