“Game of Love” by Santana featuring Michelle Branch is The Song of Summer

Man it’s a hotter one.

Quick, I need you to name a smash-hit collaboration with world-renowned guitar genius Carlos Santana.

You (simple, mainstream): “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty
Me (smart, knowing): “Game of Love” featuring Michelle Branch

Is there any question? No offense to the “Smooth” fans out there, all sixteen bazillion of you. [Rifles through Wikipedia printout] “Smooth” spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 after its release. It is ranked by Billboard as the second most successful song of all time. (I assume that number one is Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles”).

But if you are anything like me, your life is an unceasing nightmare of pain and misery. Whoops got off track. If you’re anything like me, you spent/spend a lot of time listening to 106.7 Lite FM, New York’s Best Variety, and have heard “Game of Love” a lot!

You know why? Because “Game of Love” rules. Superior to “Smooth” in every way, no offense to Veronica Mars creator Robert “Rob” Thomas. I mean, look at this chucklehead performing with probably the greatest living guitarist on the planet.


Now look at Michelle Branch doing the same.

Hell yeah. That rules. Santana is fucking loving it.

Look, again, no offense to “Smooth,” which is fine, but why does it sound like a Genie put a curse on Rob Thomas, trapped him inside a tin can of Progresso Vegetable Classics Lentil Soup, and forced him to record his vocals from inside aforementioned tin can? Was the mic not plugged all the way in or something?

Now compare that to “Game of Love” where Michelle Branch is just belting it out. This song gets me amped up for an active-but-not-too-active Saturday afternoon. A picnic or something, if you can get the group of friends together.

Man, it’s a hot one? No, thanks. I prefer ‘Man, it’s a moderate one. Maybe with a light Uniqlo sweatshirt after the sun goes down.’ Look, here is what I’m saying. If it was a warm summer day in an urban area, and I heard Santana and Rob Thomas collabin’ outside, I’d probably poke my head out and be like “Ha, cool. Glad the boys got together.” But if I heard Santana and Michelle Branch ripping it up in the middle of the street? You know I’d be there in a second.