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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joe Satriani

Dreaming #11

Review by Josh Turner

When the topic of guitar shredders comes up the same names are usually mentioned. In the early years of progressive music, there was Robert Fripp. Those who follow the metal end of the genre will quickly spout out the name John Petrucci while others may mention Rob Johnson. Getting a tad bit more into the mainstream a whole different Johnson by the name of Eric may even surface. There is obviously Steve Vai and some will certainly cite Eddie Van Halen. The last, but surely not the least, is Joe Satriani. While not typically rolling off the tongue of the casual listener, he is both respected and renowned by fans of guitar-laden rock and the guitarists themselves who aim for technical precision.

Joe transcends decades and even genres. These days he can be found on the road doing a handful of solo appearances. Sandwiched in between he is doing a number of gigs with G3, which features Steve Vai and Robert Fripp. These shows merit a large audience. While fans have been in awe of these guitarists individually, it should be quite a sight to see these legends perform together.

Long before G3 was ever conceived, Joe had a prosperous career all by himself. The album Dreaming #11 dates back to 1988. In this mini-disc, Joe reminds us how he secured many loyal fans years ago.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Crush Of Love
This song became a favorite among his fans. His guitar rolls up and down bunny hops like a wooden roller coaster. This slippery viper slithers back and forth as the music is in constant motion.
Ice Nine
He announces his bassist Stuart Hamm and drummer Jonathan Mover. Shortly thereafter, the pace picks up quite a bit from the last. This track and the ones to follow were lifted from the tour supporting Surfing with the Alien, his sophomore album that stunned critics and fans alike. The studio version of this song can be found on that album.
Memories
This is an excellent track that shows patience and dedication to the music. The majority of the song is slow and sweeping. Between these lazy notes he shoots off a couple rounds in rapid fire. The studio version of this track as well as the one to follow is found on the album Not of this Earth.
Hordes of Locust
The title of this song is a sufficient description of how it actually sounds. A swarm of locusts levitate in the air and land upon your clothing. When you shuck one off, another is quickly there to take its place. Eventually, you are bombarded by these creepy critters. They tickle your sides, itch upon your neck, and buzz around your ears. While this barrage of insects puts you in a state of alert, it is still a spectacle to observe. Since the four pieces are relatively short, you'll be left craving more when he closes the album with a simple, "Thank you." Fortunately, he has set aside many dates for live shows. At the pace he is going, we should be seeing more of him for quite some time. In the interim, be sure to check out other past material like his highly praised classic Surfing with the Alien.
 
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