Album Review: Joe Satriani’s ‘What Happens Next’

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Album Review: Joe Satriani’s What Happens Next–Release date January 12, 2017-Sony Music

Rock At Night was more than happy to give Joe Satriani’s new album What Happens Next a whirl.  Honestly, the combination of Satriani on guitar, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) on bass, and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums made me salivate as I was placing the CD in the car player and entered the expressway.  This is often where I listen to new music as I can truly focus and pay attention.  As I shuttled down the near empty highway, I thought, “Holy shit! This is real rock & roll!”  I immediately noticed it was a deviation from Satriani’s “space-themed” collection of the past and really more funky roots rock. Instead of “listening music” the instrumental music has almost a rockin’ dance groove.

I always like to give my first impressions and descriptions of songs as I hear them. Here we go!

  1. Energy—Hard-driving heavy guitar riffs and plenty of energy (just like the title)! Satriani’s distinct lead guitar solos slide in and out of the song. This song definitely got me rolling from the get-go and I wanted to hear more!
  2. Catbot—I love this bouncy, fun song! I can actually picture an animated cat-bot trucking around. There’s gorgeous lead solos and dramatic slow-downs with the song segueing back to the bouncy feel again. I can’t wait to see a video for this one!
  3. Joe Satriani

    Thunder High on the Mountain—Dramatic bass drum intro with cool synth-like guitar notes as the song builds into a total hard-rock crescendo. Later the song slows with almost a Celtic dance beat and again breaks into the a totally cool 70s classic rock feel.

  4. Cherry Blossoms—The song starts with a primal drum beat but then softens as a sweet, melodic electric guitar metal with soft arpeggios rise as well as keys accompaniment. Then, the song takes on a sudden harder rock tone with screaming guitar solos until it returns to the soft melody again. Lovely!
  5. Righteous—This song almost has a 70s pop rock melody, one that can be hummed and remembered. There’s a bit of funk guitar and groove.
  6. Glenn Hughes: Photo by Georgina Cates

    Smooth Soul—This song is definitely soulful and sexy. It kind of reminds me of Santana. Then, the song speeds into a rockier version that grooves. I love the guitar melody!

  7. Headrush—A very fast, tempo song with ascending and descending bluesy, guitar riffs and Hughes’ bass lines. BTW…We tend to think of Hughes as a singer but he’s a fine, fine bass player!
  8. Looper—A funky, groovin’ guitar melody that is extremely catchy and memorable. Get ready for an ear worm!
  9. What Happens Next—A smoother, rockin’ melody, like the previous song “Looper” is really catchy! The song could be described as “jazzy rock.”
  10. Super Funky Badass—Again, a funky, groovin’ guitar riff and bassline. By now, I’m totally dancing in my car seat!
  11. Invisible—A pretty wild, guitar intro leads into a funky, guitar melody. The beat is almost Latin and jazzy.
  12. Forever and Ever—This song starts off almost like a Hendrix song, kind of slow and groovin’…This is probably one of the more subtle rock songs on the album. I might describe it as even being “romantic” since one could easily slow dance to this one.

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


Satriani is embarking on a G3 Tour in the U.S. starting next week with John Petrucci & Phil Collen and will continue in the UK in April with John Petrucci & Uli Jon Roth.


2018 G3 Tour featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci & Phil Collen itinerary:

January 11        The Moore Theatre                                Seattle, WA

January 12        Historic Elsinore Theatre                       Salem, OR

January 13        Grand Sierra Theatre                              Reno, NV

January 14        Fox Theater                                                Oakland, CA

January 16        Delta Hall at Eccles Theater                  Salt Lake City, UT

January 17        Brooklyn Bowl                                           Las Vegas, NV

January 18        Mesa Arts Center                                    Mesa, AZ

January 19        Orpheum Theatre                                   Los Angeles, CA

January 20        Balboa Theatre                                         San Diego, CA

January 21        Fox Tucson Theatre                                Tucson, AZ

January 24        Historic Paramount Theatre                Denver, CO

January 25        Uptown Theater                                           Kansas City MO

January 26        The Pavillion at The Toyota Music Factory    Irving, TX

January 27        Austin City Limits – Moody Theater       Austin, TX

January 28        Hobby Center for the Performing Arts            Houston, TX

January 30        Hard Rock Live                                               Orlando, FL

January 31        Florida Theatre                                              Jacksonville, FL

February 1       Pompano Beach Amphitheatre              Pompano Beach, FL

February 2       Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall   Fort Myers, FL

February 3       Mahaffey Theater                                        St. Petersberg, FL

February 6       Raleigh Memorial Auditorium                  Raleigh, NC

February 8       Toyota Presents Oakdale                          Wallingford, CT

February 9       Landmark Theatre                                        Syracuse, NY

February 10     Palace Theatre                                               Albany, NY

February 11     The Palace Theatre                                      Greensburg, PA

February 12     The Fillmore Detroit                                     Detroit, MI

February 14     Warner Theatre                                              Washington, DC

February 15     Orpheum Theatre                                        Boston, MA

February 16     Beacon Theatre                                             New York, NY

February 17     Merriam Theater                                          Philadelphia, PA

February 18     New Jersey Performing Arts Center     Newark, NJ

February 20     Auditorium Theatre                                     Rochester, NY

February 21     Massey Hall                                                   Toronto, ONT

February 22     Hard Rock Live                                              Northfield, OH

February 23     Chicago Theatre                                            Chicago, IL

February 24     State Theatre                                                 Minneapolis, MN

February 25     Riverside Theater                                         Milwaukee, WI



Tuesday April 24              Southend Cliffs Pavilion 

Wednesday April 25       London Eventim Apollo

Thursday April 26             Bristol Colston Hall

Friday April 27                   Manchester Apollo

Sunday April 29                Portsmouth Guildhall

Monday April 30              Birmingham Symphony Hall


To Follow Joe Satriani 

Facebook:   joesatriani

Twitter:   @chickenfootjoe

Instagram:  joesatriani

YouTube:  JoeSatrianiOfficial




Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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  1. I have been a follower of Satch’s music since I first heard the “Always With Me Always With You” track. That was way back in the day. I’ve been to several of his concerts (front 2 rows 3 times) and have every one of his CD’s and DVD’s – some of which are signed. I love the music he puts out but I have to say even though I understand his desire and passion to create new and fresh ideas that showcase his unique abilities on the guitar, I have been a bit disappointed with his last 2 albums. This latest one is a bit too congested for me. What captivated me to his music is how he could take a simplistic melody and layer over it using his sound and guitar technique and make it a masterpiece. He still can do that but it seems to me that he has drifted off to what got him to this position in his career. The music he has put out lately just seems like he is trying too hard to be creative as an artist. Though he uses a variety of sounds to express his music, I believe it somewhat takes away from his talent. There just seems to be too many bells and whistles going on and his guitar playing is what captivates me. Keep it simple Joe. It’s what got you here. Why fix what isn’t broken? Get back to your roots and there’s no need to go into the stratosphere to see what new things you can come up with. Man, I really just want that hard-driving melody-driven stuff you’ve always done in the past. Maybe I’m too old-school but I understand the need to reach different audiences and experiment with different sound flavors and all that. Hey, I’m still a fan and will always listen to your music. But for me, music – no matter what I tend to listen to – has to grab me by the chest and pull me in. Your music always did that for me. Some of your new stuff while still amazing in itself, just doesn’t do that for me? I know, I am only one person and you won’t be able to please everyone. But get back to simple melodies and use your creative style to layer over those melodies. There is still lots of room for you to explore there. Keep it simple Joe – that is the best advice I could ever give and keep up the great work!

  2. Mr. Paul T. Jmes’s comment tells everything which i really want to tell. i couldn’t have agreed more. And i will add one more thing about this album and it is that this album is not so easy to warm up. The songs don’t catch you easily. In first listenings, i was so bored what i heard but then i got used to them.

    And i still think “Black Swans…” album was the best album of Satch’s latest releases. I want spectacular Joe. It looks like someone stole his talents like in Space Jam. I am gonna continue listening to his music no matter what but you know something doesn’t fit in my mind and heart.

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