Sound — 9
Guitarist Joe Satriani has been dominating the world with his unique and expansive instrumental rock sound throughout the past four decades. His powerful form of instrumental music, which he has powerfully expressed throughout his broad collection of now fourteen studio albums. His pure love of the art inspired him to teach other musicians, who went on to similarly star as the riff masters behind a multitude of prestigious bands. Some of his students include Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, and David Bryson. In his solo work, he proved you didn't need a lead vocalist to create captivating rock songs, and with his more recent work in the supergroup Chickenfoot, he only continued to showcase his captivating playing styles.
With his new solo outing, appropriately titled "Unstoppable Momentum", it proves to be no different. This album is comprised of 11 new pulsating compositions that boast Joe's dominative playing and songwriting abilities. From the get-go, it proves to be yet another instant classic from Satriani, beginning with the monstrous self-titled track. While formative percussion and playing makes up the backbone of this song, Joe seems to use his instrument as a way to channel his voice, the same way a lead vocalist typically would. He helps drive forward the rhythm in this way, and helps make for a much broader listening experience.
No matter where you set the needle on this record, whether it's the bluesy "Can't Go Back" or the moderate paced riff racer "A Door Into Summer", Joe always gives a standout performance. Between the smooth sounding arpeggios and flawless guitar tricks proudly showcased from start to finish, it's too easy for you to become comfortable and get lost in the music. This isn't an album to nitpick, pick and choose which tracks to listen to. "Unstoppable Momentum" is just one of those albums that you need to push play and enjoy.
Lyrics — 9
As aforementioned, Joe Satriani doesn't recruit a lead vocalist for his solo material. Which entirely works out, because when it comes to "Unstoppable Momentum", a singer would only take away from the musical complexity and passion that Joe brings to this new outing. It's a bit difficult to judge an instrumental album on it's lyrics and singing, so that being said I feel that this album deserves an overall "9" score.
Overall Impression — 9
All in all, "Unstoppable Momentum" is a continuously thrilling addition to the Joe Satriani catalogue, that continues to show Joe pushing the boundaries on guitar playing, creating new playing techniques and expanding upon his existing style throughout a proud collection of new compositions. For any fan of his past work, as well as instrumental music in general, should definitely pick up this album for themselves.