Monday, August 12, 2013

Album Review: "Unstoppable Momentum" by Joe Satriani

It's certainly been a long time since Satch has graced these ears. Everyone has heard "Summer Song" off of The Extremist. Certainly Sony helped out Satriani in that endeavor...

However, it has been far longer since the wider world has heard anything else from this fretboard master and there is absolutely zero hesitation in calling this man a master or any other superlative that can be thought of. This man not only has a strong catalog of his own music, but he was the guitar teacher of other guitar heroes, such as Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett. The world of guitar owes a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Satriani for his contributions, not only to his own music, but to the music of his now famous students as well. It's interesting to note that Vai took lessons from Satch when they were both children, but Hammett took lessons from Joe after the recording of "Kill 'Em All" to improve his technique, and the difference was striking.

Back to Joe and his music, frankly, it's been a very long time since I have heard any music by Joe. As everyone else, I had The Extremist and after a time, my interest in instrumental guitar had waned and with so many other albums in the genre, it was no longer a part of my music library. Those days however are gone, and it's exciting to see what Joe has become.

In interviews recently, he has said that it is no longer about showing the world how great of a player he is. Recently, Steve Vai seems to have done the same thing, and The Story of Light was the superb result.

Unstoppable Momentum does not have the ethereal feel of the latest Vai release, but Joe has never been that type of player. He "sings" with his guitar while the rest of the band holds him up. To that end in this album is more of the same. Thankfully this is a very solid formula that will always hold up.

True to his words, there are few jaw dropping pyrotechnic solos that last for sixty to ninety seconds. Joe's highly effected tone is all over the album. It would be hard for a fan to not hear his "voice" as soon as the first song kicks into gear.

This album will not take the listener on journey like other recent instrumental albums, but it is filled with Joe Satriani's signature emotive melodies and some very tasty guitar interludes. This is a very enjoyable album from one of the originators of the genre.

Year: 2013
Genre: Metal (for lack of a better term)


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

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