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3.3 out of 5 stars
6
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 May 2008
Firstly, let me just state that I have been a Vai fan for many, many years and I have had chance to digest every single sonic vignette. This album is an excellent and eclectic mix of compositions from a young guitarist trying to stand alone outside the shadow of Frank Zappa. Amongst the stand-out gems are 'Natural Born Boy', a raw and melodic piece in the style of Viv Women, or the later Frank, 'Details at 10' which opens with a beautiful harmonised guitar melody and features fun, quirky vocal lines, 'Bledsoe Bluvd' which was later extended and orchestrated to be featured as one of the stand out compositions on his later orchestral album, Sound Theories, 'Massacre' which features some scary whammy pedal abuse and dexterous guitar solos, and 'Burnin' Down the Mountain' a very mellow acoustic seventh song track which featured on the Enchanted Melody lp.

Overall and extremely raw, ambitious, eclectic and wonderful collection of compositional ideas, and an interesting documentation of the broad and ever expanding musical canvas of one of the world's greatest composers and virtuosos. Absolutely beautiful and essential. *****
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on 24 September 2007
Hmm, an interesting album. Most of the tracks on offer are very unique, but generally don't make for good listening.
Some exceptions for me were 'Massacre', and the mellow 'Burnin Down the Mountain'.
However, the real eyebrow-raiser is the opening track, which is undoubtedly crass and mostly lacking in notable guitar work, but is so OTT it manages to be hilarious.

Overall, I wouldn't bother with this unless you're very curious about what Vai comes up with when he puts experimentation first and foremost.
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on 23 September 2001
Ok, Steve Vai is arguably one of the best guitarists around. You have all of the albums, apart from this one. What do you do? Well, if you are a perfectionist you'll get it just to finish your collection, but it is not an essential part of your cd collection. Many of the songs are taken from flexable. There are a couple of songs on this album which are really good, but the rest dont really cut the standard of the rest of Vai's work. Never th less, it does contain a lot of experimentation, and inside the sleve there are lyrics and an explanation of the meanings of each song and what caused him to write them. The first track is actually quite a good song to set the mood entitled **** yourself! Some Steve Vai fans are going to love this cd, whereas others will hate it. In my opinion, it is good, but as I said, not as good as the other albums he has written.
sorry Steve, in my view, your 5* average is broken by this one 4* review, but Keep up the great guitaring, it's people like you who make me want to get better on the guitar!
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on 19 January 2002
Let me state for the record that I am an avid fan of Steve Vai and instrumental rock in general; Vai is unquestionably one of the most technically accomplished electric guitarists that has ever lived, and to cap it all he has an utterly original approach to rock music that has never threatened to be overshadowed by a desire for commercial success.
This offering, however, is utter pants quite frankly. I challenge any Vai fanatic to listen to the album in one sitting without losing the will to live. This is about as experimental as it gets, but unfortunately at the expense of any appreciable tunes or melodies. It is awful.
Admittedly, Steve comments on the sleeve that the album is suitable for sampling. That's about all it's good for. I do like the first track, though.
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on 19 January 2000
Steve Vai played guitar for Frank Zappa. Zappa called him his "Italian Virtuoso". But Zappa's music is either something you understand or don't. I think that Brits in particular don't really understand it since its irony is too blatant for us! We're used to the more subtle, perhaps or maybe it's over our heads. Here Vai is doing his Zappa impersonation and by the same token I don't really follow it. Much of the album is experimental, but there are some gems in there too.
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on 11 March 2015
Not bad
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