A fun flash of the past
Joe Satriani is well known as a solo artist, but fans who are more familiar with his more recent work may not be aware that in the late ’70s and early ’80s Satriani was part of a group called Squares. Well, Satriani has released some of the early recordings of the group in a new album called Squares. The group consisted of Satriani, his brother-in-law Neil Sheehan, the late singer and bassist Andy Milton and drummer Jeff Campitelli. Despite the songs being recorded in the early ’80s, the sound of a lot of the songs is very reminiscent of the early and late ’60s. The record is catchy and a lot of fun, a great throwback for all music fans alike.
The album begins with “Give it Up,” a fast rocker with a catchy guitar riff and memorable chorus, complete with an “oohoo.” The chorus goes, “give it up/ cause there’s just no way/ I’m going to let you play with me tonight;” a feeling of scorn that most listeners will relate to. It’s a fun song full of energy, and it’s perfect to start the album with. Another early song that is of note is “B-Side Girl,” which sounds like it could have been an early Beatles recording. It has that cutesy-pop sound of early ’60s hits, complete with harmonizing vocals and the idealistic image of a “b-side” girl. It’s a wonderful song, and it’ll have the listeners singing along.
Some other notable songs are “Can’t Take It Anymore,” “Tonight” and “Never Let It Get You Down.” “Can’t Take It Anymore” has simple lyrics and a catchy drumbeat, making it one of those songs that get stuck in listener’s heads. It has a Rolling Stones sound to it, and it’s definitely a strong point on the album. “Tonight” is fast-paced and uplifting, featuring more modern sounds and styles. “Tonight/ it’s going to be alright,” the group sings, and with the phenomenal guitar solo about halfway through the song, the song will be an easy favorite. Finally, “Never Let It Get You Down” starts with a bluesy guitar riff, before launching into soft vocals singing of never letting a broken heart get you down. This is a more early ’80s sounding song than some of the others on the album, and it’s a beautiful contribution.
The album ends with “I Love How You Love Me,” which is a cover of the 1961 hit from the Paris Sisters. Squares add their own style to the song, with the fast-paced guitar and rougher vocals. It’s a great way to end the album, and it’ll make listeners wish that Squares would have made more music together, as this album is truly remarkable.