Coolness factor

Photos by Nick Tomecek

I grew up jamming to Carlos Santana, but I really never quite understood why my mother and I were always dancing.

But, after going back and re-visiting my childhood with the 1982 record “Shangó,” it suddenly makes sense. With this record, Latin rock artist Santana and his band creates a lasagna of music, with hard rock, classic rock, blues, African flavor and a tasty bottom layer of funk.

It’s no wonder I love this record.

My boyfriend picked up “Shangó” at an antique store recently. Although I didn’t question it, I also didn’t know what exactly drew him to this bright yellow album cover with 1980s-style typography.

In retrospect, what a great buy? Respect.

The first three songs on the album hit me the hardest.

“Shangó” begins with “The Nile,” a soulful track with noticeable roots in hard rock and, of course, the Egyptian and African flair essential when you name a track after this majestic river. “Hold On” was instantly familiar to me, likely one of the songs that kept my mother and me on our feet.

Lastly, “Nueva York” has the rapid beat and the magical screeching guitar I expect to hear in every Santana song.

Although I love the formerly-mentioned songs most, the dynamic “Body Surfing” and “Let Me Inside” are ideal for those into beach or reggae music. “What Does it Take” is a solid choice for people with an affinity for classic rock.

I paired this record with a saucy, ruffled black dress, lucite heels and gold jewelry accents. This is definitely an outfit I can dance in.

While I’ve always held an innate reverence for Santana, I was never sure why. This album makes it clear. I can’t say within reason that this is my favorite Santana album, but I will admit it’s a strong contender.

After indulging in “Shangó,” I have realized a fact of importance: The coolness factor of Carlos Santana should never be questioned.

The outfit:

Dress - Urban Outfitters

For similar styles, visit Urban Outfitters.

Necklace - Forever 21

For similar styles, visit Forever 21.

Shoes - L.A.M.B.

For similar styles, visit 6 pm.