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Steve Vai - Real Illusions: Reflections CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.84 | 93 ratings

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Endless Wire
4 stars I feel that this could be Vai's best work yet. If nothing else, some of his absolute finest guitar work can be found here. Although the concept is fairly weak (mainly because it is so hard to follow), the music more than makes up for this. Very diverse in style, Vai strikes an excellent balance between heavy and soft music. Building the Church, the albums opener, ranks among Vai's absolute best, while Lotus Feet is perhaps the most emotional song he has made so far. Recorded live with a symphony orchestra, Lotus Feet is a remarkable composition which shows that Vai is much more than just a great guitar player, but is also a great composer. Though the album is very vocally driven, Vai leaves plenty of room for guitar heroics. Plus, Vai's voice holds up very well, especially on the rocker Firewall. One reason why this album is an improvement for Vai is its lack of humor. While to some this may be a drawback, to me his attempts at humor got in the way of the music more then they inhanced it. That isn't to say it's too serious, though. Tracks such as Yai Yai prove that Vai will never take himself too seriously, something that seperates him from most instrumental acts. His backing band, featuring bass wiz Billy Sheehan, is at the top of their game. Vai give them plenty of room to flex their chops, making it more than just a 'guitar player's' album.

Though not a masterpiece, Real Illusions is a very enjoyable listen and though not perfect, holds up as one of Vai's finest works.

Endless Wire | 4/5 |


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