Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
The Vai box set that matches the Satch box set.
on 29 February 2004
If you are reading this review, you clearly do not know who Steve Vai is, or you would have snatched up the chance to get three cds for the price of about one and a half.
"Passion and Warfare" is Steve playing some of the hardest guitar material written, with no vocals, except occasionally some random intro dialogue or outro dialogue, often very patriotic. this applies to all tracks except "The Audience Is Listening" which is interesting the first time it is heard, as it is intended to create the image that a young Steve Vai is playing at his school, after telling his teacher how "nice" his music is, then driving the teacher mad. However, on repeat listens it is next to impossible to hear what is being played and what is being said, as both are masked by the other.
Three years after "Passion and Warfare" Steve put together his own band called "Vai", the idea being that each person in the band would put forward interesting musical techniques from their instruments, and be more or less a "supergroup". This means more or less every track has vocals, which can be disappointing for those who want to hear finger blistering guitar shredding. More importantly listeners need to accept the vocalist, who despite getting moments of Bono (U2) like sound, tends to be...I think mad is getting close to the right word, although maybe that is a bit harsh.
Finally "Alien Love Secrets" is my personal favourite although it lasts less than 40 minutes, it has all the right ingredients to make a great guitar album, while retaining some originality, and inventiveness. For me, "Alien Love Secrets" covers all corners of the guitar instrumental spectrum. "Bad Horsie" gives a heavy, while not too fast stompy feel, "Juice" is reminiscent of ex-teacher Joe Satriani's "Satch Boogie", which can never be a bad thing, giving it a heavy and fast track. "Tender Surrender" is by far the best ballad on the cd, although "Die To Live" and "The Boy From Seattle" give the other aspects of ballad instrumentals, "Ya-Yo Gakk", is another heavy sounding one, but with the key difference that it portrays a conversation between a baby, and a guitar, which is humourous, original, sweet, and rocks at the same time. However I don't think there is anyone who can accurately describe "Kill the Guy With the ball/ The God Eaters" it is another one of Steve's inventive moments of self indulgence.
Yet, what persuaded me to get it was how well the box matched the Joe Satriani box set I already had. If you don't have the Satch one get that first! They look so great side by side on a cd rack.