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Vai, Steve


Sound Theories Vol. I & II

Year: 2007
Format: CD
Label: ''21st Century Music... I suppose''/Guitar-driven Instrumental Rock/Orchestral/Jazz/Fusion/Avantgarde
Genre: [Epic/Red Ink]
Overall Rating: 8.0
Music: 8.0
Production: 7.5

Sound Theories Vol. I & II is a double CD capturing Steve Vai's collaboration with the Holland Metropole orchestra. The first volume features a live performance of Vai and the Orchestra, while the second disc solely features the Orchestra performing Vai's compositions. Both parts have their moments, but at times the music might be a bit too extravagant for some... nonetheless, on the contrary there are also exquisite moments on both discs, and despite the music getting quite on the experimental side at times, the material manages to enthrall its listener on a frequent basis.

Production of this record is a bit tricky... in a way it has been produced rather well, considering that the performance sounds cohesive and as if it has been captured in one take (although it has been put together from several performances). Reading the liner notes, it becomes clear this is a true labor of love and it must have been quite the pain to edit. However, the mix could have been better in regards to balance between instruments. For example, every now and then I feel that the orchestra was unnecessarily stressed burying the guitar underneath and at times it's the other way around.

All in all, the idea behind Sound Theories Vol. I & II sounded promising, but the result doesn't quite offer the drive and excitement of Vai's "normal" solo work. Hence some fans might be disappointed with this release. Due to certain arrangements, sometimes the momentum is broken on this record. Regardless, the more time one spents with this record, and especially really listening and concentrating on the material, the more one is impressed and the listening becomes even more rewarding. As with every Steve Vai record to date, this isn't an easy-listening album although at times it sounds surprisingly accessible.

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- MAGE (September 18th, 2007)

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Vai, Steve: Guitar on Vol. I 

with the Holland Metropole Orkest

1st Violin
de Ruiter, Arlia
Laporeva, Vera
Koeders, Denis
Dumessie, Linda
Korthals Altes, Erica
Peijnenborgh, David
Kromhout, Erik
Teeuwen, Seija

2nd Violin
Rombout, Merijn
van Haaren, Herman
Vierstra, Simone
Kok, Wim
Liefkes-Cats, Elisabeth
van den Heuvel, Marianne
de Leu, Doesjka

Versloot, Aimée
Honingh, Mieke
Jowett, Julia
Schut, Iris
Jansen, Norman

Grin, Wim
Tangberg, Annie
Albracht, Jascha
Teeken, Jos

Winkelmann, Erik
Liefkes, Arend
de Vos, Tjerk

Darius, Friederike
Abbas, Jeanine

Scholten, Marc
van der Feen, Paul
Janssen, Leo
Janssen, Werner
Martinez Schrivjer, Juan

Luijt, Willem

de Vries, Jaap

French Horn
de Vente, Joeri
van der Zanden, Hans

Oosthof, Jan
Hollander, Jan
Heijink, Henk
Breuls, Ruud

Fink, Hansjoerg
de Kam, Martin
Pfeiffer, Bert
Bastiani, Jan

Smeets, Joost

van Nieuwenhuize, Arno
Jiskoot, Murk
Schäperclaus, Mike
Baai, Martin

Schonewille, Joke

Vroomans, Hans
Opperman, Chris

van der Put, Carlo

Moog on "Helios and Vesta"
Opperman, Chris

Electric Guitar
Tiehuis, Peter

Electric Bass Guitar
Beller, Bryan
Producer: Vai, Steve
Mixing by: Vai, Steve
Mastering by: Sax, Doug & Nam, Sangwook "Sunny"
Vai, Steve - Sound Theories Vol. I & II  CD  Cover Image
Vol. I: "The Aching Hunger"

01. Kill the Guy with the Ball
02. The God Eaters
03. The Murder Prologue
04. The Murder
05. Gentle Ways
06. Answers
07. I'm Becoming
08. Salamanders in the Sun
09. Liberty
10. The Attitude Song
11. For the Love of God

Length: 51:05

Vol. II: "Shadows and Sparks"

01. Shadows and...
02. Sparks
03. Frangelica Pt.I
04. Frangelica Pt.II
05. Helios and Vesta
06. Bledsoe Bluvd

Length: 50:11
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