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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
18
Fire Garden
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 19 January 2017
Put simply, this album has some of the warmest, richest electric guitar tones you will ever hear. Songs such as 'warm regards', dyin' day' and 'brother' are guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any guitarist, but for me, 'hand on heart' is an unsung masterpiece. I can never understand why vai does not play this song live. It is absolutely amazing. The quality of the production on this track and the guitar tone coupled with a beautiful melody and classic vai licks will bring a tear to the listeners eye and literally make you feel like you can achieve anything. I feel like i should be stood on top of a mountain looking down on the rest of planet earth whilst listening to it to propery do it justice.
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on 9 July 2001
Fire Garden was Steve Vai's proper follow up to his classic "Passion and "Warfare" and probably not quite as good overall. It does however represent significant growth for him as a musician and composer. And it's got "Crying Machine" on it (more on that later), which makes it indisposable.
The album kicks off with a series of crashes and a siren going off warning appropriately enough that "There's a fire in the house" (track 1), and that there's some smouldering lead work to come.
Almost too early on though, we're delivered "Crying machine", the album's (and Vai's) finest moment. The staccato E augmented 9th chord hammers the start of the track home, and we're straight into one of Vai's strongest melody hooks, bouyed along perfectly with a Cry baby wah-wah effect (presumably the source of the tracks title) and heaps of sustain, and under-pinned by a fabulous slap bass riff courtesy of Stuart Hamm.
This track is HUGE. It's got at least 3 distinctive sections to it: The main theme, the heavy augmented 9th chord based part and the soft broken down section. All are delicious, but Steve does save the best till last, with a series of question/response breaks over the main theme that takes us to a fade out. Steve is simply on fire and all over the neck. Again, fire the editor, Steve's still screwing fantastic stuff out by the time the track's gone silent; we want more, more, more!
The album continues with more classic Vai and all the unpredictable (but expected) twists: There's the beautifully sweet altered tunings of "Dying Day", the religious overtones of "Whookam", and the complex and demanding title track, but the 2nd guitar highlight has to be "Hand on Heart". This is a close second to the phenomenal "For the love of God" ballad stlye track that we've come to know is always number 7 on a Steve Vai album. Superb playing charged with pure emotion.
Part 2 of the album is by contrast is a disappointing and rather fragmented affair, featuring "proper songs". I'd single out "All About Eve", "Brother" and "Warm regards" as highlights, and the training he had on his voice shows. But if you think of this as bunce on top of the 1st CD, then that takes nothing away from the awesome achievment that "Fire Garden" is. Would be essential to own, even if it only had one track on it: "The Crying Machine".
4 people found this helpful
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on 21 June 2000
This album is made up of 2 phases the first with instrumentals and the second with Steve's voice over the top. All of the instrumentals on this album kick butt. 'Fire Garden Suite' is just mind-bogglingly, techically masterful. Some may find it to wierd as it is not easy listening. 'Whookham' is just odd, but this is what you come to expect from Mr Vai.
His attempts at vocals are not poor but in comparison to the first 'phase' the tracks are weaker. The music is less wierd but the lyrics make up for this. Still ear drum scratching guitar licks and melody lines from trachs such as 'Aching Hunger' are worth it.
Very good and worth buying just for the 'Fire Garden Suite'.
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on 7 February 2008
Fire Garden was Steve Vai's proper follow up to his classic "Passion and "Warfare" and probably not quite as good overall. It does however represent significant growth for him as a musician and composer. And it's got "Crying Machine" on it (more on that later), which makes it indisposable.
The album kicks off with a series of crashes and a siren going off warning appropriately enough that "There's a fire in the house" (track 1), and that there's some smouldering lead work to come.

Almost too early on though, we're delivered "Crying machine", the album's (and Vai's) finest moment. The staccato E augmented 9th chord hammers the start of the track home, and we're straight into one of Vai's strongest melody hooks, bouyed along perfectly with a Cry baby wah-wah effect (presumably the source of the tracks title) and heaps of sustain, and under-pinned by a fabulous slap bass riff courtesy of Stuart Hamm.

This track is HUGE. It's got at least 3 distinctive sections to it: The main theme, the heavy augmented 9th chord based part and the soft broken down section. All are delicious, but Steve does save the best till last, with a series of question/response breaks over the main theme that takes us to a fade out. Steve is simply on fire and all over the neck. Again, fire the editor, Steve's still screwing fantastic stuff out by the time the track's gone silent; we want more, more, more!

The album continues with more classic Vai and all the unpredictable (but expected) twists: There's the beautifully sweet altered tunings of "Dying Day", the religious overtones of "Whookam", and the complex and demanding title track, but the 2nd guitar highlight has to be "Hand on Heart". This is a close second to the phenomenal "For the love of God" ballad stlye track that we've come to know is always number 7 on a Steve Vai album. Superb playing charged with pure emotion.

Part 2 of the album is by contrast is a disappointing and rather fragmented affair, featuring "proper songs". I'd single out "All About Eve", "Brother" and "Warm regards" as highlights, and the training he had on his voice shows. But if you think of this as bunce on top of the 1st CD, then that takes nothing away from the awesome achievment that "Fire Garden" is. Would be essential to own, even if it only had one track on it: "The Crying Machine".
One person found this helpful
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on 14 December 2005
If you're new to Steve Vai, you probably won't know that he is perhaps the greatest guitarist in the world. The speed at which he plays is mind-boggling, mesmerising and completely insane at the best of times. This CD contains some absolutely amazing songs at a pretty good price! The first half of the album (Phase One) is all instrumental, and the second half (Phase Two) is all singing apart from the last track 'Warm Regards' (which is a fantastic track to finish off the album).
Of Phase One, 'Mysterious Murder Of Christian Tiera's Lover' and 'Fire Garden Suite' are perhaps the best tracks, and Phase Two's greatest 'Brother' and 'Damn You'. 'When I Was A Little Boy' is insane - you really do need to hear it to believe it...
A perfect album for any Vai fan, or anyone getting into him, or even just a fan of guitars! If you can appreciate good music, then buy this album.
2 people found this helpful
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on 14 January 2000
This is in the same sort of vain as Passion & Warfare. Complex, orchestrated tracks, with brilliant playing. It opens with "There's a Fire in the House" and it captures all the urgency of someone running around in a blazing house! Cryin' Machine is a little like Santana, and Dying Day is beautifully sweet with its altered tunings and sentimental playing. It suggests a conversation between a boy and his dying father. "Hand on Heart"is another beautifuly constructed piece of music which always brings a tear to my eyes."The Fire Garden Sweet"is not for the faint hearted but it's worth trying to get your head round. Part 2 of the album features some of Vai's songs. He underwent some special training to improve his voice and his singing is really quite good-clean and precise as opposed to "rawk"! "All About Eve" is wonderful with it's lydian sound giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. I also love "Brother" but then I'm a sentimantalist! Again, this is a superb Vai album. The singing on part two may not be to everyones taste, but the instrumental part one alone makes this CD worth buying.
4 people found this helpful
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on 19 February 2001
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.
3 people found this helpful
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on 12 March 2000
Fire Garden is Vai`s first opus since passion and warefare, it represents tremendous growth for vai as a musician and composer. The Songs that set this album apart are the other worldly - "Fire garden Suite", the pathos of "Hand on Heart" and full on alien attack on "Crying Machine".Again we see Vai pounding his religious drum with the likes of "Whookam" a reverse reading of biblical text. Some tracks are prentious,viz "Deepness" nothing more than fillers.
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