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Steve Vai - Flex-Able CD (album) cover

FLEX-ABLE

Steve Vai

 

Prog Related

3.64 | 72 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars With this reputed guitarist's career, one can expect almost anything , but here clearly the emphasis Vai chose for this album is his passing through Zappa's band. To say that Vai does not input any personal touches would be demeaning to such a great musician, but it is rather hard to tell his persona from the influences he received throughout his sideman career. While I am saying this, I must confess that I only have a very partial knowledge of the man's career.

However, this 83-recorded album (and the Left-overs album) is clearly of interest for any progheads wishing to investigate this metallic hero axe man. It is due to the great insistence of colleague reviewer MikenRegalia that I actually started to listen to this album a few months ago. I was expecting a much more guitar-ey album with heavy heroics and fireworks - much like you'd expect it on a Satriani album (or for that matter of fact on other Vai albums) - but here, even if a homemade album, and an ever changing cast of musicians (this is clearly not a group effort), then results are rather flattering for the main man, but to the proghead's ear. Clearly, the man had the urge to record some metallic fusion (in the jazz-rock term) album, but some of those tracks (Call It Sleep) are close to ECM jazz meets Santana, but he fails to convince me totally. In case you are wondering, Billy's Private Parts is not that ballsy;-) and plain boring even if the most experimental track of the album.

If you choose to take the album out of the context of Vai's career, this can be a great album, but knowing his past and his future with Diamond Dave Lee Roth, even if you hear many times his metallic guitar wizardry, this album was a revelation to me. At least enough for me to investigate Vai's career further, but so far, not giving me the urge to actually buy the album.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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