Joe Satriani’s latest album is better than anything he’s done in years. But, hold up, is that actually (even) a compliment? You see there was a band called Chickenfoot. There have been innumerable G3 tours where Satriani continues to headline despite often being the worst player on the bill. And the last two albums he released as a solo artist were called Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards and, um, Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.
We are talking about a man who released an album called Strange Beautiful Music – it was neither of those things – in fact isolate every word of that title and Professor Satchafunkilus missed wide of the mark across all three.
Even the presence of Vinnie Colaiuta does little to improve these guitar lessons-as-songs that feature that guitar-throwing-up tone. The presence of Mike Keneally on keyboards makes you wish this album featured the presence of Mike Keneally on guitars.
But finally Satriani arrives at a title that reflects his motivations, sound and approach. This is – sadly – unstoppable; well, it seems that way until you, ya know, hit stop. And it’s all downhill, from the opening instrumental title-track on down. Momentum indeed. The downhill race that is Joe Satriani’s career circling back around the same three pages of guitar exercises.
Oh I was a fan once. Sure. That’s why it hurts twice. It hurts to admit that and to be trapped listening to new Joe Satriani albums, figuring there could be something…
This is almost as good as The Extremist by the way. You know, one of those other fucking ghastly Joe Satriani albums…