Review: Joe Satriani – What Happens Next

Review: Joe Satriani – What Happens Next

Sony Music Cmg (January 2018)

Reviewer: David Mark Pearce

Believe it or not, although being a guitarist myself, this is my first review of a guitar instrumental album.

I think it’s good to go in at the very top and start with what he does best. Yes, there’s faster, maybe more technically intricate out there – but none anywhere near as commercially successful as Satch! Why? Well, the guy has technique in spades, but where as others rely almost solely on that alone, Joe brings musicality, skill and melody to his songs. Everyone, from your dyed in the wool shredder to (let’s face it!) your Dad, will be singing along and tapping their feet, or fingers, too. That’s what, in my opinion, makes Satch the best!

To be the best, or the captain of your own ship as it were, it helps if you have first and second mates along for the journey. In this instance, Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith. Satch has been quoted as saying something along the lines of “What would happen if I put this guy with this guy?”. Well, he did it here and it’s a perfect combination! Hughes is more known for being the so called voice of rock, although I’ve never seen him as that – he’s more funk, to me, than out and out rock – but everyone seems to forget just how good a bassist he is. I mean, c’mon, he was in Trapeze and Deep Purple and you’re not in those bands on looks alone! Combine him with Smith and that’s the solid rhythm section taken care of, but it’s one that’s really interesting to listen to as well. Hughes really delivers on what, I believe, is his first instrumental outing!

All in all, what we have here is, I think, Satriani’s strongest album in many a year. I’m intrigued to find out “what happens next” well, after this one, wait – that is this one ….. oh, you know what I mean!


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