RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova
Sony Music Entertainment

Rating: B+

Joe Satriani may be disappointed that his supergroup with Sammy Hagar, Chickenfoot, is not making new music... but that did not stop him from entering Skywalker Sound studio in Lucas Valley, California late last year and crank out another ‘winner’ in a long line of fantastic albums.  

The Force was with Satch as he delivered an album full of guitar heroics, smattered inside beautiful melodies and sonic soundscapes.  This is a well-rounded album, something that is sometimes difficult to create on an electric guitar instrumental album.  Joe has some great help, even admitting in the press release that, “I couldn’t have asked for a better band to help bring these songs to life.”  Indeed his band is talented!  The band consisted of veteran jazz, rock, blues, Zappa weird-type stuff wizard Mike Keneally, drummer Marco Minnemann and bassist Bryan Beller. 

The album is very classy in its instrumentalization.  Joe is confident yet not cocky throughout.  The album rocks and has plenty of ‘damn he’s good’ moments, but it does not overpower one’s senses and, truth be told, makes excellent background music.  Joe was inspired by an odd event he describes here, “...playing the guitar with my teeth an awful lot. I thought, ‘Why are you doing this?’ It’s as if something else, or somebody else, was driving me to do it”.  Not sure what that even means but, hell, if it makes him play like this and keeps his dentist on retainer, I say play with anybody part you want, Joey!
Satriani has now released one of the best albums of his career, and considering this is his 15th album, that says a lot.  The electric guitar, performed instrumentally, is not an easy instrument to keep interesting over fifteen albums. Joe Satriani has not only done that, he has continued to live outside the box and work his creative backside off in order to keep it fresh.   

This is a solid album released by a master of the craft, surrounded by musicians who are of the same caliber as Satriani.  Trust me, it’s good!

Shockwave Supernova
Lost In A Memory
Crazy Joey
In My Pocket
On Peregrine Wings
San Francisco Blue
Keep On Movin’
All of My Life
A Phase I’m Going Through
Scarborough Stomp
Butterfly and Zebra
If There Is No Heaven
Stars Race Across The Sky
Goodbye Supernova

By Jeb Wright