Joe Satriani
Unstoppable Momentum


3.0
good

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
May 11th, 2013 | 17 replies | 5,973 views


Release Date: 05/07/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rock-along uptempo elevator music for the 21st century that's ultimately just another Satch boogie.

Hearing the name Joe Satriani conjures up one of a few images:

The Teacher - A man known primarily for the prodigies he's helped spawn. Kirk Hammett, Alex Skolnick, Larry LaLonde, and, of course, Steve Vai. He must be a good instructor!
The G3 Guy - Helping pave the way for the annual technical rock/jam ceremony with Vai and a different guest each year, G3 has cemented Satriani as a master of improvisation and technicality. It's on this stage where he shines.
The Coolest Cancer Patient You've Ever Met - I mean, just look at those sunglasses!

Rarely, however, does it conjure up the image of "the great composer." Yes, songs like "Surfing with the Alien" and "Satch Boogie" are some of the most complex your fingers have ever touched on a Guitar Hero game, but frantic pacing has always been a double-edged sword for Professor Satchafunkilus. Maybe that's why he was so quick to throw in his lot with the mostly disappointing star-alignment of Chickenfoot. And maybe that's why Unstoppable Momentum sounds the way it does.

I don't know what Satch thinks the world's going to expect from the title, but when I think "unstoppable momentum," I think of an album that's fast, blistering, and technical - especially coming from "the G3 guy," the personality everyone expects to hear from on a Satriani album. On the contrary, this is an album that goes against that grain. It's one that, while very obviously filled with the spirit and style of Satch, takes a tempo cue from 2004's Is There Love in Space?, slowing down and trying to find a musical voice before speeding up and down the fretboard.

You see, Unstoppable Momentum very much wants to be an album of "the great composer." From the first notes of the title track, there's a distinct attempt to establish an atmosphere to the album amid all of the speedy-yet-slower-than-normal guitar solos, though said atmosphere gets somewhat muddled and inconsistent between tracks. It paces itself well, it frames the guitar solos well, it segues between tracks with a notable degree of dignity. Hell, the bass work on the album even pops and adds groove to some of the album's chunkier tracks. Yet, for all its stabs at greatness, the sentiment that it's "another Satriani album" just can't be avoided, leaving the compositional attempt as little more than a footnote to an album that manages to fit the label everyone assigned it from the get-go.

When it comes down to it, Unstoppable Momentum is an album that's just another Satch hallmark attempting to balance technical proficiency with structure and flow. Unsurprisingly, it inevitably ends up somewhere in the between: rock-along elevator music for the 21st century that can kick on a few extra neurons, but which never really captivates the listener's attention. If Satch follows this musical path a little further and teeters just a bit further either to the left of experimentation or the right of structure, his next release may be another breakthrough. But as Unstoppable Momentum sits, it's just another Satch boogie.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
NightmareCinema16 (3)
Well…it is Joe Satriani, so I guess it conveys some positive results…...

TheCriticalListener (3)
Satriani delivers another typical Satriani album; nothing more and nothing less. Fans of him or of t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Surprised there were two other reviews by the time I finally got around to doing this. Work's been busy.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013



6013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think Satriani also tutored Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P.) just before Slayer record Seasons In The Abyss.

Excellent review.

Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

bloc
May 11th 2013



34790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

3 reviews with the rating of 3!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think Satriani also tutored Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P.) just before Slayer record Seasons In The Abyss.


Did he? I knew Kirk and Alex, but wasn't sure about the Slayer stuff. Wouldn't be surprised with just how incestuous that whole Bay Area thrash scene was, what with Kerry being in Megadeth briefly.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013



6013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Did he?

Found it.


[...] The fact that he [Jeff Hanneman] (and Kerry [King]) had some lessons from Joe Satriani during the recordings of ”Seasons In The Abyss” to show them some tricks, revealed that they had decided to do something special and evolve as much as it was possible. [...]

http://www.metalpaths.com/spotlight/tributes-spotlight/2013/05/04/tribute-jeff-hanneman-the-monarch-to-the-kingdom-of-the-dead/



On another note, I'm listening at the album stream and indeed the album feels "flat".

Ecnalzen
May 11th 2013



6504 Comments


"The Coolest Cancer Patient You've Ever Met - I mean, just look at those sunglasses!"

lol

Never been real interested in this guy. All his songs just seem like crazy long guitar solos.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2013



7365 Comments


Ace review man!

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Pestiferous
May 13th 2013



1211 Comments


really wanted to like this more

VermicideReloadead
May 13th 2013



1433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not his bast but more enjoyable than the works he made with chickenfoot

XulOnerom
May 13th 2013



1818 Comments


The Coolest Cancer Patient You've Ever Met


Nope. Heisenberg is cooler

MikeC26
May 13th 2013



3174 Comments


Yeah album brings the zzzz's

Good review though!

slimdaddy
May 13th 2013



428 Comments


Beethoven...
Vivaldi...
Mozart...
"Professor Satchafunkilus"



NightmareCinema16
May 13th 2013



2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I guess mine didn't get much attention then...eh, whatever. I'm not really mad. Review's well done, btw.

Eclecticist
May 14th 2013



3863 Comments


did this guy sign up for ACN and steal some of their shitty marketing phrases? fuck

SitarHero
May 14th 2013



4661 Comments


O NOES! Does this mean Chickenfoot is dead?!

DinosaurJones
May 15th 2013



490 Comments


Oh Joe, you could be so much more...

Sun2Moon
June 16th 2013



103 Comments


Voldemort with style.




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