Question: Does Satriani know how to play guitar?
Answer: Yes, he does. He can play the hell out of a guitar. He's very technically skilled.
Question: Does Satriani know how to play or record something on a guitar that isn't masturbatory non-stop "this is Joe Satriani and nothing but Joe Satriani playing the hell out of a guitar and showing off how technically accomplished Joe Satriani is"? Does he know how to play anything with some depth, soul, timbre or otherwise any of the things that make music emotionally expressive or nuanced? WOAH MAN LISTEN TO THOSE HAMMER-ONS AND ARPEGGIOS SO SWEET DUDE YEAH what? melody or lyrics? song structure? experimentation? what's that? DUDE BRO HE'S TOO BUSY SHREDDING FORGET THE MELODY LISTEN TO THOSE HAMMER-ONS!
Answer: Apparently, no. No he doesn't. All shredding all the time doesn't make for good music whether it's hipster new-electro crap or a classical Bach-esque fugue featuring dueling piccolos.
Question: Does Joe Satriani do anything new, innovative, unusual or otherwise musically remarkable with a guitar?
Answer: No, not really. His musical output is basically the hyper-distilled and well engineered essence of overly self-important stoner garage rock. The chord progressions are fairly standard and predictable, the techniques - while dazzling - are practiced and wrung completely dry of any sort of emotional expression and it has all of the artistic merit of a mass produced chromium plated bumper hitch.
Question: Considering the above, does the music of Joe Satriani objectively suck?
Answer: Yes. Yes he does. He's the Kenny G of shred-tastic guitar solo music.
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