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Steve Vai - Alien Love Secrets CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.49 | 61 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is Steve Vai's second EP as a solo artist, and is one that is particularly close to my heart. It contains 7 instrumental tracks and is over in a little over half an hour and despite the fact it is heavily guitar driven, I can even see it appealing to those who aren't even into the virtuoso guitar scene. A range of styles are covered here, so that helps to make it an interesting listen.

First up with Bad Horsie, in which Vai uses a drop tuned 6 string guitar, which is not common for him. It is a very heavy song, easily catergorised as an instrumental heavy metal song. I can definitely hear the 'Bad Horsie', with lots of heavy riffage and pinch harmonic screams manipulated with the whammy bar. The main solo screams and wails all in the one solo, with a blistering and crazy tapped lick that he manipulates with the wah wah pedal, but this part speaks just as much as the solo sections of the solo, so no worries or concerns here for me.

Juice is a straight up rocker, with a great mix of lead and rhythm playing. I don't see anything really remarkable in this song, but it is well written and a great listen.

Die To Live is a song that is played with just one guitar part, but Vai's intention was specifically to create a song that would combine the rhythm and lead guitar parts in one flowing motion, and he certainly suceeded here. There are odd time signatures in this song, but Vai make it feel so natural that we almost don't notice they're here. A beautiful melody and rhythm in one, and just so uplifting.

The Boy From Seattle, as one might guess, is a tribute to the great man from Seattle, Jimi Hendrix. It features a Hendrix trademark rhythm playing, with chords being played with melodies played in between and notes being hammered on to the chord being played. Around 2:50, we even hear some Stevie Ray Vaughn style playing. Of course this song is a tribute to Hendrix, but that one section that sounds a bit like SRV even seems to be a little tribute to him too. A touching, soulful song and superbly well written.

Ya Yo Gakk features Vai's son of vocals, while Vai sports a 7 string guitar for rhythm guitar duties. There is an amusing call and response between his son's vocals and Vai's guitar. Vai does an excellent job of making his response sound as much as possible to his son's vocals as much as possible. This was probably my least favorite song on this EP, as sometimes it just gets annoying and I can't seem to want to listen to it everytime I put this EP on.

Kill The Guy With The Ball is easily the most experimental sounding of the songs, and features a crazy guitar line that sounds like a robot, but is in fact Vai playing with an ultra expensive harmonising effect device. The rhythms are just crazy and you wonder how he stayed in time during these parts, just crazy. The God Eaters kicks in a keyboard into the mix, played chords, while Vai plays a melody over the top, very upfliting and beautiful sounding at times, sometimes being contrasted with darker shades too.

Tender Surrender is just amazing for a lack of a better word to describe how good it is. It is a ballad type song for the most part, starting off with nice and melodic Hendrixy type chording. He kicks in the distortion for a lead tone and then the song just takes off and just beyond and above the ceiling and into the sky with some truly majestic phrasing that takes my breathe away. The solo is just superb, as fast as it is, he never loses the fire and a passion here in his speedy licks, and it is definitely my favorite solo on the record. Stunner from start to finish.

I wouldn't say this is Vai's best and definitely isn't his most important work, but it still has some excellently written songs and some truly amazing guitar playing.

Petrovsk Mizinski | 4/5 |


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