Joe Satriani – Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards

Music Reviews

Joe Satriani – Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
by Ben Macnair

Joe Satriani, one of rock’s most accessible and melodic technical guitar virtuosos has released one of his strongest albums in a while, with the typically ambiguously title ‘Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards’.

The man who surprised the world with the technical de-force of ‘Surfing with the Alien’ has found a new way of playing guitar, putting spare melodies and guitars against more diverse backgrounds. A strong support band of Jeff Campitelli on Drums and Percussion, Bassist Allen Whitman and most tellingly, Mike Kenneally on Keyboards add a lot of space and colour to the compositions that Satriani has provided.

The keyboards help to create a Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer fusion tone on such tracks as ‘Two sides to Every Story’ and the title track, whilst ‘Dream Song’ features new keyboard sounds that would have previously been played on guitar. All of these new styles help to open up the sound of the album, adhering strongly to the maxim of less being more.

There is still plenty for air guitarists to play along to, with Satriani playing many styles that he is not as well known for. ‘Littleworth Lane’ is a strong tune, with bluesy guitar techniques pushed to the fore, whilst ‘Premonition’, ‘Pyrrhic Victoria’ and ‘Light Years Away’ contain advanced guitar techniques and playing, and plenty that rewards further listening.

2 thoughts on “Joe Satriani – Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards

    1. The only reason anyone listens to Chickenfoot is when you’re trying to get a buzz on. Which is most of the time for lots of people. So essentially people are listening to Chickenfoot most of the time, but rarely is anyone writing a review of Chickenfoot’s albums because they’re so buzzed.

      Maybe someone can explain to me why they released Chickenfoot (the album) and then Chickenfoot III (the album). What happened to Chickenfoot II?

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