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Satriani; Joe: Unstoppable Momentum

Unstoppable Momentum is amazingly the fourteenth studio album from the ever shiny-headed and shaded Joe Satriani and really the only question I can ask is; over the twenty seven years since his aptly titled Not Of This Earth debut, has there been another guitarist who has been so ridiculously consistent with their output? Whether it be through his two (and a live album) stint with Chickenfoot, a brief encounter with Deep Purple, or simply through his ever captivating solo outings, to suggest that Satch has seldom put a note out of place, would be an understatement. 1987's Surfing With The Alien announced Joe properly to the world, with Flying In A Blue Dream pushing the then long curly haired fret genius into the realms of Rock stardom. Since then, he's never looked back once.

Unbelievably all these years and albums later, Satriani still has plenty to say and entertain with through his - give or take the odd tune with vocals - instrumental guitar led music. A genre that all too often throws out clichéd caricatures incapable of doing anything other than showing off, Satch has never fallen into that trap while still illustrating just what an individual talent he possesses. Most importantly the six string supremo has always simply written cracking songs (just without words) that conjure up all sorts of emotions and imagery, although what also helps is the phenomenally talented musicians he surrounds himself with. This time we are treated to the skills of Mike Keneally adding keyboards, Chris Chaney bass and Vinnie Colaiuta drums.

Highlights come thick and fast, with the album's title track kicking proceedings off in relatively laid back style, piano building up layers of melody for Satriani to work off, before the guitars slowly begin to soar in the way only he can make them do. "Can't Go Back" then brings a few Satch trademarks with the singing melody line floating along on a low bass rumble and intricate yet deceptively simple drum undercurrent. "Lies And Truths" slides into view with an atmospheric keyboard build that could almost be Marillion, however when a chug of fret fibres tumble out of the speakers, the track broods in a different style altogether and while this is one of the album's less bombastic moments it does, as the track heavies up, provide some of the most blatant guitar burns in earshot. However there are also a few curveballs on Unstoppable Momentum, with "Three Sheets To The Wind" (a British slang expression for being thoroughly drunk) allowing the keys to come more to the fore, adding a surprising circus-music like howl to proceedings. Truth be told it is a song that I'm still to be completely convinced about... That said it is the only real questionable moment, with the mid paced stomp of "A Door Into Summer" being the sort of thumping stomp its title suggests, "Jumpin' In" being a mixture of guttural guitar gurgles and bluesy good time cheer, while "Jumpin' Out" adds a more keyboard oriented flavour to a similar style. However if it is a little more introspection you are looking for, then try the wonderful "The Weight Of The World" and short "I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn" for size. Both are wonderful. While "A Celebration" closes the album out with one of those chiming pieces of joyous guitar work that Satriani revels in.

Another sure for winner from one of the best guitar players from this, or any other generation. Unstoppable Momentum? I think so!

Track Listing
1. Unstoppable Momentum
2. Can't Go Back
3. Lies And Truths
4. Three Sheets To The Wind
5. I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn
6. A Door Into Summer
7. Shine On American Dreamer
8. Jumpin' In
9. Jumpin' Out
10. The Weight Of The World
11. A Celebration

Added: May 6th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Joe Satriani Online
Hits: 2863
Language: english

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