I dunno what gear you guys are listening on, but on a good stereo, sitting front and centre with the EQ just right (to bring Satch's playing out of the mix) this is a very, very good album.
Beautifully executed playing, gorgeous Satch tones, and some historically reminiscent playing that takes me back almost 20 years.
Throw away your Ipod, turn off those crappy computer speakers, get the actual album (instead of crappy mp3s that you downloaded off pirate sites - IF you did) and enjoy the real thing. I am.
I too like the tones and I find them better on this album than previous ones. But for the playing I'm afraid I have to agree with resha: Rambling sums it up for me. Almost like he said "watch me jam out some songs over these backing tracks", the same writing flaws I found so prominent on SC (well, it is a lot better than that one). I also find there are more and more 'fluff'-licks in his playing that just don't add anything. In his older stuff, even the showy stuff seemed to make a musical point. But that's subjective of course.
With a cocky title like that I would have expected it to land a little closer to the bullseye. The title implied to me that he was somehow reacting to something and was going to show us once again who's the "Professor", the mastermind and innovator of the instrumental guitar rock album, that he'd really pull all the stops and go all out again. Otherwise he might as well have have called it "Rock 'n Robots" or whatever. - To me that departure didn't happen though, and the album hasn't grown on me either. I'd put it somewhere in the vicinity of ITLIS, albeit with better tones. Not bad, but not good enough to break the slide.
I wouldn't want to talk anybody out of their enjoyment though. Probably couldn't anyway, and with Paul Gilbert on a roll right now with his album and an order of Holdsworth on the way I have enough material to keep me happy anyway.