The excitement of a new release from Joe Satriani is a bubbling elixir of anticipation of sizzling guitar and an energy captured in the music that takes you on an instrumental journey of delightful discoveries. Listening to What Happens Next? Is that a question Satriani is asking himself, where is his musical journey taking him in 2018 and beyond? For me What Happens Next, open CD put on the player, turn the volume up, sit back then be absorbed into every musical moment created on the album. Once again Joe Satriani’s scintillatingly sharp and persuasive manipulation of the six-strings sent a shiver of pure pleasure down my spine, my music antenna were pulsating with delight. As Joe Satriani guitar asks What Happens Next?
Joe Satriani’s immense guitar presence is at the heart of this twelve-track instrumental album. Joining him with perfect rhythm and timing with the pairing of Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith. Deep Purple burns up the Red Hot Chili Pepper the two creating a monstrous beat. Building the perfect wall of sound for the wildness of Satriani in full flight. The trio complements each other resulting in the artistry of the Satriani guitar develops with a myriad of tones and textures. All three instruments talk to you as the notes replace the need for words whilst being transported to the world of Satriani.
Opening the album with Energy we are instantly drenched in a rich high-octane tonal experience. The beat is alive and kicking we are with feet firmly on the ground and the ears in tune with a journey that will energise, uplift and mesmerize as the notes cascade and follow each other in a perfect procession of rock glory. Opening with the drum kicking up a roar Thunder on High Mountain is a building storm the drum beat persistent with guitar in a swirling frenzy as the notes are whipped into a whirling maelstrom. Then bass adds depths that Thunder on High Mountain is intriguing, dangerous and never ignored. We move from stormy mountains to Cherry Blossoms. A change in beat, tone and textures as the number unfurl as warm as a Spring day full hope and lyrical melodies. Catchy and beguiling the swirling mass of cherry blossoms are conjured into a thing of beauty performed with a gentle touch and lyrical emotions played out through the clever instrumentation.
Every track is a golden nugget of guitar playing spontaneous, alive, controlled and wild. No note misplaced this is music that creates a visual soundscape through the notes. The album is not a sprint with a headlong rush to close one number and fall into the next; neither is it a marathon with long tracks looping around itself often going nowhere. We are lopping along at the perfect pace to enjoy the box of delights as we find out What Happens Next. The title track towards the end of the album is slower the guitar stretches the notes exploring the cadences in a thoughtful exploring way. The track has a synergy as the three monsters of rock explore the sounds and asks once again What Happens Next? With the reuniting of Smith and Satriani could it be that Chickenfoot is to rise once again from the ashes as the supergroup we want to hear? A new approach with bass driven Super Funky Badass brings out the inner funkiness of rock and re-energises an album that has no flaws.
Closing out an album that celebrates the power of the six-strings and the virtuosity of Satriani, Forever and Ever is an appropriate number as the superlatives describing the stunning playing of Satriani truly could go on Forever and Ever. While we think up some let’s go back to the beginning and see if this time we can answer the question What Happens Next?
Joe Satriani – What Happens Next – Sony/Legacy Recordings
TENdoodle paws out of TEN …
- Thunder High On The Mountain
- Cherry Blossoms
- Smooth Soul
- What Happens Next
- Super Funky Badass
- Forever and Ever