Review: Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars

Review: Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars

earMUSIC (April 8th, 2022)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Satch is back with his brand new album ‘The Elephants of Mars‘. Whilst this is unmistakably a Joe Satriani album (that guitar tone gives it away), this is an album where Joe has thrown caution to the wind, a real what the hell, let’s see what happens! As Joe himself says “We did everything. We tried the craziest ideas. And we entertained every notion we had about turning something backwards, upside down, seeing what could happen.

Now when it comes to any Satch release I have to be in the mood in order to listen to it properly. This isn’t a negative thing as once in the ‘zone’ with my decent headphones plugged into my DAC his albums just wash over me, enveloping me in a landscape if that makes any sense at all?

A lot of instrumental albums can become samey, boring and somewhat forgetable. ‘The Elephants of Mars‘ in no way, shape or form falls into that catigory. With every listen the album just grows, more subtleties exposed, the level of skill and dexterity is just unbelievable. Joe isn’t a guitarist’s guitarist for nothing, mind you I don’t and can’t play guitar, or any other instrument come to that lol, but I can still appreciate what it takes to get to this level of musicianship.

Although not exactly in the same ‘boat’ there are nuances of Ozric Tentacles and Tangerine Dream (a fan of both am I) the way some tracks lead you into and across a musical landscape. A perfect example of this would be  ‘E 104th St Nyc 1973‘ or ‘Sailing the Seas of Ganymede‘.

Tracks like ‘Pumpin’‘ and ‘Blue Foot Groovy‘ are reminiscent of albums past, whilst ‘Dance of the Spores‘ is shall we say, a little out there!

Favorite track? Well with such a smorgesboard I thought when first playing the album it would be a tough choice, that is until I reached the final track ‘Desolation‘. Why that one? To be honest I don’t really know, it just grabbed me on a different level.

Joe Satriani fans will of course have already pre-ordered it (pre-order here) Those of you not sure or who don’t normally indulge in instrumental rock, let me suggest you take the plunge, the worse that can happeen is you don’t like it. Yet maybe you’ll discover an absolute delight.

Tracklist:

  1. Sahara
  2. The Elephants Of Mars
  3. Faceless
  4. Blue Foot Groovy
  5. Tension And Release
  6. Sailing The Seas Of Ganymede
  7. Doors Of Perception
  8. E 104th St NYC
  9. Pumpin’
  10. Dance Of The Spores
  11. Night Scene
  12. Through A Mother’s Day Darkly
  13. 22 Memory Lane
  14. Desolation

p.s. don’t forget Joe will be back in the UK next May. Tour info here