You would expect that a review, accompanied by a rating of 4 out of 5, would contain nothing but praise. Having listened to the first 9 tracks I was ready to boldly claim that Fire Garden was the best Steve Vai album to date, but after listening to Steve wail through a sequence of mediocre (by his standards) compositions, I just wish I had pressed "Stop" after the Fire Garden Suite.
For me Passion & Warfare and then Alien Love Secrets set and maintained the standards for this genre. And while Dyin' Day and Bangkok showed us that Steve has not lost tnat 'something' that sets him apart from us mere mortal shredders, Steve obviously feels the need to flex his vocals to be true to his art. Satriani has also done this, but with a more success, probably due to his more light-hearted vocal approach. Steve should stick to playing the guitar like a man possessed - if I could play like Mr. Vai I would leave the singing to the singers.