Comments on "The Ultra Zone" by Steve Vai

from the "True Confessions" file... when I first heard Steve Vai's music, my initial reaction (my exact words, I swear) was, "Man, he does some mondo weird sh*t on the guitar! I... L-L-Like it [[...at least, I *think(?) I like it...]] - but it's *WEIRD!!!" - my initial reaction to Steve Vai's latest cd "The Ultra Zone" (hereinafter "UZ") was pretty much the same - very strange - it grows on ya, but it's.......

*Different

(at least to start)

by contrast, I slipped into "Frank" right away - "comfort zone" - obviously, this song takes a more traditional approach, musically - I could tell the first part of the cd (up to that point) would take some time for me to "getNextTo" and getInside the music...

onward to vocals, about which I remember reading some criticism on Satch~L [&&&] - my opinion, any negative comments about Vai's singing are unwarranted - cheap potShots - I have no problem with the vocals - period - in fact, the vocals (my opinion) tend to "ground" the musical themes in those songs, making them more readily "grasped" (by musically simple minds, like mine)

VooDoo Acid~!!! - this is *Heavy everyWhichWay - and the *Lyrics~!!! some mighty fine stuff - by the 8th or 9th cut I was finally ready to admit I was *Beginning to fall in love with this latest musical effort showcasing Vai's inimicable talents

[[...I never knew he was such a poet~!...]]

in spite of this initially positive reaction, later that afternoon as I contemplated my experience listening to UZ, I wondered in truth if this music would ever "call" to me and ask to be heard again - I felt genuine doubt - even after all that [[..not being sure I liked it, then *becoming more and more sure (or so I thought)..]] - after I was done and back in the car, relaxing, I found myself wondering if I would ever take the time/trouble to listen again.....

this is how thin the thread is - how remarkably thin, tenuous, fragile - the artist creates the music; records the music - the cd is produced, distributed, advertised - a tour is booked - the fans discuss - meantime, the store where I shop for cd's keeps a catalog of promotional copies behind the counter - request headphones and cd -recline in fauxLeather hiFidelity heavenly comfort to listen while critical thoughts stand guard - ALL THAT EFFORT, and then the listener walks away from initial exposure and is left to wonder, left to decide inside a vacuum - the thread spins out - gossamer thin - the question hangs in such a delicate balance by this nearly invisible thread.......

.............?...will she buy...?...........

I hear it ONE time - once - I finally say "ok, yes" - but then I'm left to the ensuing silence, and I start in to wonder, and begin to doubt my own experience - such a thin, fine line is all that stands between the artist's efforts and this listener's cautious embrace.....

I'm pleased to report:: next day, I could *Definitely feel the pull:: ~YES~ I want to listen again (and I will, once I finally buy the actual cd) - hence, I give UZ a (mostly)solid thumbsUp - some initial reservations, but lots of territory to explore - compelling songs that *Ask (~YES~) for another goRound

and them's my 200pennies

....peace,everyone...

~Faye


(&&&) Links to ...

G3 Concert Review: River Queen Showplace 9/28/97
Front Door ... : ... Contents... ...Dragon... ...What's Cookin'...
Crystal Planet... : ...by Joe Satriani... ...cd review...
Satch~L Archives... : ...for UltraZone discussion see Sept/Oct99...



[[..webDate 06 Oct 99..]]

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