The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th

Guitar-rock icon succeeds with new LP

Satriani's album delivers the licks

MUSICREVIEW Joe Satriani Super Colossal 4 Stars For all virtuosos in the making, prepare to kneel before the god of rock and light your six-strings aflame in homage to the definitive emblem of rock 'n' roll. Rock guitar legend Joe Satriani has done it again. With his 14th studio release, Super Colossal, the rock relic and mentor to guitar greats such as Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett has unleashed a face-melting feat of imagination. Satriani is the master of anthemic rock riffs that majestically blend smooth jazz undertones with soulful refrains and the kind of instrumental hooks that listeners can't help but let play uninterrupted. A guru in both time phrasing and modern theory, he takes it back a few decades with gritty old-school riffs that feed in and out of the new-school prog-rock twist the guitarist is known for. By far the most listener-friendly guitar hero to come out of the past few decades, Satriani employs his classic octave effect, producing his Hendrix-esque multitimbral sound. To say his work is technically advanced is a gross understatement. Rich in color and vibrant tonality, his progressions defy the need for lyrical enhancement. His fingers speak for themselves. The sunny day, wind-in-your-hair theme of "It's So Good" begs listeners to get lost in the moment as Satriani's fingers fly through impressively chill rhythm sections and playful intricacies, while "Theme for a Strange World" teases listeners into a fret-busting fury of expertly crafted experimental guitar rock. With his trusty Ibanez guitar at his side, Satriani builds his album around his signature engine of creation - the "Pitch Axis" theory, a complex compositional method. A stylistic staple in any Satriani album, Super Colossal witnesses the blending of his traditional compositional approach, stemming off the major and Lydian modes, with edgier modalities such as Phrygian and harmonic minor. Now that's some strange beautiful music. The aptly named last track "Crowd Chant" echoes the artist's call-and-response live performance style and is the only cut on the album to include any semblance of vocal expression. No Satriani album is complete without a slow sensual number guaranteed to bring listeners to their knees, and he never leaves listeners wanting. The guitarist laces his latest release with the smooth track "A Love Eternal," which is classic, soul-stirring love metal. In other words, if today's R&B is the music to get it on to, this is the music to make love to. Despite the album's focus on head-bobbing rock riffs, there is a delicate romanticism subtly streaming throughout. It's safe to say the teacher, as Satriani is affectionately called, is back, and class in definitely in session. Contact the A&E Editor at


The Daily Tar Heel Women's Tennis Victory Paper

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive