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Engines of Creation
     

Engines of Creation

5.0 3
by Joe Satriani
 

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With his latest album, ENGINES OF CREATION, Joe Satriani steps into the modern age, infusing his songs with drum 'n' bass and techno samples. He isn't the first guitar hero to play with computers -- Jeff Beck pumped up the breakbeats on his 1999 album WHO ELSE? and onetime Satriani student

Overview

With his latest album, ENGINES OF CREATION, Joe Satriani steps into the modern age, infusing his songs with drum 'n' bass and techno samples. He isn't the first guitar hero to play with computers -- Jeff Beck pumped up the breakbeats on his 1999 album WHO ELSE? and onetime Satriani student Steve Vai toyed with electronic percussion last year on THE ULTRA ZONE -- but Satriani understands electronica perhaps better than either of his peers, having taken an active interest in alternative music since the early '90s. On much of ENGINES OF CREATION, Vai lets the beats do the heavy rhythmic work, leaving him free to sculpt and color the songs with his eye-popping guitar playing. As a result, the disc offers some of Satriani's most satisfying material since his 1987 Grammy Award-winning album, SURFING WITH THE ALIEN. And fortunately, Satriani doesn't sing on the album, allowing his vibrating strings to do all the talking. Throughout ENGINES OF CREATION, Satriani offers a balanced attack, experimenting with ringing chords and gurgling keyboards on "Flavor Crystal 7," contrasting accordion-like guitar sounds with insect-buzz on "Borg Sex," and unraveling romantic melodic passages over a samba beat on "Clouds Race Across the Sky." A miracle of Creation, for sure.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
With Crystal Planet, Joe Satriani made an effective return to his signature sound following the erratic blues-rock detour of Joe Satriani. For the follow-up to Crystal Planet, Satriani is once again exploring novel territory in an effort to keep his music fresh, and Engines of Creation is the biggest stylistic shift he's made yet -- to electronic music. Satriani's guitar is still the focal point of the music, to be sure, but while his virtuosity is obvious, it's often submerged in the new demands of this musical idiom. That isn't a surprise either, given that Satriani is one of the few guitar shredders whose taste and musicality have never been in question. But fans who simply want to hear him rip through his typical jaw-dropping solos may be disappointed (even though, in the end, there are more than a few solos), as will those guitar fans who reflexively disdain all sounds electronic. Having defended it, though, Engines of Creation isn't a total success. While the music is certainly influenced by techno and electronica, it probably won't appeal to listeners coming from those arenas; overall, it simply isn't as adventurous as much genuine electronica, avoiding complex backing rhythms or edgy sonic textures; nor is it as hypnotic, meandering or drifting aimlessly at times instead of moving into trancelike states of consciousness. Plus, Satriani's songs are often more traditional than they may seem upon first listen; many of the compositions are based on repeated themes and riffs and standard rock-song structures, switching between recurring, identifiable sections rather than gradually building and unfolding. However, the album can also be quite inventive. Satriani has challenged himself to find ways of coaxing totally new sounds from his guitar, and he weaves them seamlessly into the futuristic electronic soundscapes. Moreover, his melodies and main themes have rarely been this angular and off-kilter, meaning that exploring this music has indeed helped Satriani refresh and re-imagine his signature sound. Even the pieces that aren't ultimately that revolutionary are still intriguing, since very few musicians have the technical training and innate sense of musicality required to mine this territory. Overall, Engines of Creation is a brave and sporadically successful experiment, and it's also a promising new direction for Satriani should he choose to continue this vein of exploration and take it out even farther.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972670621
catalogNumber:
726706
Rank:
50362

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Engines of Creation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Satch has done it again. I love how he always wants to keep his music fresh so that no one could ever say he is doing the same old thing. I love this CD. Borg Sex and Devil's Slide are phenomenal. This CD doesn't stop pumping. It is great to hear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
... Joe did it again. Except this time ... HE REALLY DID IT!!! So controlled and so full of life. His sounds are so sensitive and so polyrhythmic ... It just blew me away. Why give him a grammy, when he has the whole world in his music??? ... a-m@adr.dk
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when you thought he was starting to sound the same, Joe changed the game again. This time on a completely different level. There is no other artist who can compare with Satch. Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughn were great for their times, but Satriani is what guitar is all about. Engines Of Creation blew my mind and has never left my car cd player. Even if you are not a Satriani fan, this has something anyone could like. The thunderous techno-rythm of ''Borg Sex'' to the melodic beauty of ''Slow and Easy'' Satch does it yet again.