Album Mini-review: Joe Satriani — Shockwave Supernova
File next to: Buckethead
, Steve Vai
, John Petrucci
A big part of what has always made the music of Joe Satriani stand out among contemporaries is the guitarist’s inerrant sense of melody. While other shredders rely on technique and speed, Satriani employs those qualities in service of rock-solid songwriting. And though he can actually sing (he provided backing vocal on Crowded House‘s debut album, of all things), Satriani has long since made the decision to let the music do the talking. That his instrumental songs still manage to sounds like they’re “about something” is a testament to his skill as composer and arranger. His fleet-fingered, constant soloing is the “lead vocal” of his albums, but the arrangements allow the other players’ work room to breathe. There may not be anything on Shockwave Supernova quite as timeless as the Grammy-nominated “Always With Me, Always With You,” but that’s a near impossible standard to apply. Soaring, expressive guitar work abounds.
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About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.