Super Colossal

Studio Album by released in 2006
Super Colossal's tracklist:
Super Colossal
Just Like Lightnin'
It's So Good
Redshift Riders
Ten Words
A Cool New Way
One Robot's Dream
The Meaning of Love
Made of Tears
Theme for a Strange World
Movin' On
A Love Eternal
Crowd Chant

Super Colossal review

Joe Satriani celebrates two decades as a recording artist

If there were such a thing as a Guitar God, then it would be Joe Satriani. From mastering every performance technique on the guitar to inventing new theories, Satriani has not only inspired budding guitarists, he has been a teacher to some of the top rock guitar players of the '80s and '90s. Satriani is one of the most technically accomplished and widely respected guitarists to emerge in recent times. He celebrates two decades as a recording artist by releasing yet another consistently strong and refreshing platter of soulful goodness, Super Colossal. The master shredder still traffics in arena-sized hard rock instrumentals that provide plenty of room for his melodic, technically dazzling solos. While a record of guitar rock instrumentals might seem in imminent danger of growing stale, Satriani manages to keep things interesting, not only by varying his stylistic approach but by utilizing a wide vocabulary of guitar sounds and effects. And, naturally, guitar players and aficionados of six-string wizardry will find plenty to admire on nearly every track here. Particular care has been taken on this project to provide razor sharp and tight rhythm and melody. As the title indicates, the sound and production are “big” throughout with uberdrummer Simon Phillips and his massive sound joining the usual cast of characters on four of the tracks.

Each of the 13 all-instrumental power ballads has its own sound

Like his former student and sometime sparring partner Steve Vai, Satriani shows his virtuosity rests not only in his command over his instrument but also in his command of composition. It's So Good, One Robot's Dream, and the title cut are constructed with a master's sense of harmony, melody, and rhythm. Unlike most virtuosos, Joe Satriani has a more rhythmic sense of his guitar, perhaps because he began as a drummer. Those early skills have allowed him to create a solid groove to underpin his often-interstellar guitar excursions. At times he displays the seditious spirit of Jimi Hendrix or channels the ethereal lyricism of Arthur Lee's Love, as on Redshift Riders. Satriani also reminds us that he can compose gentle works of soul-stirring elegance as evidenced by Ten Words, A Love Eternal, and A Cool New Way. He shape-shifts on It's So Good, coaxing brazen sounds out of the Southern rock canon to get his point across. But the real standout is The Meaning of Love, a 4 1/2-minute mash note that has all the giddy delicacy of new romance without any of the bumpy heartbreak. The underlying metal influences of co-producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC) can be heard in the driving momentum of the music, from the thumping tight drum and bass lines of Just Like Lighting to the rousing floor stomping of Crowd Chant. Each of the 13 all-instrumental power ballads has its own sound, interwoven with complex techniques and exploratory guitar tones that do not sound over-produced.

Super Colossal is generally happy with an upbeat, uptempo and very optimistic vibe

Combining technical mastery and pop brilliance, Satriani stands out as the most lyrical of the old-school, rock-guitar heroes. What is truly astounding is that Joe can continue to dig deep into his bag of riffs and come up with enough goodies to give us yet another superb collection of tunes on this, his tenth studio release over the past two star-studded decades. Add to this the fact that many of the tunes have frequently changing and intricate melody lines, and you have once again, all the proof you would ever need that the man is a musical monster. Joe seems to be at a very good point in his life. The music is generally happy with an upbeat, uptempo and very optimistic vibe. That having been said, Joe has obviously dusted off and listened to some of his old blues collection because despite the general vibe, blues motifs run rampant here, particularly over the first three songs. With Super Colossal Satriani holds his place as one of the most imaginative and inspired minds of his – or any – musical generation and continues to prove that he is the only instrumental guitar artist that can consistently produce interesting and evolving work.

(22.03.2006)
Rate review3.78
Total votes - 69


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