JOE SATRIANI – The Elephants of Mars
BAND URL: Joe Satriani – home
Legendary guitar-wizard Joe Satriani hardly needs any introduction as such, so let us instead cut right to the chase and discuss the maestro’s latest effort, i.e. the LP entitled “The Elephants of Mars”, which was actually something of a surprise to these ears in that it differs quite a bit from his previous offerings in terms of style and atmosphere. Joe’s unique tone remains intact and there is no mistaking that this is his handiwork, but it sounds more uplifting, nuanced, and, well, musically interesting compared to past efforts somehow. As clever and cool as many of the song arrangements and structures are, the tunes are in fact rather groovy, accessible, and memorable. The funky vibe that permeates the opus is a joy to behold, and Kenny Aronoff’s drumming is classy and stellar as hell and brings punch and power to the proceedings. I guess the main thing for me here is that Satriani sounds genuinely inspired and that “The Elephants of Mars” comes across as a labor of love with a prominent sense of cohesiveness and enthusiasm to it. Simply put, this is a hugely enjoyable listen where tracks ala “Faceless”, “Blue Foot Groovy”, “Sailing the Seas of Ganymede”, and “22 Memory Lane” are beautifully cinematic and rank among the guitarist’s finest compositions to date. The brooding “Through a Mother’s Day Darkly” is another succinct and thrilling piece that differs slightly from the rest thanks to its brooding vibe. Overall, the album strikes a good balance between being technically dazzling and refreshingly catchy, and there is something enticing about it that gets me every time I spin the disc. Recommended!