Big Bad Bill wrote:
because I've made the effort to understand it!
that statement just goes completely against the way music should come across in my mind. In my mind, music should be directly linked to a persons emotions and align itself so well that almost anyone will feel that emotion inside when they listen to it. It should be as simple as you listen to something and you start to feel something inside you change, whether it's to anger, sadness, laughter whatever. If it doesn't do this straight away then it has missed the plot. That's how I think about song writing, you feel or think of something and you try and build something that tries to capture it perfectly. Putting in effort to understand a piece of music is like trying to make yourself fit in with a crowd that you don't belong.
Vai has always been a gimmicks and tricks sort of player, he likes to find something new and different and flaunt it and that's great. For me vai has always been on that edge where there's a lot of acrobatics and gimmicky stuff but there was still alot of work put into to note choices and progressions which kept it enjoyable. I'm getting the impression from him now that it's all about gimmicks. "I've been working on this technique where I pull up on the whammy on every second note I hit, sounds cool so here's a song I put around it". There's no feel in that, that's experimenting till you find something strange and come up with a song so you can put it in there. Maybe it's something he's exploring or a phase he's going through but it doesn't do much for me.