Joe Satriani - What Happens Next Review
Joe Satriani.jpg

By Liam Marcus Rocky Torres

These are the tunes you will expect to treat your ears with some wondrousness guitar/musicianship delight and ENERGY!

This is one savory album Rockers and Electronic Music enthusiasts will not resist. From the tear jerker “Cherry Blossoms” to the highly enigmatic “Thunder High on the Mountain,” to the title track, “What Happens Next.”

This album has it all. Video game-like music, heavy metal rhythms, sweet sounding piano accompaniment, moving riffs, well-known Satriani signature whammy bar and virtuoso-electric-guitar technique (slides, tone switching within each song) showcasing. It has it all!

As a musician, this album will set a new standard for those guitar-aholics out there that just simply LOVE and RAVE over this genre of music. You will be transported to a new height of musing just by hearing Joe’s new album. It is that fantastically riddled with in your face music and simple touches of surrealism.

Ha! Let’s start with “Headrush”: This song will be the new love for Satch-boogiers for sure! This song uses similar elements for that outstanding Satriani signature technical guitar playing you have come to love so much. The phrasing is there, and the magnetizing bass riffing - for all you bass-guitar fans, laid down by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) are gloriously obvious on this track. What will set this track apart from Satch Boogie is its surreal presence. There is that element you want to reach out and grasp but just can’t manage to touch. You will be transported and may eventually start calling the Satch by a new nickname very soon. Incidentally, Headrush means balance disorder? Maybe the song meant to convey such a thing. Listen to it! What do you think?

“Catbot” is a fun treat Electronica music fans can sink their teeth into. Guitarists disinclined to making their guitars talk, “Catbot” might just influence you into giving it a go. Either way, you are bound to learn something from listening to this track for sure. Keep listening and you will find what comes next. Yes, in that same track. It’s brilliant! Simply brilliant! You will be, again, transported. You will have no choice. No choice. If you do find it, comment about it. Moving on. Hughes shines a bit on this one, too. There is something certainly going on with Catbot right now. What’s the rave? Catbot!

“Looper” is a whooper of a song with interesting phrasing crunched with some Wah effects only Joe knows how to use to great efficacy. Is there a link between this song and Bruce Willis’ movie Looper? Maybe. But like the catchy musical motifs in some of the songs in this album, there are futuristic elements in this song too.

“What Happens Next” sounds like it should be the end- credits song in an awesome spy movie like the Jason Bourne films. Unlike Moby’s end-credits tune in the Bourne movies, this tune speaks a lot more in guitar than anything else – of course, because it’s Joe Satriani. Incidentally, the Electronica music elements are there in this song. Just listen.

“Super Funky Badass” – Although this album is riddled with funky elements, this one track makes it seem a bit more obvious. It’s a very tight tune. Hughes’ fans will get a clinic on how to play in your face and at the same time keep to it with the drummer. The intro and verse carry you and keep you on the edge well, but when you are hit with the chorus, well, it’s what sets Satriani apart in the way he composes and why this album grinds on the edge of surrealism – due, without a doubt, to its mastering and production.

“Invisible” is not at all invisible. Holy cow! From the intro on to the main motif, this song is not invisible at all. The tremolo technique after the initial phrasing or motif, will carry you, move you, and probably even bring a tear to your eye. Hughes is noticeable on this track and even does a Steve Vai’ and Billy Sheehan’ virtuoso harmonization they were so well known for back in the ‘80s when performing for David Lee Roth – for a moment, but enough for you to bask in its intricacy. The dissonances while ‘da man uses the whammy bar are interesting, to say the least. If you like Joe’s whammy bar technique and how he can come up with the unique ways of stretching and releasing the tension on his Ibanez’s strings, this is the track for you.

“Forever and Ever” is for how long Joe, will undoubtedly, live within the guitar and instrumental music world. Clean, sweet, slow and danceable with your sweet, sweet love. Hold her tight for this one, if not, sorry, you won’t be able to resist. Move over, yes, move over Kenny G., the Satch will bring some competition to the hearts of women with this one sexy track. Joe does it again. The long phrasings are phenomenal and will not leave you hanging for too long before realizing, comparatively to other Blues guitarists’ phrasings, they are ridiculously GREAT! Joe plays the guitar tonality exquisitely well on this track, too. This song is what you would desire to listen to when in a romantic outing or staying with your sweetheart. It will appropriate your thumbs up, and a big, great smile you both can share with each other for the rest of the night. A great experience for sure.

And now, to the top of the listing of songs for this album.

The album begins with what any musician would love to transmit to each one of his or her fans, either in a concert or simply listening to the album at home, “ENERGY!” Enough said. But wait! This one track sets the distinctive elements you will experience in every one of the songs within. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer) and Hughes on bass shine on this track.

“Thunder High on the Mountain”? Ugh, you will love this one. You know who else will too? Geometry Dash fans, and anyone else addicted to crazy-high-energy video games. This tune has that video game element in it that draws people into a new dimension of thought. Iron Maiden fans will love this track as well. It has that powerful rhythm guitar sound Maiden fans have so much fallen in love with over the decades.

“Cherry Blossom” is sweetly played song. It’s like an adventure left undone and you know you will never experience it again – nostalgic. However, you are not left wanting for too long, because when the piano chord sounds out, you know you have made your dream a reality and completed your adventure. There is no mistaking the musical closure. You will hear it. You will feel it. All else after that musical part is a memory of what used to be accented by what is now.

“Righteous” opens with a nostalgic presence, but turns. It becomes a happy sounding verse. By the time you get to the chorus and the guitar virtuoso playing, you are hooked. This is no ordinary happy tune.

“Smooth Soul” is a kewl song. Sounds like one of the greatest TV show intros. If you are looking for some of Joe’s speeding riffs, listen in.

In short, get this album. You will not be disappointed. If you have never seen this virtuoso guitarist live before, you will certainly have a great reason – if you like intensity, if you like ENERGY and are looking to spend that pent-up energy one of those crazy nights Joe Satriani happens to swing by your city or town, RECOMMENDATION: Go! Check the Satch out live!

“What Happens Next” Track Listing:

1 – Energy                                                           7 - Headrush

2 – Catbot                                                           8 - Looper

3 - Thunder High On The Mountain                    9 - What Happens Next

4 - Cherry Blossoms                                          10 - Super Funky Badass

5 – Righteous                                                     11 - Invisible

6 - Smooth Soul                                                  12 - Forever And Ever



Tour features Satriani, John Petrucci (Dream Theater) & Phil Collen (Def Leppard)

“Beyond the Supernova” Documentary by ZZ Satriani to Premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival – October 14th

“(San Francisco, CA) September 18, 2017 – World-renowned guitar virtuoso, JOE SATRIANI, announces the release of his 16th solo album, What Happens Next, set for release, January 12, 2018 on Sony/Legacy Recordings.  Just a day prior to the album release, SATRIANI revives his G3 tour entity, inviting Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and Def Leppard lead guitarist, Phil Collen to join him.  The G3 tour launches on January 11 in Seattle, WA and continues across the U.S. before winding up on February 25 in Milwaukee, WI.  There is a special tour pre-sale promotion giving fans the opportunity to buy concert tickets with the new album as well as VIP packages.  Visit for more information, pre-sale opportunities and specific market pre-sale and on-sale dates.

“The new, instrumentally electrifying album features a power trio of legendary status; SATRIANI on guitar and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), the latter reuniting with SATRIANI for the first time since their work in the supergroup Chickenfoot. SATRIANI is once again joined by producer/engineer/mixer Mike Fraser, his frequent collaborator over the last 20 years, on What Happens Next. Fraser is well-known for recording/mixing every AC/DC album since 1990s The Razors Edge along with his classic works with SATRIANI going back to the release of Crystal Planet in 1998.

“These new tracks literally vibrate the soul with an energy rarely found these days. From the dynamic opening track, ‘Energy’, to the majestic crunch of ‘Thunder High On The Mountain’, and the easy, sensual cords of ‘Smooth Soul’. This unparalleled rock-rhythm section gives What Happens Next a depth of groove that sets it apart from SATRIANI’s other work.

“Since its debut in 1996, SATRIANI’s G3 tour has featured the world’s greatest guitarists (everyone from Steve Vai and Eric Johnson to Steve Lukather and Robert Fripp) and has become a consistent concert hall sell-out attraction in the U.S., South America, Europe, Australia and Japan. ‘I could say that I’m surprised at the durability of G3 and how much it’s grown, but in a way I’m not,’ SATRIANI says with a laugh, ‘I think part of its charm and its mojo is in the chemistry of having three top guitarists share what they do on stage. It’s fun, it’s unpredictable, it’s wild – it’s everything you could want in a show.’

“In addition to this new album and exciting tour news, a new documentary ‘Beyond the Supernova’ shot by SATRIANI’s filmmaker son, ZZ, makes its debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival this October.  The tour documentary chronicles Joe, along with his band and crew, on their last ‘Shockwave Supernova’ tour throughout Europe and Asia.

“Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir first released in May 2014 will now be available in paperback.  Pre-orders are available now with the official release on November 7, 2017.  The paperback version includes a new chapter focusing on SATRIANI’s last album, Shockwave Supernova. Read an excerpt from the new chapter HERE.

“For two decades, the guitar virtuoso has traveled the world, playing to sold-out crowds as both a headliner and as founder of the all-star ‘G3’ guitar extravaganza.  SATRIANI’s studio and live recordings have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide to date and of his many solo albums, two have gone platinum and four others went gold, with 15 Grammy nominations between them.  His side project, Chickenfoot, featuring former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar, former bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith saw their debut album certified gold and their second studio album debuted at #9.”