Music Reviews

Joe Satriani

Engines Of Creation

Epic

Joe Satriani surprises his fans once again with this new twist! One is bound to wonder how many interesting albums an instrumentalist could release without getting repetitive and cliched. But Satriani, whose strongest forte is his guitar playing, has kept his creative juices flowing for more than a decade now by venturing into new territories, all the while keeping the emphasis of his music on melody and guitar instrumentalism. He has always been careful to keep himself from being over-indulgent on the guitar – a habit which has given him an edge over fellow instrumentalists – and has made his music more accessible to the less guitar-inclined. With the self-titled Joe Satriani, Satriani explored the blues-rock arena; the next release, Crystal Planet, was more of a return to his signature style; with Engines Of Creation, Satriani is out exploring again. And it is exciting!

Stylewise, Satriani has made the biggest shift in this album – to electronic music. Don’t fret guitar enthusiasts, guitars and instrumentals are still the main focus, but they are covered with layers of electronic textures and rhythms. For fans who simply want those insane solos: you might be a little disappointed, but this album does carry a few of those, too. In Engines Of Creation, Satriani has found ways to nicely blend new tones from his guitar and from electronica (courtesy of one Eric Caudieux) into interesting, novel pieces. “Devil’s Slide,” the opening track, sports typical Satriani guitar through a processor accompanied by techno-rhythms. “Flavor Crystal 7” is purely experimental – intriguing. You’ve got to check it out!

“Until We Say Goodbye” is very reminiscent of Satriani from Surfing with the Alien. More experimental music on “Borg Sex” and “Attack.” “Clouds Race Across The Sky” is slow-paced over cool South-American style beats. All in all, Engines Of Creation is a bold step for a guitarist like Joe Satriani, but his training in technique and his flair for style have come to his aid. This sounds like an exciting and promising direction, if Satriani should choose to continue on this vein.

Epic, 550 Madison, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022-3211


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