Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Joe Satriani ~ Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards

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Style: instrumental, power metal
Label: Epic
Year: 2010
Home: n/a

Members: Joe Satriani ~ guitar/keyboards/bass
Mike Keneally ~ keyboards
Jeff Campitelli ~ drums
Allen Whitman ~ bass



A part of me just can't get into this album, but at the same time I can't say its a bad album or even that there's anything wrong with it. It's just not my thing. None of the songs jump out or excite me like the first time I heard JS's instant classic Flying In A Blue Dream, on the other hand it doesn't have any of the not so great singing that is both a good & bad blessing on that earlier album. This album also doesn't rock like I want JS to rock & feels very anti-climactic at times with more of a wandering feel than a building up feeling, but he is older & music has changed & he should be forgiven if he wants to slow things down & groove more than scream. I'm reminded of the last album by Jeff Beck which was a low flying affair that was more relaxing than what one might expect from Beck. I also think of Eric Clapton who has gone much more soft blues than pushing himself as he once did. Yet, I also can't help but think of all the other instrumental technical guitar albums I've heard. Here JS isn't showing off, isn't overly technical, isn't blasting the ear drums & paying more attention to developing the rhythm foundation than a lot of solo guitarists do. He's created here a guitar hero's album but without being an in your face guitar hero ... or, to put it another way, he turns in a technical album which doesn't sound overly technical, though it retains all the depth & feeling. Yet, even though I've listened to this numerous times over a couple days & don't hate it, I find the tracks don't jump at me like the earlier album & I come away feeling at a loss. This is probably more because it's not what I'm used to hearing from JS rather than anything about the album itself. Though, there is a lot less variety here which also is one reason it's not grabbing me. Flying In A Blue Dream verged on being too much all over the place, too unfocused, too much variety. This later release may play it too safe in the other direction. It's so safe that many of the lead lines tend to blend in the overall texture so the result is this doesn't sound always like a solo instrumental guitar rock album. But, while many of the tracks blend into each other in sound & feeling, if you work with this album & if it's what you're in the mood for the results you'll enjoy. JS is at a point where he doesn't feel he has to go to us, now its time for us to go to him.



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