While Shaman, the followup album to 1999’s surprise smash, Supernatural, did not enjoy the popular or critical success of its predecessor, it did feature a couple of fine songs. One such is the rootsy, soulful piece called “Nothing At All,” sung by hip-hop soul artist Musiq (aka Musiq Soulchild).

Penned by Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas and veteran songwriter Cory Rooney(Jennifer Lopez, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, et al), Nothing At All makes good use of many of the weapons in Carlos‘ and his bands’ arsenals. First is the prominence of authentic Latin percussion which drives the track.

Latin-Rock Video

Check out the new video for this guitar and percussion-driven song by the leading Santana Tribute and Latin-rock band.

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Consistently mostly of congas and various hand percussion instruments, the rhythm is both subtle and compelling. Not only that, but the producers orchestrate the percussion and guitar tracks to create a dynamic build throughout the song.

Carlos begins with melodic runs on a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar, ala “Maria Maria,” of which this song is reminiscent. This is a style at which Santana excels, effortlessly weaving his trademark harmonic and rhythmic phrasing between the vocal lines. But an unusual touch is that there are two dynamic levels within the first verse — the 2nd half incorporating a repeated chordal motif (probably enhanced, for crispness, in the studio).

During the chorus, Carlos adds runs on the electric, albeit with a similar flavor, which maintains consistency. His solo is short and pithy, and most of his guitar playing occurs throughout the vocal parts.

Although it was overshadowed on the charts by the exuberant “This Game of Love,” the collaboration with Michelle Branch, Nothing At All captures much more of the sound that Santana has made famous during his more than 40-year career.

Nothing At All Lyrics

I am a victim of my time
A product of my age
There was no choosing my direction
I was a holy man but now
With all my trials behind me
I am weak in my conviction

And so I walk to try to get away
Knowing that someday I will finally have to face
The fear that will come from knowing that
The one thing I had left was you
And now you’re gone

You were a victim of my crimes
A product of my rage
You were a beautiful distraction
I kept you locked away outside
Let misery provide
And now I am ashamed

And so I walk to try to find a space
Where I can be alone to live with my mistakes
And the fear that will come
From knowing that the one thing
I had left was you
And now you’re gone

Is there nothing at all

That I can do to turn your heart
Is there nothing to lean on
That could help erase the scars
Te quiero, mi cielo
And I could use a little strength before I fall
Is there nothing at all

Nothing At All Chords

Intro / Verse

Gm – D7 (repeat)
D7 – Gm (repeat)
Gm – F – Eb (hold) – D7Chorus / Solo
Gm – F – Eb – Gm (2x)
Gm – F – Eb – D7
Cm – D7