Interview edit: Joe Satriani, 24 May 2013
First broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 6 June 2013
Epic [Release date 06.05.13]
With guitar instrumentals, in fact guitar rock per se, it nearly always comes back to Satch. Well, nearly always. How many times have you heard wannabes either cite Joe as an influence or try to emulate his style? In recent years the man himself has experienced a revival of sorts with solid albums worthy of our attention. And that’s not forgetting his success with Chickenfoot , his most successful outing ever with a vocalist.
‘Unstoppable Momentum’ could perhaps be a reference to Satch’s career and the fact he can still fill halls and make consistently good albums with instrumental guitar rock is a testament to his durability and enduring quality.
One of the secrets must be that in recent years he has had a steady hand in keyboard player Mike Keneally and co-producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC). This time bolstered by Jeff Beck/Zappa alumni Vinnie Colauita and Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction).
This album follows the recent template and consists of 11 solid, almost familiar pieces. There’s also the same quotient of quirk and mirth (not least in the song titles).
The title track gets the album off to the usual powerful start whilst ‘Can’t Go Back’ has that lyrical pull that places it alongside tracks like ‘One Robot’s Dream’ (Super Collosal). ‘The Weight Of the World’ is another standout with Keneally’s fine orchestration and a funky undertow.
‘Lies And Truths’ is a compulsive amalgam of dark verse and lighter chorus topped off with immaculate shredding and driven throughout by a propulsive riff. And of course there are the upbeat rockers like the early single ‘A Door Into Summer’ and ‘Shine On American Dreamer’.
But really Satriani is at his best when he devises a killer bridge section: it happens on ‘Jumpin’ Out’ but not enough elsewhere it seems to me. This builds into a typically wonderful playout where the guitarist guides the song to an impressive climax and Keneally’s organ tones adding extra texture and colour.
‘Unstoppable Momentum’ describes a performer who is always moving forward both personally and in the music and this 14th studio album should please fans and wannabes alike. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Joe Satriani UK tour dates 2013
June 8th Manchester Apollo 9th Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 10th Newcastle City Hall 11th Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 13th Wolverhampton Civic Hall 15th Sheffield 16th Portsmouth Guildhall 17th Shepherd’s Bush Empire 18th O2 Inigo, London
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