One of the most innovative voices in contemporary American music, guitarist Joe Satriani celebrates two decades as a recording artist by releasing yet another consistently strong and refreshing platter of soulful goodness.... more » 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. Satch still shreds without compromise, as he demonstrates on "Bedshift Riders," but he 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." With Super Colossal Satriani holds his place as one of the most imaginative and inspired minds of his--or any--musical generation. --Jedd Beaudoin« less
One of the most innovative voices in contemporary American music, guitarist Joe Satriani celebrates two decades as a recording artist by releasing yet another consistently strong and refreshing platter of soulful goodness. 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. Satch still shreds without compromise, as he demonstrates on "Bedshift Riders," but he 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." With Super Colossal Satriani holds his place as one of the most imaginative and inspired minds of his--or any--musical generation. --Jedd Beaudoin
Mike S | Front Royal,Virginia United States | 03/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a long time Satriani fan,you won't be dissaponted with this one. The cd has excellent guitar riffs and guitar solos in the classic Satriani instrumental style that I love. The music is fresh and creative while still maintaining his trademark sound from the past. Joe plays all the instruments,except the drums(played by Simon Philips and Jeff Campitelli),and plays them very well. There isn't a bad song on this cd. It's right up there in the same league with his past 2 studio albums. All killer,no filler!!"
Innovative & Creative with a little "Satch Nostalgia" thrown
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 04/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I kind of lost interest in Guitar Virtuoso Joe Satriani. Like many talented musicians (lets face it, he's a god on guitar when it comes to technical mastery) I felt some of his late nineties albums, as well as the ones he's released in the 21st century, were branching out into just plain weird territory. Don't get me wrong, I think it was simply the fact some of his music beyond "Flying in a Blue Dream" "Surfing with the Alien" and "The Extremist" just didn't connect with me near as much as those particular albums did. Enter Super Colossal. The album was to inviting to pass up, as the buzz is true: Satch is back! It's not that he's replaying the same catchy riff or melody that caught us by storm back in his earlier years; it's the fact that the album feels more grounded, but still ranks high with innovation and creativity. The blended result is one of the best solo guitar works I have heard in years! First off, it's diverse, and each song is slightly different in technical approach, harmony, and effects. We have songs that radiate jazz, spill the blues, and rock like they are right outta McFly's amplifier on "Back to the future". The tones of some of these songs are excellent, and remind me also of Eric Johnson, who as well as Satch, have made his guitar literally "sing" the song itself. Couple that with moody overtones that speak in range from high to low, and you are listening to guitar rock that is not labeled or dated, but can stand the test of time. The only brand you can put to it, is the name JOE SATRIANI.
The title track starts us out. Colossal starts out with a downtrodden crescendo that starts to tell the listener they are in for an epic time. Soon we're thrown into a slow but steady rhythm that though is all over the scale, never gets out of control. This allows the song, unlike some of his past efforts, to have a little tighter composure and more structure so the listener isn't lost in a world of beeping added in technical effects and monstrous amounts of noodling.
Here comes the switch. The second song "Just like Lightnin'" has a groovy intro, somewhat a bluesy southern rock feel that is really great. Different guitar parts are layered well within this, but production gets an A+ as each stands out where it should, and steps back for the other when it's time to fade. Satch gives us the typical teasers of making that sound like "Charlie Browns Teacher" and we're all the better for it. In the background there seems to be a light synth sound going on to add to the dramatic appeal of the song and pull it away from the "swamp cabin" effect and more into the mainstream.
"It's so good" comes in as the 3rd track, and has one of the neatest riffs I've heard in a long time. Great tone on this as we're not blown away by technical prowess or angry chords, but instead tapping our beat to a beautiful melody that soon is joined by various jams here and there before falling again into the catchy, main guitar track of the tune. That is what is great about this whole album; you can have several guitar solos composed onto one song. They all adhere to each other and join together for hours of listening fun. I still seem to discover something new every time I listen to this album.
The fourth track "Redshift Riders" is a gem. This song opens with a slow, almost oriental riff before exploding into a fast paced, old school rocker. In the foreground you have a heavy, nearly bass sounding riff laying the foundation, while in the background Satch comes out with a sharp, high sounding solo that is fast but accurate. At times the guitar screams before settling back down into one of several riffs we hear throughout the song. It just plain rocks!!
There isn't a word spoke on track five, but "10 words" is another great track. This time Satch slows it down for a modern sounding, sad song of sorts. Very heartfelt in tone and melody, it's not that it's a downer; it's just all out feeling. Sometimes it's hard to describe a song in words but "feeling" or "emotion" comes to mind. The way he end's it, like it truly is a complete song of sorts, is great to.
Track six is similar in theme to track five, though it talks to us more with a lot of electric jamming from Satch. The song is slow in rhythm but not short on power. Very, very groovy tune!
Track six is "One robots dream" and is kind of hard to peg into words. I'd say it starts off sounding like it's to be a happy, blues filled jam but quickly throws in some eerie sounds that I can't even describe, other than it sounds like some "Boo" sounds that come out in scary movies right before something bad happens. From there the base of this song is Satch playing an earthy sounding solo that has some extra high pitched tracks layered in. Not to fast, not to slow, just groovy and mysterious sounding enough to get our attention, with some added changes in sounds that feed into great crescendo's, giving us the idea of a story being told behind the song.
Next is "Meaning of love" and is probably best put as another ballad/soft melody type tune. The keyboard (it sounds like, or is it Satch with an effects pedal of some kind?) sounds lay the base while a soft drumbeat looms in the distance. Slow but not to slow, the song has a good pace and again, has some signature Satch jamming that alternates enough to give this song it's own identity.
"Made of Tears" starts off simple and slow before dropping down into a hard, thunderous beat of drums and light lead guitar work that lets the drums shine through. A jazzy sounding tune at times, it soon evolves into an epic harmony that is nostalgic of his older sound from the early nineties.
"Theme for a strange world" opens fast and furious, with big crescendo and spacey, high pitched sounds. It seems to try to almost be prog rock tunes with a resemblance to something say, Queensryche or Dream Theater would do. But it's not; because it's Satriani, and soon there is awesome rolling melodies that add's a lot of substance to the overall epic feel of the song. Satch trades in higher pitch at times for a more accepted, low, brooding riff that stays strong throughout the track.
"Movin' on" has a great guitar intro and kind of reminds me of something "night ranger" used to do...simply open up with a great, catchy riff that was uplifting and emotional but not ripe with sap or overly played. Overall another fun tune that is composed very well.
"A love eternal". This track is a low, soft sweeping melody that is truly music to the ears. Satch plays some great stuff here that is melodic and fun to listen to. Not to slow, the song does have overtones of a softer, singing guitar. Again, every time it goes in one direction, then we go in another. There are some really great crescendo's that switch the mood of the song well.
Ahhhh..The grand finale in "Crowd Chant". What we have here folks, is the song of the year. This thing, I'm telling you right now, is going to replace Queen's "We will rock you" for the signature Sports Stadium Soundtrack. An awesome riff to bring us in, followed by Satch playing little signatures squeals that a crowd of people stomping their feet and clapping their hands to the beat sing back to him..."Oh ohhhh ohhh". I was surprised some of them were able to hit some of the highs and low's he threw at them. The song then speeds off again with one of the best riffs I've heard in a while, and the crowd jumps on and takes off with it with a "hey...hey...hey....hey" chant that blends perfectly with Satch's playing. With March Madness coming up, it wouldn't surprise me if they threw this on with a highlight video to advertise the games.
I love that song, and this entire album. A complete album, a complex album. And innovative album. Satch stayed to his roots without giving up his creativity or desire to explore his imagination when the instrument of choice is in his hands. The result is one of his best releases in the past 10 years. "
3 1/2 stars-- a distinct improvement.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 04/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After the somewhat lackluster effort of "Is There Love in Space?", "Super Colossal" is somewhat of a return to form. While it lacks some of the experimental edge that the releases before "Is There Love in Space?" had, what it does bring to the plate is a sense of patience and of development. In the past, Satriani was much more up front and jumping headlong into his performances, this album has a more organic feel and lets the performances build naturally.
All of this could be an outgrowth of a heightened sense of drama and slower tempos-- title track and opener "Super Colossal" sets this up nicely-- the theme is heavy, slow, and build dramatically until an absolutely superb solo by Satriani. But the piece is also offset by a sense of subtlety in the arrangement and performance-- check the piano line pounding away way below the lead in the mix-- it's this sort of thing that makes the piece go somewhere.
And really, all the best tracks on the album have this mix of patience and subtlety driving them-- from the Morricone Western sounds of "Redshift Riders" to the layered cleantone guitars and fierce leads of "A Cool New Way" and the galloping rhythm guitars of "Made of Tears" offsetting an utterly fantastic and passionate lead line.
Still, with all this nice playing, some of the album drags a bit-- "It's So Good" is somewhat dull riff-based rock and even Satriani's exciting solo can't resurrect it, "Movin' On" sounds just a bit too familiar to me (although Satriani's solo construction, including scratches at the guitar, is superb) and while "Crowd Chant" is likely to be a highlight live, its call and response (with a crowd echoing back the guitar lines) sounds goofy on record.
While "Super Colossal" isn't as good as much of Satriani's other work, after what I felt was a bit of a lackluster effort on "Is there Love In Space?", it's nice to see a reasonable return to form. Recommended."
That Is How Rock Album in 21 Century Must Sound!!!
Sergey Lenkov | Mother Russia | 04/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joe Satriani never let us down. But I couldnt`t believe that he could record new album much interesting than his older classic CDs as "Surfing With An Alien", "Flying...", "Extremist". But he did it. As always fresh energetic driving beautiful really colossall sound!!! Soundclips on this page couldn`t give you right impression of this record. As you know each peace by Joe is a kind of a story spoken by his guitar, a kind of a puzzle, labyrinth which listener would follow Joe till the end. First 3 songs are great but the album really starts with hard rock hit "Redshift Riders" and with this music you would follow the stream through ambiental "A Cool New Way" to rocking "Croud Chant". So don`t wait - buy this album. Really rock album of the year!"
A new galaxy of sound...
J. Brea | 04/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's where I feel Joe's music takes me when he composes like this. Great stuff, it's inspired,it moves me. Thank you Joe! "