SOUND THEORIES: REVIEW THREAD

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theollieb
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If anybody wants the tabs to the sound theories songs, or wants to help tab them, come here!
http://vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22938
aaron555
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Just bougth the new Album and its trully amazing

Just one question, maby its a dumb question but I was wondering why in the volume II there is no 7th song??

anyways its amazyng to listen the nuw steve stuff
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theollieb
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umm cause theres only six of em lol. I guess he just sort of arranged it like that, i dunno... Maybe theres some sstory to it
aaron555
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jeje :)

just asking,, cause I know that the number 7 has special meening to steve and I was just courius about the Volume II maybe a there is a god reason for no 7th song in the Volume II
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Mr Clark
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My digipack arrived yesterday and i have now entered loop listening mode :D i can say i really love the record.. i find The murder prologue absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! i'd listen to it for days and not get tired..
I also love the rendition of the attitude song :P
About CD two, i've not listened to it properly yet, but it's quite good, appart from this one song.. maybe frangelica part 1.. i looked up after a bit and said out loud "frak!(quote) this is jazz :shock: " which is fine but after a bit of jazz music i'm ready to kill myself, once i listen to it properly i'll probably find myself mistaken :D

Nice one Steve!
firestone
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Steve i dont know if ya ever get a chance to read these reviews with your extremely busy lifestyle. Its probably impossible but you have made the PERFECT album. I'm Becoming made me cry in very good way. I absolutely adored the way you ended Attitude song with the REALLY high bend it fit perfectly. The way I'm Becoming lead into Salamanders was great. The overall sound of the album is fantastic it really feels as though you're right there in the crowd. I've found a new love for many songs including Gentle Ways and The Murder. The intro to For The Love Of God was very beautiful. I haven't been able to stop listening to Shadows and... just love everything about this album its still as incredible if not more than when i first listened to it. So i just wanna say thank you Steve, thank you for first of all writing the music, putting on the shows, performing the way you did on the record, and showing your extremely strong dedication and selfless love to your fans to put a countless number of hours to try to get everything perfect and can i just say it worked everything IS perfect


oh and see ya july 24th :D :D :D
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b2
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A hard album to review, for me in english, so I just drop some small comments.

Sound Theories Vol. 1

The real beauty on this cd is "Salamanders In The Sun".
The melody I find both happy and a little sad.
Really nice solo also.

I love this new start to "For The Love Of God".
The new long "scream" in the solo around 06:13-06:17 I love, maybe
just "art by accident"?


Sound Theories Vol. 2

This cd is both more interesting and more challenging.

The songs I like most is:
"Sparks", "Frangelica Pt. 2", "Helios And Vesta" and "Bledsoe Bluvd".

I love the solo ending of "Frangelica Pt. 2" from 07:55 and out.
The long note around 09:20-09:30 that turns into overtones is a real beauty.

"Helios And Vesta" is a strange song. It's building and building and building and...
The release/climax comes around 05:50 and is really sweet.
I dont know who or what "Helios and Vesta" is about, if "Building The Church"
is about building a "church" I would guess this song is about building The Universe.

"Bledsoe Bluvd" is maybe my no. 2 favorite song on these cds, after "Salamanders In The Sun".
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ClarkyNZ
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b2 wrote:I love this new start to "For The Love Of God".beauty.
It's like when Beren discovered Lúthien Tinúviel in Doriath all those years ago...
Azyiu
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Just bought my copy yesterday and only listened to it once... I only have one word for it ---- GODLY

P.S. Gentle Way is simply heavenly...
lynne
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animalimf wrote:
lynne wrote: So why have i not been sent my order in full?
Lynne,
there was a 'problem' with the CD artwork which resulted in a delay in dispatch, my T shirt was sent first and I received the CD today. The SeenOn people sent me an email on the 29th June updating me. Fingers crossed your CD arrives in the next few days.

Luckily I got a 'meet and greet' pass so well made up.

As for the CD's, blow away springs to mind, looking forward to the gig at Nottingham.

Craig
Hi
just managed to sort out the missing cd prob,after ringing HQ in san francisco,i am being sent my missing CDs urgently and being refunded the original postage cost for the inconvenience,
result,eventually.
watch this space for cd review and gig review after the 21st.
we are in stalls row L seats 30 & 31 by the way.Enjoy the gig
Lynne
AJ
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hey people.. I'm a Vai fanatic from Kuwait. I f**in worship the man! he's so good it hurts. I can't believe I just joined these forums. I should've done that a long time ago..

I just got sound theories.. I swear to god I almost cried when I 1st listened to "The Murder Prologue" .. the 1st 30 seconds are like wow.. if u add up all the times I listened to it in the past 2 days. it'll probably be an hour or so.. and I also love the intro thing for "for the love of God". it's so epic. kinda feels like a battle.. or heaven and hell... or something deep like that =p
Azyiu
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Welcome AJ, and like I said earlier, this cd sounds almost GODLY to me!
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Samuele
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Finishing up my previous post: http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=286036#286036

What follows is a collection of my thoughts after more than two weeks of listening.

The short version could be: “This is the most stunning record featuring an orchestra I’ve ever heard.”

Well, I think I’ll give you the longer version too…

I received my digipak last Tuesday, but I’ve been listening to the record since the release date. What an addiction! I’m currently devouring it with a silver spoon.

:: The cover and artwork ::

While I thought at first the “standard”, retail ed. booklet was excellently cool (after all, it’s still the work of Mikey), the one for the digipak is indeed much better. The way the digipak presents itself as a whole makes me think of those good old vainyl (oops, I meant vinyl) double albums that have become very collectible now. I can only guess how much time must the making have taken. The attention to every detail is noticeable – i.e. on the front cover, where you can see reflections of the notes’ flow on Steve’s glasses. The whole “note currents” visual concept appeals to me quite much, and I love the atmosphere the colors’ selection make up. Hat off to you for this, Mikey. My favorite pic of Steve is either the one where he is wrapped in notes or the one where he’s sitting in a white suit.

The liner notes are extremely interesting, as always of course. We’re talking about a Vai album, after all. I read them almost like I would read a fairy-tale, only that the events told actually happened in this world.

Oh, and the CDs from the digipak pop out better than from the retail box, too.

:: Disc One - “The Aching Hunger” ::

Kill The Guy With The Ball – I enjoy the little intro where Steve is conducting first the audience and then the orchestra, but it’s funny how annoying the crazy last bit can be for certain people passing by. How strange, I thought it was great. :) The way this song came out with the orchestra was a bit of a surprise - I didn’t expect it to be so good, even when I heard it way before the release date. I actually found out that I can listen to this version even more than to the original one on Alien Love Secrets. This is true for the next track as well, only on a higher degree. My favorite parts here are the syncopated polychords progressions.

The God Eaters – This one totally envelopes me. As I wrote, I currently love it even more than the original version. It was one of the first compositions I ever learnt how to play on the guitar, without any kind of notation beforehand. I swoon so much when I hear it and I almost hold my breath throughout it.

The Murder Prologue – This is a favorite, one of the tracks that has me close my eyes and wave my hand as the notes flow. I just can’t pick a favorite moment from this one. I love it from top to bottom, every single sound. I also noticed a little “Lotus Feet” quotation in there, right?

The Murder – By the time I came to listen to this one I realised how Steve panned himself a little to the left here. That’s the direction you would have heard him from if you were the conductor of the orchestra, which is way cool. You can also tell he’s using Flo because of the sustainer. My favorite parts are the melody at about 2:20 and then of course the solo at 3:55 and at 4:35. The drum/percussion “solo” is pretty juicy, too.

Gentle Ways – If you are the kind of person who digs heartfelt, inspired and excellently orchestrated melodies… you might die if you heard this. Truly right down from the heavens. My favorite parts are the guitar phrase at 3:30 and especially the parts at 1:22 and 2:11, where the flutes etc. play the melody while the guitar arpeggiates the cords. Once again, I like the first part of this version more than the original (but just as much as a whole).

Answers – How can you make a guitar and an orchestra sound more tight than this? I especially dig the unison parts at 4:20 and 4:35. Then of course I love the solo at 2:16, even more at 2:52, and the little “Taurus Bulba” quotation at 3:12. Joy at its highest degree.

I’m Becoming – I feel I can’t articulate any kind of appropriate comment for this one. I am brought back to my childhood dreams when I hear it, I feel like a baby embraced by their mother. I get a lump in my throat every time I hear the parts at 1:01, 1:16, and from 1:36 to 2:00… Ah yes, another favorite.

Salamanders In The Sun – This one is ultra sweet. I think you can hear more colors here than you can see on any painting by any artist past or present. My favorite parts are at 0:55-1:20 (also 3:20), and the solo at 1:27 and 2:12. I also hold a giggle when the “whistle imitation” comes up at the end. You will have noticed how I sometimes only give you the timings for a reference. That’s because I couldn’t possibly ever find the right words to describe the music otherwise.

Liberty – How could have this song been left out? No way. Majestic and humble at the same time, I get euphoric every time I hear it, heart beating faster.

The Attitude Song – This is for those who completely love the guitar. I am one of those. The parts that I enjoy the most are the fast unison at 2:50, the chord at about 3:09 and the harmony at 1:43. Also, how is it that the song ends up cooler than usual? Kidding, but I mean it.

For The Love Of God – Another favorite. How many times has Steve played this one live? Probably every live show he did in the last 15 years. But he makes it sound fresh and new every time. This version showcases what to me is the greatest FTLOG intro ever, just listen to the horns at 0:23, the oboe playing the main melody and the harp in the background at 1:58, the harmony at 1:43. When Steve flashes in like a thunder, then… game over. I also like the chord at 6:23, the final two-handed solo, and the harp in the background at 7:45.

Now getting into the real deal…

:: Disc Two - “Shadows and Sparks” ::

Shadows and… - this is the only composition of the disc (besides Bledsoe Bluvd., of course) that includes little themes from past songs. The ones that I like the most are There’s A Fire In The House and Incantation, especially at 6:16 with the violins in the background. Also the harp at 1:35. I noticed how there’s a constant element in every single compostition from this disc: the beautiful, amazing last chord.

Sparks – This is probably my second favorite piece on the entire disc (more on this later). Steve is surely as great at writing for the violin as he is for the guitar, I think he really pulled out the instrument’s potential here. Listen to the melody at 1:35, or the run at 5:55. He also created a “dialogue” between the instruments, like at 6:10. And then there’s the heartfelt finale at 7:48. Woah. Totally breathtaking.

Frangelica pt.1 – The whole Frangelica is my absolute favorite piece on the 2nd disc. And my favorite orchestral composition ever. Again, I can’t articulate any kind of appropriate comment for this one - I love it all so much. Maybe my favorite parts for pt.1 are at 0:55, 1:47 and the culmination at 2:04.

Frangelica pt.2 – No words. I love every note, every sound, every solo on this track. Listen to the section after the solos at 7:01, and then the final part (last 2 minutes). Breathtaking is just an understatement for me. To me Steve deserves to be right there with composers like Ravel or Debussy – it’s only that I like his work way much more.

Helios And Vesta – Sometimes this one is my second favorite piece on the disc, sometimes it’s Sparks. It’s like a journey in harmonic landscapes. The title refers to the Sun and the Earth, or better to the ancient gods standing for them. I sometimes wonder what Steve’s vision for pieces like this is like. Um, I guess it’s just impossible to convey in words, right?

Bledsoe Bluvd. – Classic beautiful piece, even if extremely hair-rising to notate. I once read that it was Steve’s favorite song from Flex-Able Leftovers. The parts I enjoy the most are at 1:40 (between the melody and the crazy section) and the guitar/piano harmony from 2:25 to 3:20. Other super sweet spots are at 4:37/50, the piano solo (especially at 5:30), and the dialogue between the flutes and the violins at 6:54. The glorification of that little dark street in Sylmar.

:: On a more general note – to Steve ::

When the first part of Real Illusions was released I clearly stated that Reflections was my favorite record ever. While this is still true, I might add that Sound Theories ties to it. No, really. I mean, when the Real Illusions project will be complete, I guess that will be my favorite one ever. But as of now, Sound Theories is as dear to me as Reflections. Quite different, too of course. It is my hope that now Steve will be recognised more as a composer than in the past, because he really deserves it. Every time he makes a new record I’m reminded of how much of a sucker for his music I am.

Steve, of course there are already many folks who say a lot of kind words to you, but if I may add something, I would thank you for actually being able (through your work) to wash any kind of misery away from my life any time. You know, I can go through so much negative stuff, but when I go back to your music all the burden is gracefully swept away and replaced with elation.

I know I said this before, but humankind won’t ever be able to come up with the right words to describe the feeling I get from this music. Steve's music surpasses any possible verbal conception I may ever be able to come up with. And the quality of this release is up there with any other Vai release, or it even increasing lately?

There is nothing I don’t like about this record. I don’t think we can reach perfection in this world, but this record is perfect the way it is – because it is for Steve. I still think he’s constantly striving not to get too typecast, now maybe even more. I always feel honored and privileged just to be able to listen to his music, and I can still report that to this day there's only one musician making records (at least that I know out in the market) that NEVER fails to please my ears, eyes and heart. Steve’s music has all of the elements that I ever dreamed of feeding myself with.

Thank you for giving us this record, Steve. I just can’t help myself, I must tell you that people may say what they want about you, but I will always relate to your work more than to any other work of art. And Sound Theories is currenly more important than food. Well… luckily you can eat while listening to the music. :)

See you tomorrow!
Last edited by Samuele on Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
AJ
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Samuele wrote:
The Murder Prologue – This is a favorite, one of the tracks that has me close my eyes and wave my hand as the notes flow. I just can’t pick a favorite moment from this one. I love it from top to bottom, every single sound. I also noticed a little “Lotus Feet” quotation in there, right?
my favorite as well. and yeah, I also noticed "Lotus Feet" so I thought it was just a solo he played that time he did the song with the orchestra, of which there's a video on youtube. so I watched it again but it wasn't what I thought... but damn, I soo wanna see him play it >.< . the whole thing is amazing, and the 1st 30 seconds being the solo. but I think the very 1st note of it is special and unique in a way.
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litlgrnman
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Does anyone else hear some Little Green Men floating around in Shadows and...?

I have been slowly absorbing the grandeur for a couple of weeks and I'm excited by the fact that I find something new every listen. It's great to hear what Steve can do wielding the black dots and an entire orchestra!

A huge thanks to the Metrople Orchestra for embracing this project.

Listening to Shadows and Sprarks makes me feel like I'm hearing Steve Vai the movie. It embraces his entire musical being into an exquisite masterpiece.

There are creatures in the depths of this that may never be discovered! It's like an ocean of Vai.
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