I have been listening to Joe Satriani's 2004 album "Is There Love in Space?" for the last week at work, and that was, well, quite a satisfying experience. I absolutely enjoyed this album because it has Satch demonstrating his wizardry on the 6-string. There are also Matt Bissonette on bass and Jeff Campitelli on drums - pretty much standard line up for him. Together, JS and gangs have produced this latest album featuring 11 tracks over 58 minutes.
However, the whole album would probably only score a "not bad" from me when I compare it against his other work that I really like. Many songs are quite ordinary, and they have pretty much the same "tone" and colour of the sound - sometimes you might not even notice that they have changed the track if you are not paying attention! The guitar playing is exceptional, a lot of places are filled with complicated scale work and arrangement. However, I cannot only find a song that has that catchy ringing melody like "Surfing" or "Summer Songs". Well, "If I Could Fly" comes very close.
Furthermore, Satch sang in this album! In 2 tracks! Sorry, but I prefer much much more his guitar playing than his mono tone vocal.
Well, that's all the parts that I dislike. However, two songs in particular I really enjoy. Track 6 "If I Could Fly" has a catchy melody and a very nice solo. Well, actually there are two solos - a short one from 1:23 to 2:00, and the bluesy main solo + interlude starts at 3:00. Together with acoustic guitar backing on rhythm, this song really stands out from the whole album.
However, the reason why everyone should buy this album is because of the 10 minutes master piece "Searching" at track 10. This slow moving ballad just sounds, hum, I guess I have ran out of words to properly describe it. The style is quite bluesy, and some slower part reminds me the songs in his self titled album in '95. You just felt that there are so many stories behind each of the note. When the song progresses to JS's solo - I am totally overwhelmed. Not only you hear the best of JS in this song, drum and bass are also working very well.
Now I cannot decide which track is my all time favourite, which was previously held by the live version of "Echo" on "Time Machine" CD#2. I can't wait to listen to the live version of "Searching".