Top positive review
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Warm and well-crafted
on 8 May 2013
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.