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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Joe!
Bought this yesterday, really like it. Seems more like his earlier stuff - think Extremist or maybe even Crystal Planet (IMHO his best album). The mix is good and interaction with the rest of the band also is good. Quite a diverse set of tracks which keeps you interested, this is a welcome return to form for Joe.
Published on 4 Oct 2010 by Isaac

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag
A strange mix of styles, bookended with a couple of good tracks (Premonition and God is crying). The closer to the centre of the album you get (tracks 5-8) the more experimental and "band jam" it sounds, feeling more like background music than a guitar instrumental "song".

As other reviewers have noted there seem to be a few that are escapees from earlier...
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by MattLB


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Joe!, 4 Oct 2010
By 
Isaac (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Bought this yesterday, really like it. Seems more like his earlier stuff - think Extremist or maybe even Crystal Planet (IMHO his best album). The mix is good and interaction with the rest of the band also is good. Quite a diverse set of tracks which keeps you interested, this is a welcome return to form for Joe.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Satch with a Twist, 6 Oct 2010
I was fortunate enough to be present during rehearsal for this album (a few days before they went into record)... and the magic that was in the room has clearly transferred to the recording process.

Lots of diversity, great melodies, stunning fret work and tricks, and a whole new energy and vibe from the rest of the band.

Ignore the negative reviews, whether you're a Satch Fan or not this album has a great mix of tracks/styles to suit all and is well worth adding to your collection
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracks translate live, 24 Oct 2010
By 
Glenn Cullum (Milton Keynes, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
Just went to see Joe at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and he played most of the tracks from the new album. And I can see why, they are brilliant live. I was blown away in particular by Pyrrhic Victoria, Light Years Away, Premonition and Wormhole Wizards. Littleworth Lane needs a few more listens, not my style. The keyboards add a new dimension which I hope he continues with. I can't believe this guy does it album after album. Totally inspirational.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive as always, but not consistently classic Joe, 14 Oct 2010
By 
HeavyMetalMonty (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
Joe Satriani is no ordinary guitar hero. His playing fuses perfect technique with an unparalleled ability to evoke powerful emotions in the listener. Unlike other guitar gurus who record instrumental albums, Joe showcases his greatness within the strict structures of his songs without meandering off course into the realm of widdling for the purpose of showing off. His flourishes always add to the whole, never detract from it. As both songwriter and musician, Satch is legendary. With these points in mind, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards should be a five-star album. It isn't. The quality of musicianship on the album is top notch, as it always is on Joe's releases. From the man who created the all-time classic albums Flying in a Blue Dream, The Extremist, Crystal Planet and Super Colossal, however, one expects a lot. A hell of a lot. And while Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards is undeniably an essential purchase for any Satch fan, it's not one of his most exciting albums.
Premonition kicks off the album in fine form, reminiscent of Crystal Planet, Joe making truly astonishing guitar playing sound effortless. Easygoing ballad Dream Song (which wouldn't be out of place on Joe's 1993 Time Machine album) showcases Satch's unique tone, but never really gets out of second gear. Pyrrhic Victoria and Light Years Away get things rocking again, although both tracks are heavy on style and light on substance. Solitude is Joe Satriani at his absolute best, showing in 57 seconds how the man can convey more emotion with a single note than most guitarists can in a whole album. Littleworth Lane leans lethargically into bluesy territory and as a result is a million miles from quintessential Satriani. The Golden Room starts out with tropical rhythms (much like those of Banana Mango from Time Machine), but when the guitars kick in the track morphs into a harder-edged animal with an eastern flavour to its melodies, transporting the listener's mind to sunsets over vast deserts. Two Sides to Every Story is more jazz/blues jam than overdriven rock anthem, and all the worse for it; Joe's signature sound is absent, as is any sense of coherence or purpose. Wormhole Wizards is a return to solid ground, sonically fitting somewhere between the keyboard-heavy groove of his debut album's Driving at Night and the Super Colossal album's instrumentals. Even with a short, out-of-the-blue keyboard solo crowbarred into the track, it's pure bliss. Wind in the Trees is classic Satriani, Joe's guitar not only talking, but talking to the very soul of the listener. Simply flawless. God Is Crying ends the album on a high, Joe emphatically demonstrating that he is the cream of the crop when it comes to axe-slingers. When Joe's on this type of form, his guitar melodies take your mind to the farthest reaches of the Universe and back. In this sense, he really is a Wormhole Wizard.
The album's production (courtesy of Joe himself and Mike Fraser) is impeccable. The rhythm section (Jeff Campitelli on drums and Allen Whitman on bass) is watertight, while Satch's guitar tone - as always - is second to none. Also worth a mention are Mike Kenneally's keyboard contributions, which are tasteful throughout.
Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards is a worthy addition to the collection of any Satriani connoisseur. If you enjoy heavy guitar-driven music but haven't yet discovered the virtuosity of Joe, this album isn't the best place to start; instead, go and buy Flying in a Blue Dream, which is truly staggering from start to finish, without the occasional dips that are present on Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Swans & Guitar Wizard!, 23 Dec 2010
By 
J. M. Green "john94682" (Sutton Coldfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
I have been an avid collector of the works of Mr Satriani ever since a friend of mine introduced me to the delights of "Fying In A Blue Dream" which, at the time, was miles ahead of any other guitar oriented album around, simply because it pushed the envelope and was decidedly different to the mainstream.
This latest body of work has been with me now for several months and has been in and out of my player between the latest offerings from Jeff Beck, Steve Hackett etc and ultimately, whilst this is not the best album that Joe has ever put his name to, and neither is it the best album of 2010, it does prove that he remains still up there with the cream of the crop of exponents of the electric guitar even though he is no longer the one really pushing the boundaries of the capabilities of the instrument - and I think that is probably more to do with the fact that everyone has caught up with Joe rather than the fact that he has stopped moving forward.
All that said you can dive in and out of this album at all levels or immerse yourself in all of it's intricacies in one sitting with the likes of Pyrrhic Victoria, God Is Crying, Light Years Away and Wind in The Trees all outstanding efforts.
All in all a very good album, and not a bad place to start if you are a newcomer to this exceptional guitar player although I do think that the aforementioned "Flying In A Blue Dream", "The Extremist" and Crystal Planet still figure more highly in my favoured albums list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for another great album!, 22 Oct 2010
By 
Deniz Omer (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
I received the album a few days ago (signed by the man himself, thanks Satch!) and have been listening to it non-stop to soak it in. First impression is that this is a quality Satch album like the previous few. It's not a signature album like his first albums or Crystal Plant, nevertheless it is oozing bucketloads of character, his unique and enjoyable tone comes out in every riff. Out of the 11 songs I loved 6, especially God is Crying, Wormhole Wizards, Pyrrhic Victory and Light Years Away. The others still need focused listening. If you love Satch then buy the album, its only 8 bucks.

PS. Check out the 2 bonus songs online!! Don't know why they were left out of the album but they're amazing, especially Heartbeats!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best since Crystal Planet., 5 Oct 2010
By 
Gavin Jones - See all my reviews
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The songs on this album literally made my jaw drop. The keyboards add a new dimension to the songs which sound wonderful. Piano solos on a Joe Satriani album? it's true. The overall vibe and energy is fantastic, Joe sounds refreshed, energized and raring to go. It's so good to hear that (much missed) Marshall tone again!. I can't pick a favourite song as they are all very strong compositions, the production is also superlative. This album has Mike Keneally on keyboards and Allen Whitman on bass respectively. The band interaction is excellent, they sound like they have been playing together for years!. I had high hopes for this album after the very disappointing ''Professor Satchafunkilus'' i am delighted that they have been met. Strong, beautiful and ethereal melodies and groovy riffs galore. I hope this is a continuing trend for Joe. Making albums of such high quality to rival the likes of ''Crystal Planet'' and ''The Extremist''. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satriani is on top !, 30 April 2011
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This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
Well, I have always thought that Satriani is not only a guitar virtuoso but also a great (and in certain circles underrated) composer. Despite his supernatural skills, his music not only comes from his fingers, but above all from his brain and heart. So he is capable of really to produce and to develope musical ideas. After a string of just good albums, in this one he delivers his strongest material since, maybe, Crystal Planet. Delicious, eclectic, exciting, addictive, fresh and life-giving. Thank you Joe !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
A strange mix of styles, bookended with a couple of good tracks (Premonition and God is crying). The closer to the centre of the album you get (tracks 5-8) the more experimental and "band jam" it sounds, feeling more like background music than a guitar instrumental "song".

As other reviewers have noted there seem to be a few that are escapees from earlier albums - Wind in the trees has an "Is there love in space" feel and Light Years Away is evocative of another album too, although neither would stand out on those albums either.

For me the first three and final track are what I'd be hoping for from a Joe Satriani album. Premonition is a melodic rollercoaster, Dream song is mellow with some nice bursts, Pyrrhic victory is rousing once it gets going and God is Crying has a similarly anthemic rising "chorus" to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars give it several spins before judging, 15 Oct 2010
This review is from: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (Audio CD)
My first impression was "just another one for the collection". I am still hoping for something of the "Crystal planet" caliber but he seems to have moved on. Once you accept this and give it a few spins, this album is good. Great melodies, no stupid goofy vocals like he sometimes does, and an occasional flash of guitar brilliance. He has nothing left to prove on the instrument but it is still nice hearing him unwind on occasion.
So I would say this is of his most acceptable in years. And this is the opinion from a fan from the very first days. Worth owning, I recommend you buy it.
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Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards by Joe Satriani (Audio CD - 2010)
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