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    Stevie Vai

    Alien Love Secrets 8 ( 1995 )
    Bad Horsie / Juice / Die To Live / The Boy From Seattle / Ya-Yo Gakk / Kill The Guy With The Ball / Tender Surrender

    A seven track mini album running to just over thirty minutes length. I'm became interested in Steve Vai's work through his additions to several Frank Zappa albums. I knew he could play guitar pretty well. I knew he had gone off into a heavier rock direction than his contributions to the Zappa albums. What I still wasn't expecting was quite how heavy 'Bad Horsie' really was going to be! This is heavy metal! The bass and drum backing pretty much just lie there allowing Steve to make all sorts of weird noises with his guitar over the top. And, show off some of his prowess - but it's never over done on this track. It's a thrilling way to open.

    'Juice' is up-tempo and fun. It's nothing serious as such....it's a short track leading into the melodic 'Die To Live'. A less heavy moment and providing some welcome relief. The guitar solo that launches in at around the 2:10 mark is breathtaking. This is all about Steve Vai of course. He plays all the guitars, including bass. It's pretty much his show throughout. He makes a hell of a racket! 'The Boy From Seattle' follows 'Die To Live' by varying the tempo and heaviness of the songs. He does a great little Brian May ( of Queen ) type guitar run, up and down, around the three and a half minute mark. Very melodic again. It isn't just a case of sitting back and admiring his technique. These pieces work as songs in themselves. 'Yo Yo Gakk' is hugely entertaining and featuring a child’s 'baby-like' munchkin vocal. The heavier 'Kill The Guy With The Ball' follows this with the appropriately quiet 'Tender Surrender' to close.

    There is variety on this record. That helps enormously. It's length helps when you are listening to a guitar led instrumental album. The fact that it's not technique over melody helps! Although of course, his technique is superb and his guitar playing always inventive. A decent album. Very easy to listen to over and over again, there is something additive about this. And yes. This is my first Steve Vai album.

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