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Satriani, Joe: What Happens Next

What Happens Next I could just state the obvious and say that Joe Satriani wrote, recorded and released another accomplished, exciting and engaging album. However you'll notice What Happens Next isn't a question, it's a statement...

An artist always willing to embrace evolution while keeping a firm grip on a sound all of his own, guitar maestro, Joe Satriani, has brought his one-time Chickenfoot drum mate Chad Smith on board, while pairing him up with a man the Red Hot Chilli Pepper's drummer is already well acquainted with, Glenn Hughes the duo working together on many a Hughes solo outing. You may well begin to think that it's time to start the search for hen's teeth in the belief that WHN is rarity, a Joe Satriani vocal led solo album, but you'd be wrong; Hughes instead using the voice of his bass guitar alone to add his personality to this disc. "Energy" is a statement of intent both in title and action, a dirty riff bolstered by a rhythm section used to bringing groove, feel and funk. The latter component may well be left as a mere suggestion as this opener powers past, but the former two elements are here in spades. You don't really need me to tell you that Satch nails it all down with lead lines that dismiss any need for vocals and a touch and tone that's second to none, whether he's putting the pedal to the metal or using his frets to float on a gentle breeze. In all honesty he may not drop your jaw in the manner he used to but that's only because the Satch bar is set so high that we're expectant and rewarded in our belief that he'll simply raise it every time and yet again that's exactly what he does. "Catbot" may be even grittier, but this is a playful dirtiness and one that's still interjected with hooks and atmosphere. "Thunder High On The Mountain" and "Cherry Blossoms" change the tone further but instead of digging deeper into the mine already well established, the former uses a tapped intro to build a more glimmering vibe before a crushing riff begins an ongoing ebb and flow between bullishness and beauty. "Cherry Blossoms" on the other hand taps gently into the Oriental vibe its name suggests, evocation and enigma the name of the shimmering game. It may well be the best track on show. However, whether you get all mid-paced and funky with "Righteous", are thrown a little off kilter with "Looper", or spend time with the "Super Funky Badass", the standard and excitement simply never drop.

Joe Satriani has always surrounded himself with the best musicians imaginable and always allowed them to express themselves fully into his style and yet here his two brothers in arms and the production presence of Mike Fraser may have impacted the end results like never before. It sounds nothing like a Glenn Hughes solo album, nothing like the RHCP and everything like a Joe Satriani record, and yet it still sounds different and reassuring similar. So what happens next? Only Joe knows, but if this is a sign of things to come, it'll continue to be a hell of a ride.

Track Listing
1. Energy
2. Catbot
3. Thunder High On The Mountain
4. Cherry Blossoms
5. Righteous
6. Smooth Soul
7. Headrush
8. Looper
9. What Happens Next
10. Super Funky Badass
11. Invisible
12. Forever And Ever

Added: January 9th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Joe Satriani online
Hits: 1378
Language: english

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