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Steve Vai - Passion And Warfare CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.60 | 154 ratings

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5 stars Strange, whimsical, mystical, and...beautiful?

I doubt I could use such adjectives on too many instrumental guitar rock albums outside of Vai. I love the way he plays, and if feels so emotional. He is truly an outstanding guitarist, with skillful songwriting sensibilities.

Each song is adventurous in tone, while collecting multiple genres to exploit at his whim. Sometimes calling Van Halen-style rock, or majestic band sounds, in songs like Liberty. The soloing is cut to a minimum when it comes to the genre this album is considered, and when Vai does solo, it is exuberant. The songs betray a quirky sense of fun and humor, amidst the seriousness and maturity. The words snippets that litter the album never detract from the overall songs, and are fun to hear. The opening to the Audience Is Listening, is a prime example of this.

Tracks don't follow a direct song format, and can surprise you quite often. Ballerina is so childlike in its pure sense of dancing wonderment. The naming off of random things in Greasy Kid Stuff, before letting his guitar rip, is all a phenomenal experience. The album balances well a sense of fun and humor, with majesty, and mature beauty.

Then, I must talk of one particular song. this is of course "For The Love Of God". The guitars sing to my soul, and make this one of the prettiest songs I have ever heard. So stoic and unbending in its wordless message. Some may criticize Vai and his ilk for relying to heavily on standard guitar soloing, but by the time the entrancing guitar slowly climbs into all the stages of this tracks beauty, you want him to let loose. this is a very serious excursion, and carries with it a lot of emotional impact. I suppose I would nominate this particular solo as my favorite. As it flows so smoothly, yet explodes everything under its impassioned might.

In all, the progressiveness may be a bit lacking, and this style of instrumental music might turn some people off, especially those who hear "instrumental guitar" and expect a Malmsteen clone, Of which Vai most certainly isn't. A powerful album boasting experimentation, strong writing, and always magnificent playing, with an identity all its own. Five Stars

Alitare | 5/5 |


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