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Satriani, Joe: Super Colossal

What is truly astounding is that Joe can continue to dig deep into his bag of riffs and come up with enough goodies to give us yet another superb collection of tunes on this, his tenth studio release over the past two star studded decades. Add to this the fact that many of the tunes have frequently changing and intricate melody lines, and you have once again, all the proof you would ever need that the man is a musical monster. Joe seems to be at a very good point in his life. The music is generally happy with an upbeat, up tempo and very optimistic vibe. That having been said, Joe has obviously dusted off and listened to some of his old blues collection because despite the general vibe, blues motifs run rampant here, particularly over the first three songs.

Particular care has been taken on this project to provide razor sharp and tight rhythm and melody. I dare say the rhythm guitar intricacies in particular are at least as important as the lyrical lead playing. The soloing is generally very contained, intelligent phrasing sticking within the pocket of the particular song with the exception of a few searing jazz fusion tinged flights of fancy. As the title indicates, the sound and production are "big" throughout with uberdrummer Simon Phillips and his massive sound joining the usual cast of characters on four of the tracks.

The title track starts things off with a massive ear assault and some superb blues soloing from Joe. "Just Like Lightnin'" kicks in with a dry ZZ Top like snarl, wanders through some dreamy "Crush of Love" wah-wah terrain and then returns for some more blues ripping from Joe. "It's So Good" washes over you like a cool summer breeze before once again charting a course that leads into some ultra modern blues based soloing. "Redshift Riders" is the full on rocker of this release. Starting off with a recurring eastern tinged theme the song quickly morphs into a crunchy insistent chord fest that will indeed be dangerous to drive along with. Joe throws all manner of cool riffing from his bag 'o tricks over this one. "Ten Words" is a simple effective upbeat melody in Joe's inimitable style featuring as usual, an exquisitely phrased solo passage. "A Cool New Way" definitely is just that, a dreamy atmospheric soundscape awash with memorable, emotional and lyrical playing. "One Robot's Dream" kicks off with Phillip's insistent beat and ultimately builds into a fusiony extravaganza with the most intense and searing soloing on the release as well as tone to die for. "The Meaning Of Love" is a gorgeously lyrical melody progression that is very reminiscent of the feel and vibe encapsulated in many of the tunes of the stellar instrumentalist Jean Luc Ponty. The soloing is a model of phrasing and restraint. "Made of Tears" features the snap drumming like groove of the Who's "Eminence Front". Dunno if Simon was part of that one, but here his rhythm leads Joe through some ever changing musical motifs and terrain. "Theme for a Strange World" is another rocker with some really cool recurring bouncy synth like guitar riffs and featuring another intense scale driven solo passage. "Movin' On" is another of those trademark mid-tempo Joe melody fests with once again, spot on phrasing and hummable lyrical guitar lines. "A Love Eternal" is a poignant melody featuring probably the most emotional soloing on this project. The "Crowd Chant" finishes things off with a fun and crunchy in your face ask and answer session between Joe's snarling guitar and an assembled studio choir. I think it is a safe bet we will be hearing more of this one on the upcoming tour!

All in all, another staggering release from Joe that easily earns the maximum allowable rating (in my book) for an instrumental release , 4-1/2 stars. Why? Because Joe continues to prove that he is the only instrumental guitar artist that can consistently produce interesting and evolving work. Suggestion? Get it.

Track Listing
1) Super Colossal
2) Just Like Lightnin'
3) It's So Good
4) Redshift Riders
5) Ten Words
6) A Cool New Way
7) One Robot's Dream
8) The Meaning of Love
9) Made of Tears
10) Theme for a Strange World
11) Movin' On
12) A Love Eternal
13) Crowd Chant

Added: March 6th 2006
Reviewer: Mike Blackburn
Related Link: Joe Satriani Website
Hits: 7147
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Satriani, Joe: Super Colossal
Posted by Victor Spinelli (rtx) on 2006-08-24 11:58:41
My Score:

Hi Mike
that's a very good and minucious job. You have 5 stars :p
Talking about the album, to be honest, I prefer "Is there love in the space".
The songs on Super Colossal are all great, but the sound makes my head aches: to loud and "noisy" for me. But talking about the compositions, Joe continues giving us his magic.

Satriani, Joe: Super Colossal
Posted by Tracie Safley on 2006-03-06 14:24:42
My Score:

Really nice job Mike, you gave a great review and got me even more revved up, which is hard to do cuz I'm already VERY excited to get this new release! I hope you get your time with Joe so you can add more of his thoughts about this album and what he's feeling!

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