Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:06:37 minutes | 1,44 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © earMUSIC
17 albums in 35 years is an impressive feat. Even more impressive, however, is that Joe Satriani has always kept his quality high over time. he has received 15 Grammy nominations, but has yet to win one. Nevertheless, the musician is one of the best guitarists in instrumental rock today. This is also confirmed by his new, 18th studio album “The Elephants Of Mars”, which also marks the beginning of his collaboration with the earMUSIC label.
The album was made, how could it be otherwise, during the Corona pandemic and an accompanying break from concerts. Satriani and his live band wrote and recorded the 14 tracks in various locations around the world. But despite those constraints, or perhaps because of them, they wanted to do something more ambitious, using their time to create a wide-ranging set of songs that revealed a variety of influences. “We did everything. We tried the craziest ideas. And we tried every idea we had to turn something on its head and see what could happen,” Satriani writes on his website. “Sahara,” the first single from The Elephants Of Mars, is the best example of that.
In the wake of the new record, the guitarist says he challenged himself to create a “new standard” for instrumental guitar albums. He wanted to move away from what he describes as the “classic rock” of the last few albums he’s released. “I want to show people that an instrumental guitar album can have far more creative and fun elements than I think people are using right now,” Satriani says.
Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani has long defined his style not just by razor-sharp chops, but also by the spirit of imagination and curiosity that shines through in his most innovative work. Recorded slowly and patiently at his home studio while the COVID-19 pandemic kept him from touring, The Elephants of Mars highlights Satriani’s imaginative approach to instrumental guitar rock, twisting his already versatile guitar sounds into new forms of warped, fantastical, and often fun-loving compositions. Album-opener “Sahara” is as dust-swept as the title suggests, with a slow, broiling melodic figure switching gears to cosmic distortion tones midway through. By the end, the song has traveled from the Sahara desert to a red planet in a different solar system. Rapid shuffling through wildly varied sounds and ideas becomes a theme of the album. The frazzled, high-octane title track moves between moments of Satriani shredding over a shuffling groove and breakdowns to wobbly electronic sounds and more subdued playing. Multi-tracked, harmonized leads give the guitars of “Sailing the Seas of Ganymede” a synthy quality, and the song moves through segments of tension that break with technically dazzling solos or move into unexpected passages of space-aged funk. “Through a Mother’s Day Darkly” is cinematic and unsettled, with moments of spoken word floating over its bristling and busy arrangement. Satriani tones the exhilarated energy of the album down for the pensive “Faceless” and the misty, nostalgic atmosphere of the midtempo downtown rumination of “E 104th St NYC,” while flexing his well-established gifts for power balladry on the lovely, almost Beatles-like melodies and bluesy detours of “22 Memory Lane.” The Elephants of Mars is in keeping with the powerhouse technical ability Satriani has been a master of since the ’80s, but the extra time he took to completely explore every idea makes the album more interesting and offers a deeper look into the guitar god’s active psyche. – Fred Thomas
01. Joe Satriani – Sahara (04:36)
02. Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars (05:21)
03. Joe Satriani – Faceless (04:48)
04. Joe Satriani – Blue Foot Groovy (05:09)
05. Joe Satriani – Tension and Release (05:49)
06. Joe Satriani – Sailing the Seas of Ganymede (05:58)
07. Joe Satriani – Doors of Perception (03:17)
08. Joe Satriani – E 104th St NYC 1973 (05:36)
09. Joe Satriani – Pumpin’ (03:22)
10. Joe Satriani – Dance of the Spores (06:19)
11. Joe Satriani – Night Scene (04:33)
12. Joe Satriani – Through a Mother’s Day Darkly (04:12)
13. Joe Satriani – 22 Memory Lane (04:11)
14. Joe Satriani – Desolation (03:20)