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4.3 out of 5 stars92
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 June 2013
It's a good, solid album with the first single 'Door into Summer' being my favourite just a brilliant uplifting piece of music. It is a brilliant instrumental album (as always) and there as some good riffs in Jumpin' In and the title track, however I found that it is only a select part of the songs in these cases that do anything for me. Unfortunately some tracks sound to me like they should be on something like a Sonic the Hedgehog video game soundtrack or something (looking at you 'A Celebration' in particular!) it is what I'd call a 'safe album' sticking to what Satch knows and not failing to dissapoint.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 July 2013
Since his self-titled EP debut of 1984, through just about every solo album, Joe Satriani has produced some superb sonics and outstanding melodic moments.

Best examples of his undeniable six-string talents include the acclaimed Surfing with the Alien and his previous album Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.

Yet no Satriani studio release has ever truly formed a complete work, been a definitive statement or captured his musical strengths from start to finish.

Until 2013 and Unstoppable Momentum.

Joe Satriani's fourteenth studio album is his best work to date in terms of melodic sculptures created, its musically cohesive whole and the musician's employed to bring Satriani's musical visions to melodic and instrumental fusion life.
But it does need multiple plays to bring the best out of it.

On Unstoppable Momentum Joe Satriani is again accompanied by Mike Keneally, who played on Black Swans and has been part of recent Satriani touring bands.
And the rhythm section is not exactly unproven - drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (ex Frank Zappa) is one of the most versatile drummers in the world and Jane's Addiction bassist Chris Chaney is also a member of Taylor Hawkins and The Coattail Riders.
That's one of the best bands Satriani has ever put together/ worked with.

While Mike Keneally plays keyboards on the album he is also a great guitarist.
His six-string sensibilities and understanding of Satriani and his songs means he also thinks as a guitarist; producing just what the songs need in terms of keyboard arrangements, textures and support.

It doesn't take long for this quartet's musical momentum to become unstoppable.

The outstanding title track opens the album in fine form, incorporating Satch-ified melodic rock lines over an off-beat rhythm.
Satriani's guitar leads on `Unstoppable Momentum' sing and sear, producing some of the best melodic lines and fusion-tinged harmonics Neal Schon never did, while the mid-tempo groove and melodic shuffle of `Can't Go Back' is the perfect contrast and compliment to the opener.

Other highlights include the quirky and aptly named `Three Sheets to the Wind,' the short but poignant `I'll Put a Stone on Your Cairn' and the straight ahead but infectious rock grooves of `A Door Into Summer' and `Shine On American Dreamer.'

But the Satch fans who like the edgier, riff-based material are also well catered for, as best exemplified on `Jumpin' In' and the fusion-funk of `Jumpin' Out.'

The brilliant fretboard work of the Satriani's and Steve Vai's of the world can get overly intense; it's a very fine line between superbly expressive rock guitar soloing and self-indulgent six-string masturbation.

But on Unstoppable Momentum Joe Satriani is in the zone and displaying his prodigious talents to best amplified effect.
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on 5 September 2013
This album contains a lot of great moments. The opening title track is an example. An unyielding, powerful sound goes on and on until the end and it's quite something.

The second track is brilliant. It draws you in from the first moment and a very serious mood is created in this fantastically crafted piece which is my favorite of this Satriani release. 11/10!

Parts of the third track are reminiscent to me of The power cosmic, part 2 from Engines of creation which is a Satriani album which I really like a lot. Anyway, the whole mood/vibe Joe succesfully creates here is unique. The chorus of this one is fantastic!

The odd fourth track is something else. It shifts from a sort of easy going yet sad mood to this frenzied, tense solo section which is quite the contrast. Anyway, I like it a lot. I love the use of trumpets!

The next song seems to function as a sort of intro or bridge to the song that comes after it. He gets even more serious here in this wonderful moment on the record.

The summer themed song then starts off which a lot of people seem to like. I like it too. It's kind of "upbeat". Great, full sounding arrangement of the guitars on this one.

Then we get Shine on American dreamer which has a wonderful main riff/melody (cool use of the delay effect at a certain point!) but as a song it seems to me it's missing a certain something which keeps it from being just as memorable as other tracks on this record. It's cool but ultimately a tad too repetitive and stagnant perhaps.

Joe surprised me with Jumpin in and Jumpin out which I see as two movements of one piece. Here, Joe is daring and achieves something very interesting, intriguing and powerful. However it starts with a riff which seems "inspired" by the musical genre of "the blues". The inverted commas in the previous sentence mean that it seems to me that it's just a stock blues riff he used which is odd to me seeing that the rest is so original.

When I saw he wrote a song with the title of the song that comes next I was intrigued. It seemed to have a similar theme as another song of his called "God is crying". It's very different than that one musically though. A brooding, mysterious mood is created on this track on which Joe shows more of his originality and maturity.

The closer called "A celebration" is a charming little piece which is very to the point. It works beautifully as a closer to this album which to me is a genuine gem with music which is just as great as all the other great music Joe has released in his career.
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For the first time in a long time, I haven`t feverishly awaited a new Satriani album - maybe my tastes have evolved a little, and I`m not blown away by the technical majesty as I once was, and also the last two releases were not quite of the high standard that I`d been taking for granted since 1987. I wondered how much more (in terms of a new vibe) Joe had to offer.

Taking those reservations into account, I have to admit I`ve been really surprised by this record. The decision to change his support band appears to have revitalised Joe`s risk-taking edge, and more importantly it`s given an approachable and warm, summery feel to a lot of songs making it a really good listen. The band are not just laying down a platform for Joe to jump off, they are totally immersed in the songs too (I wonder if Joe`s time with Chickenfoot has changed his approach?). The overall feeling is something like "The Extremist", particularly "A Door Into Summer" (with a "Friends"-like feel) and the utterly perfect album closer "A Celebration" (as good a song as has been written by Joe in some twenty years, although I wouldn`t mind if it were a lot longer). On a more quirky note, there is "Three Sheets To The Wind", the slightly darker "Lies and Truths", and atmospheric "I`ll Put A Stone On Your Cairn". Most importantly, it`s a fine record throughout; it`s different to what I might have expected, and I really really like it.

PS. I read a review from Ultimate Classic Rock, stating that Satriani is "a contemporary composer whose primary instrument just happens to be electric guitar". I like that, and think it sums up the more melodic, less pyrotechnic, route Joe has taken with this record.
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on 23 May 2013
Two things that have maybe been lacking on previous Satch albums are back in abundance here. Great rhythm section and a few surprising musical twists make this the best Joe Satriani album in ages. Oh, and the production is just massive. Great Stuff.
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on 6 October 2013
30 years or so into the history of shredding, Joe Satriani emerges as probably the only composer of the lot. Of course, as a guitar fan, I have countless albums, tracks by other famous, unknown or forgotten guitar virtuosos. But all of their albums are guitar albums for guitar lovers. Satriani manages to write instrumental albums that can be enjoyed even if one isn't necessarily into guitar virtuosity. His guitar is the voice he doesn't have. As a result, his best albums, and I count this one amongst them, are not a collection of guitar tracks, but fantastic songs. As far as I'm concerned, only one other virtuoso had this magical quality too: the late Rhandy Rhoads. But no one has brought the guitar so close to a voice. There isn't one unecessary note on his album. Granted, it's nothing revolutionary compared to what he started 20 years ago, but it's just too good not to be enjoyed.
As I'm listening on Mog I can't access the booklet, so I don't know if Andrew Powell and Alan Parsons are acknowledged on "Weight of the World" but the song is a rather strong "homage" to their music (some might call it ever so slight rip-off). It's great anyway but worth mentioning!
The only reason I'm not giving it five star is the strange indifference Satriani exhibits towards great sound quality (as opposed to a Neil Young for example). It sounds perfectly ok on headphones and mp3, but not on a proper stereo (heavily compressed). And pity it's not available on LP.
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on 12 October 2013
I really tried to like this album. Unfortunately, I don't.

I liked Black Swans, I really felt it was a band playing, not just Satriani with a bunch of musicians brought in at the end to play instruments he cannot play himself. That to me was the trend post Strange Beautiful Music and although I liked the music I was getting more and more tired of it. It was like watching 40 episodes of Friends in a row. It might be fun, but it gets too predictable too soon.

Unstoppable Momentum offers nothing new. Even though Satriani brought in Mike Keneally on keyboards again and changed his rhythm section, it's just names. Keneally may be present in person but not in spirit. His contribution is limited to 80s style synth soundscapes. Vinnie Colaiuta in one of my all time favourite drummers, but here he is just a time keeper, not a drummer. Expect for few places where he shows his brilliance. Chris Chaney on bass is lost in the mix. It's not their fault. I'm starting to believe that Satriani just wants his solo albums to be his solo albums and everybody else is limited to just fulfilling the basic function of their respective musical instrument.

One thing that nobody can take away from Satriani is his ability to compose catchy melodies and feel-good music. He can articulate any type of emotion he can think of. Lot of musicians and bands can't do it with music and words, he does it just with music.
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on 11 June 2013
As a long term fan I pre-ordered this album. It met my expectations, that is to say that its fairly ordinary. There are a few memorable tunes on it but much is Joe recycling his own clichés, which quite frankly he has been doing for the last decade. The last really ground breaking album was Crystal Planet. But there is always something enjoyable on a Satriani album. The title track has a great driving riff and a catastrophic drum assault for the last half minute, beware of playing this loud while driving! 'I'll put a stone on your cairn' is a moving hymn like guitar ballad (presumably an elegy to a friend). However, 'three sheets to the wind' is an annoying ear worm which I really dislike and skip when playing the album. Too many of the tunes sound like a lesser guitarist competently but rather soullessly plagiarising Joe's old albums.

I have a ticket to see the man this Sunday in Portsmouth and look forward to it. He remains the king of rock guitar. However I hope Joe finds some new inspiration, perhaps from the world of classical music or traditional folk melodies. I would far rather that his next album was a collection of jazz standard covers that one more like this and the equally forgettable last 3 albums.

Still love Joe.
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on 12 August 2013
As a guitarist for just over 4 years I've been discovering big artists and bands late in their career and been aware of Satriani as that pro guitarist that wrote "Satch Boogie" and once taught Kirk Hammett how to play. Only in recent time have come to appreciate his work properly. Better late than never though I guess.

This is a great album of awesome instrumental songs. Satch's leads are the lyrics and the solid backings allow him to let loose on the songs well. However, as with most albums like this it is hard to listen to all the way through in one sitting. I find myself dipping in and out of it from time to time when I want to listen to some awesome soloing. You can't deny his phenomenal skill and the fact these are a good collection of songs, but I think the bold choice of album title was a bit of a mistake.

7.5/10
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on 21 May 2013
I have been following Joe since I was young and I can't believe the man can keep getting better and better. And this album is no exception every track is phenomenal. Keep them coming Joe awesome... All I can say is BUY BUY!!!!!!!
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