The three-time Grammy winner Steve Vai, returns with his latest release, The Story of Light. Vai has accomplished a lot in his career that has spanned over 30 years. From being guitarist to a songwriter and a producer, Vai got started by playing with the legendary Frank Zappa and has toured with other notable people and groups such as David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. The Story of Light is his eight studio album and his first full-length release since 2005, so it has been quite a stretch from him. So, just pop it in, sit back, and let the guitar master do his thing.
“The Story of Light” starts out wonderfully. The music has a majestic quality to it, but at a point in the song there can be a lot to process at times. The lyrics are something that I find off putting, though. It is fine in the beginning, but it would have been better to stop there. They break up the flow of the music and I am not quite sure what language is being spoken. Maybe Russian, I am thinking. Anyway, this is the type of music that does not need words. Now, “Velorum” is a wonderful song. It hits all the right marks and lets the music do all the talking. Do not skip out on this one because it gets crazy near the end. “John the Revelator” and “Book of the Seven Seals” are two songs that do not do much for me. The wailing and loud style of singing is distracting. “Book of Seven Seals” can be seen as a continuation of “John the Revelator.” The lyrics are repetitive and the choir really does not help things at all. It sounds very theatrical like it should be accompanied by a stage performance. It just feels out of place on this album when you consider the rest of the songs.
“Creamsicle Sunset” tones it down and lets the calm take over after the action of the previous songs. It is mellow and a nice tune. It calls to mind a relaxing day at the beach or lying in a hammock with a cold drink as the sun begins to set. “Gravity Storm” brings the hard hitting rock sound back that can tear off roofs with its power. “Mullach a’ tSi” is a lovely and emotional song. This is beautiful and it is arguably the best song on the album. “The Moon and I” features some stunning guitar work, but the lyrics do not add much for me. Thankfully, there appearances are sparse. “Weeping China Doll” is another gem of a song with its broody atmosphere and heaviness. It appears that The Story of Light is hitting its strides in its second half. “Racing the World” is a great cruising tune. I can imagine this being a part of a soundtrack for a racing video game. “Sunshine Electric Raindrops” closes the album in style with a dazzling array of sounds that linger once it is over.
Steve Vai’s The Story of Light is a must for his fans. There are plenty of good tunes on this one. It offers so much in terms of a listening experience and the guitar action is phenomenal, as it is to be expected from him. Despite the few songs that I do not care for very much, it is still an album worth getting and another solid release for Steve Vai.
Key Tracks: Velorum, Mullach a’ tSi, The Moon and I, Weeping China Doll
Brian McKinnon - Sr. MuzikReviews.com Staff