I was a bit indifferent about last week’s album. Not if it was good or not, it was, just how I felt about it. Eugene obviously enjoys it (it’s his list), I don’t know how Jon will feel about it. But, man, we’ve already done 20 weeks of this. 2/5 of the list is down. Well, let’s hit it, then?
#20 – Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani.
I’m going to go ahead and say that compared to last week’s flash and boasting, this week’s album has soul and feeling. The grooves on this album are non-stop and the melodies are fantastic. While there are few that can touch his playing, Satch wows you with his blues riffs, his driving rhythms, his command of the entire song. Don’t get me wrong, he still blazes, like Yngwie, but I just feel as if he does it with more feeling and flair than “look how fast I can go.” Satch has his classical moments, too. Just listen to “Midnight.” He can also jump from melodic to in-your-face and back again in the blink of an eye. Example: “Circles.”
Like Yngwie, Satch is playing all the non-drum parts on this album. So, he truly dictates the entire feel of the song, not just from the guitar driver’s seat but from the backbone forward. I have to admit, too that I hadn’t heard most of this album. There have been songs that have been in commercials and perhaps a video game or something, but this is the first time listening through (well, I’m up to seven listens for this round). I thought Stu Hamm was playing bass with him, but not on this album. I have Flying in a Blue Dream (1989) and I know Stu played on a few of those.
This will probably be my shortest review (I know it is so far) but I feel if I keep writing, I’m just going to start overusing adjectives and adverbs. Here’s all you really need to know. This album is phenomenal; it’s tasteful, imaginative, grooving and you can get lost in it. It’s good for background, it’s good for foreground.
My favorites on the album are… Well, start from the beginning with the title track and when you reach the backside of “Echo,” that’s my favorite song. And, let’s stop a minute to appreciate the cover. As a comic book geek, I’ve always loved the fact that the Silver Surfer graced the cover and from what I can tell, the hand of Galactus is on the other side. Pretty cool.
Thanks, Eug for this one. I really did enjoy it. I can’t wait to see what you and Jon think of this.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
““Globally, the idea for the album was to celebrate everything that I really liked about electric guitar, my roots, and the players that I still really like.” – Joe Satriani in an interview about Surfing with the Alien with MusicRadar.com