Early this year, veteran virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani started building the hype for his latest album, The Elephants of Mars. As time passed, Satriani released three singles from the record, and then this week, a fourth, the record’s title track. All four songs are excellent representations of the new record, and just a sampling of how much this record has to offer. The 14-song record offers a wide range of sounds and musical styles from beginning to end. Case in point is the late entry, ‘Dance of the Spores,’ which will be discussed shortly. ‘Blue Foot Groovy,’ which comes early in the album’s one hour, four minute run time, is another way in which the noted variety is exhibited. It will be examined a little later. ‘Sailing The Seas of Ganymede’ is yet another example of the diversity in the record’s arrangements and will also be examined later. When it and the other songs noted here are considered alongside the album’s singles and the rest of the record’s works, the whole makes The Elephants of Mars easily one of the best of this year’s new rock albums so far.
Joe Satriani’s brand new album, The Elephants of Mars, is another clear example of why he is one of the most respected and revered figures in the rock community today. From the album’s opening to its end, Satriani and his fellow musicians paint one rich sonic canvas after another. the four singles that the record has already produced already do well to make that clear. They are just a sample of what makes the record so strong. As noted, the rest of the record is loaded with engaging and entertaining content, too, not the least of which is ‘Dance of the Spores.’ This six minute-plus composition is a truly unique work. The use of the electronics and subtle keyboards alongside the rich guitar and less is more approach from the drums makes the song everything that audiences have come to expect from Satriani and company while also boasting its own identity. The quirky carnival style sounds that make up the song’s mid-section, what with the choral backing, adds even more to the musical picture here. One can almost see the tiny spores of various plants “dancing” in the air, the wind currents blowing them in various directions and ways. The energy that builds up until the song’s end paints a picture of them being blown all around. The whole of the song proves itself a fully engaging and entertaining work and just one more of the songs that makes the album so enjoyable.
‘Blue Foot Groovy’ is another example of the diversity exhibited in the record’s arrangements. Coming early in the album’s run, it clocks in at five minutes, 10 seconds. The opening bars throw back to the R&B sounds of the 1960s before Satch’s familiar guitar work kicks in with the layering. What is interesting is how the guitar lines were in fact layered. The verses show at least three layers, each complimenting one another so well. The choruses, meanwhile, display more of a pop sensibility. From there, it gradually builds into a more rock-oriented sound, the transition made so smoothly along the way. The whole makes the song yet another wonderful, fully immersive presentation that paints its own picture. It certainly is not the last of the record’s standout entries. ‘Sailing The Seas of Ganymede’ is yet another notable entry in the record.
‘Sailing The Seas of Ganymede,’ which comes in at just under six minutes, stands out because it is just unlike the other songs examined here as they are from it and from the rest of the album’s entries. The song is a bass-driven composition in reality. Satriani just adds to the unique sense that the bass line establishes alongside the drums. The addition of the electronics and keyboards adds to the song’s sci-fi sense and in turn makes the song even more unique from its counterparts. The string arrangements that enter into the mix as the song progresses adds even more to the engagement and entertainment. Not having liner notes for this record, it is difficult to know the inspiration for any of the record’s songs, but regardless, the song still ensures audiences will develop their own pictures from this composition, too. To that end, it is yet another solid example of how much the album in whole gets right. When it is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes The Elephants of Mars another successful offering from Joe Satriani.
The Elephants of Mars is a successful new offering from veteran guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. Its success was already clearly shown, leading up to its release Friday, through each of its singles. Those songs are just part of what makes the record enjoyable. The album is loaded with diverse sounds and styles, as has been evidenced here. When the songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes The Elephants of Mars, one more of the year’s top new rock albums so far.
The Elephants of Mars is available now through earMusic. More information on the album is available along with all of Joe Satriani’s latest news at: