Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars

Joe Satriani - The Elephants of Mars



4.7/5 Pros

  • Great instrumental rock
  • Superb creation of very different moods and atmosphere Cons

  • "Shapeshifting" has been even better

Some two years after I reviewed his album Shapeshifting, Joe Satriani is back with a new album, Elephants of Mars. I was so curious when I received the album, as his 2020 release did not only get a full 5.0 review, it also beat artists like Richard Marx and made it to my Best Album in 2020 (non-country). The newest songs of the instrumental rock musician are released on 8th April 2022.


Joe Satriani – About The Artist

Joe Satriani was born in 1965 in Westbury, New York. He has Italian roots. I did a more detailed dive into his bio in the Shapeshifting review.


Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars – Track by Track

The 14 song albums lasts 67 minutes.

1. Sahara

Sahara has been published already as a single. It feels like a great introduction to the album. A touch of Pink Floyd, he is creating the magic of Shapeshifting again. Are there really no vocals? It feels like its guitar is telling stories, better than some pop band. Beautiful melodic themes – but there is also sufficient time for some more powerful rock elements. Great.

2. The Elephants Of Mars

The title track is more energetic, powerful – also darker and faster. The more echoing and electronic touch of song reminds of industrial rock as well as open space. Bassist Bryan Beller is doing a great groove in the background.

3. Faceless

After this rather loud song, Faceless is gentle, melodic, almost like a ballad. A strong main theme, the song creates a dreaming, sometimes a bit of a melancholic atmosphere.

4. Blue Foot Groovy

The fourth song is called Blue Foot Groovy – and the Groovy in the title really feels to be a key concept of this 5:10 minute track. Blues, rock, even a bit of funk in here – and a great development towards the end of the song. Really nice listen.

5. Tension And Release

The song has a slightly experimental touch and walks through multiple different moods and even genres. One of the longest songs of the album, but not boring or monotonous at all.

6. Sailing The Seas Of Ganymede

The more I listen to The Elephants of Mars, the more I recognize how much I am into the album. With every new song, I am looking forward to the new atmosphere, the new travel Satriani is taking me on. Sailing The Seas Of Ganymede is especially fascinating in here. Satriani and his band work with different layers and sounds of melodies. This feels to leads to gently altering atmospheres over the whole song. Great one.

7. Doors Of Perception

Doors Of Perception is the shortest song on the album. It starts with references to Arabian tunes, but then takes a very energetic transformation. Just 3:17 minutes, but the song is still feeling like an epic journey.

8. E 104th St. NYC 1973

No song illustrates the wide range of sounds and moods offered by Satriani better than this one. The song has a slight flavor of funk, but more than that feels like 1970’s jazz. Great way to present the guitar on a melodic bedding of the other instruments.

9. Pumpin’

The third single release on the album feels very modern. Some parts are driven by electronic loops and speedy rhythms, the closing of Pumpin’ rather feels like a rock anthem. Nice.

10. Dance Of The Spores

Dance Of The Spores is the longest track of the album. Again, it is amazing how many different kinds of sounds are presented in this track. One section of the song even feels to take you to an old-fashioned fun fair. Nice.

11. Night Scene

Nightlife, Joe Satriani style: the track opens with clubbing style music – but of course, the howlin of rocking guitars is put on top of in the later parts of the song. Very cool songs which a lot of electronic elements. One of my favorites.

12. Through a Mother’s Day Darkly

What’s that? There are really spoken words on a Joe Satriani album! However, they are rather a dramatic element of the song – the real role of storytelling on this album is in charge of the instruments and the musicians mastering them.

13. 22 Memory Lane

The second last track is an emotional highlight, starting with keyboard sounds and then going back to a strong guitar presence. Lovely one!

14. Desolation

Satriani has taken you to thirteen different places already – but the finale is he most beautiful one. Orchestral sounds in the background lead to a magical presence of his instrument. Close your eyes and enjoy the music, Desolation just feels like a perfect farewell.


Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Joe Satriani – The Elephants of Mars – My View

Wow, The Elephants of Mars is another really great one. I have to admit that I felt that Shapeshifting has been a slight node better – but Satriani’s latest is not too far away from that. Instrumental rock magic!


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