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| 29 January 2022 | Reply

Label: Favored Nations / Mascot Label Group

Release Date: January 28, 2022

Rating: 95%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

What the hell could I potentially say about Steve Vai that hasn’t been said?  Most likely nothing, unless I start making up words, especially adjectives, to describe what the man does to a guitar to elicit a response from both the instrument and the listener.  I became captivated by him when he released Passion & Warfare after originally recognizing the talent when he worked with Roth.  His sound added a depth and complexity to Whitesnake that has made his one effort with them one of my favorite to this day.  I have picked up various releases through the years, including another of my favorites, Sex & Religion as well as Fire Garden.  While there are no vocals or even odd interludes on this release, there is almost 47 minutes of AMAZING guitar work that is as similar to his part releases as it is different.  There are the nuances and formulas that make this a Steve Vai record for sure, but what I take away from these nine tracks is the diversity he has packed into this collection.  There are songs that reek of a cerebral feel and others that come from the core of his existence.  There are funk moments that shift and morph to the familiar rock vibe and then make another transition into something totally different.  Going back to my original statement, I can only say that this collection is something that only this VAIturoso could create.  These are not simply songs or jams… each one of these tracks is a composition that draws on his talent, his experience, and most importantly his imagination.  Each song draws on a different part of you sonically and emotionally.  While each track churns around the room and through my head with each passing listen, there is something deep rooted in his soulful playing on the disc closer “Sandman Cloud Mist” that has me coming back for more with each listen.  Grab (or download from your favorite DSP) a copy of this release, ease into a comfortable chair, have your favorite beverage within reach, and just absorb this disc.  And then do it again, because one playthrough just won’t do.  From the menacing opening of “Teeth Of The Hydra” to the chill closing of the entire collection, there is something to take in and allow to reverberate and work through your senses once note and effect at a time.  Well done Mr. Vai — just when I thought you had done all you could do, you prove me wrong once again!

Tracklisting: Teeth Of The Hydra – Zeus In Chains – Little Pretty – Candlepower – Apollo In Color – Avalanche – Greenish Blues – Knappsack – Sandman Cloud Mist







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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