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Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards

118 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 5, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Satriani s 14th studio album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards, produced and recorded by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica) and Satriani, has recently been completed and is set for release on October 5, 2010 through Epic Records. Joe is joined once again by veteran Satriani bandmate Jeff Campitelli on drums, and newcomers, keyboardist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai) and bassist Allen Whitman (Mermen) also adding to the sound. Satriani s classic sound is accompanied by a surprisingly rich texture of new material as well. This 11-track album s first single "Light Years Away" is destined to be a hit, with several other high energy offerings, like Wormhole Wizards and Premonition. Satriani s World Tour promoting Black Swans . . . will begin in this fall, kicking off on October 16 in Dublin, Ireland with the North American dates starting on December 1 in Atlanta, hitting cities such as Chicago, New York, Boston and more (a second January 11 leg TBA).

1. Premonition
2. Dream Song
3. Pyrrhic Victoria
4. Light Years Away
5. Solitude
6. Littleworth Lane
7. The Golden Room
8. Two Sides to Every Story
9. Wormhole Wizards
10. Wind in the Trees
11. God is Crying

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic / RED / Sony
  • ASIN: B003ZJJFKE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,395 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Woolybugger on October 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
From start to finish this album is really fun to listen to. I hadn't even read anything about the CD...just popped it in and started listening. Right away you know something is different: the keyboards. Once again Joe has changed studio bands bringing in Mike Keneally on keys and Allen Whitman on bass.

Not knowing what to expect after recent releases, (Super Colossal and Professor Satch were very technical and the Chickenfoot project was lame) I was happy once I heard the first note. There is amazing guitar work as one would expect on a Satch album, but it's not overdrive...the disc is full of solid, no BS guitar riffs with several keyboard solos. I think playing in a band (Chickenfoot) may have changed his approach a bit.

My favorite songs are "Premonition" , "Pyrrhic Victoria" , "Two Sides To Every Story" (very jazzy!) and "Wormhole Wizards". There is even a ballad "Littleworth Lane" which I can envision being played with the 10-minute solo live in concert.

Overall this a very impressive effort and my favorite since "Strange Beautiful Music" & "Crystal Planet".
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By dj on October 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
...but in the end, I think he and Joe created a well-polished album that is lush in tone and creative enough to stand apart from some of Joe's recent works.

Production Quality: Again, with Fraser at the helm, I thought I would hear a lot of clipping and dynamic range compression (which appeared gratuitously on "Death Magnetic"), but so far I have yet to detect any. This is a plus, especially given some of the recent works that have succumb to the loudness war who otherwise are above all that (Rush's "Vapor Trails," Porcupine Tree's "Deadwing," etc.). The drum cymbals are a bit loud for my taste, but not overwhelming (like they are with some of Riverside's early recordings). Joe is almost exclusively an Ibanez guitar player, and the strong mid-range of Ibanez guitars resonates throughout. And, as the first reviewer mentioned, KEYBOARDS! I'm so happy to hear a keyboard layered into a Joe CD. He attempted some of this on "Engines of Creation," but it didn't sit right with me due to the electronica-style percussion that accompanied it (although I think he hit a home run with the keyboard layering on "Until We Say Goodbye"). All in all, it sounds "thicker" and more harmonious than the Satchfunkulous album, and cleaner than Super Colossal.

Content/Writing: I think Joe is at a point where he has found a groove, one that makes you want to go back to the CD and hear bits and pieces repeatedly. One thing about this and his last two CDs that made me give four stars instead of the typical Fanboy Five is that while all the songs are "good," there isn't one or two that really stand out to me. For example, when I listen to "The Extremist," I'm astounded by how catchy and unique each individual song is - from the opener "Friends" all the way to the closer "New Blues.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. Sayne on October 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Satriani finally has all the pieces needed to once again make a great instrumental rock guitar album! These songs are some of the best, most interesting & varied compositions he's written in years. I think having a strong band backing him up also helps. Mike Keneally is amazingly tasteful in what he chooses to play; anything that has his name attached to it is guaranteed to be quality! Nice bass lines by Alan Whitman too; Joe's songs always seem to groove more when he has someone other than himself on bass. Glad that Joe is back to playing Marshall amps; his tones are great & seem to 'breathe' a little more with added character. It seems his touch is more expressive & dynamic when he's playing Marshall. Every song on here is a highlight, even the bonus tracks you can find elsewhere, so I can't name a favorite, but hearing him venture into Robben Ford territory on Littleworth Lane ranks high just for the fact that it is so unlike what you typically expect from Joe. Highest recommendation & in my opinion one of the best examples of modern instrumental rock guitar playing I've heard in years. Great playing (by everyone), great tone & most of all great SONGS!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher A. Rebhan on October 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Satch has been up and down many roads over the years, and you can never really tell exactly what he's going to do on his next release. I am usually able to hear the soul in most of his albums, even if I'm initially disappointed (see Engines of Creation). Still, his last few albums have left me very disappointed. This is a trend that began with "Strange Beautiful Music", an album that I liked but which felt like a step down after his masterpiece "Crystal Planet". Successive releases have done little to make me feel any better. "Is there Love in Space?" was underwhelming. "Super Colossal" more of the same. "Professor Satchafunkilus, etc." was another step in the wrong direction. My hopes were not high for this one but I was presently surprised. This actually feels like a "step up" for the first time since "Crystal Planet". Is it as good? No. Is it better than anything he's done since? I can unequivocally say YES. It's been spinning non-stop in my car and on my computer ever since release. If you don't like it on first listen, give it a chance. The keyboard flourishes give it an almost prog feel at certain points, which I don't think is a bad thing. Still, if you dislike some of the artistic experiments here, just give it a few listens. After a few spins, those little changes have a way of fading into the background, providing nothing more than a little textural change. Satch's playing steps up, front and center, and he's in great form this time around.
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Topic From this Discussion
Long Live Satch!!!
Can't wait to get my copy tomorrow. After having heard the podcast clips on joesatriani.com I can already tell that this will be my favorite Satch album since Extremist.
Oct 4, 2010 by J. Lehigh |  See all 3 posts
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