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Monday, January 15, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Electrifying new release from Joe Satriani and co-conspirators on What Happens Next

IT'S fair to say that Joe Satriani is one of the most entertaining and electrifying players in recent history. And, while we may look at the upcoming G3 show with John Petrucci and Uli Jon Roth is not coming to Ireland we have some consolation with the latest Satriani release 'What Happens Next'.

For the axeman to be so consistent and interesting on this his 16th solo album is something to be marvelled at.

This is an instrumental release that captivates and throughout makes the listener revel in. This is an album to crank up - let your neighbourhood hear its excellence. Or better still, just slap on some good headphones and kick back for a truly immersive guitar experience.

Teaming up with bassist extraordinaire Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) this is a collection of 12 tracks that see musicians simply enjoying themselves...for your aural pleasure.

From the pomp of the opener 'Energy' through to the closer 'Forever and Ever' there are no miss steps at any point.

With his collaborators Satch gives us a release that winds, snakes and grooves - an elixir of tone and rhythm that is switches from sweet, sweet sensuality on 'Smooth Soul' to high octane tracks such as 'Thunder High On The Mountain'.

Damn it - you could list all of the tracks, and all of their delicious elements and it still would not do it justice: put simply this is a guitar lovers wet dream.

And, what makes it so special are the arrangements. All too often instrumental albums are just wank-fests, but the arrangements are such that each tracks makes sense. Take 'Looper' as an example. The entirety of the song has such balance in the expression and ease it is when listening to it.

'What Happens Next' is the question posed. And, if Satriani can keep this energy and composition flowing who knows? But in the meantime sit your ass down and love this.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

What Happens Next is out now on Sony/Legacy Recordings 

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