All That I Am is led by the single 'I'm Feeling You', which reteams Santana with Michelle Branch, who wrote the song with John Shanks and Kara DioGuardi. Santana also taps some rock heroes on the new disc, with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler contributing vocals to 'Just Feel Better', while Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett appears with pedal steel phenom Robert Randolph on the instrumental track 'Trinity'. American Idol runner-up Bo Bice appears on 'Brown Skin Girl'. Arista. 2005.
Carlos Santana doesn't stop at just new material for his 2005 release All That I Am
; the CD hits the streets with a blindingly bright lineup of guest stars: Joss Stone, Mary J. Blige, Will.i.Am, Steven Tyler, Bo Bice, and a batch of others step up, tugging a listener into territory marked less by "Oye Como Va" than by an obsession with VMA-worthy performances. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Songs like "Twisted," with Anthony Hamilton, and "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love," with Los Lonely Boys, find the original Latin guitar god grooving in a vein similar to the one that caused charts to explode and careers to scrape the stratosphere when he teamed with Rob Thomas for 1999's "Smooth." Other tracks, including opener "Hermes" and the aptly named "El Fuego," sound more authentically Latin--a nod to the faithful. The master comes closest to meeting his match on track nine. If there's an heir to the guitar-hero legend spawned by Santana, Eric Clapton, and others, pedal-steel whiz Robert Randolph makes a powerful case on "Trinity" that he's it. -Tammy La Gorce