Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Steve Vai: Passion And Warfare

I have been playing guitar for almost 44 years, and although I can’t play everything, I can pretty much understand most things that I hear…and then there’s Steve Vai!

Mr. Vai has an approach to guitar (and music in general) that is so advanced, so creative, so ALIEN, that he seems to have come from another galaxy to unleash his vision upon us.

Vai’s masterpiece, Passion And Warfare (1990), is the holy grail for guitar nerds. Every song is packed full of loving detail, virtuoso feats of technical ability, melodies that seemingly defy human imagination, and always with the basic song clearly driving the project.

Vai is an artist who uses the studio itself as a musical instrument, knowing with no hesitation just how to realize the sounds in his head and heart.

The songs on Passion And Warfare are said to be based on a series of dreams Vai had when he was younger.

Vai was quoted as saying the album represents “Jimi Hendrix meets Jesus Christ at a party that Ben Hur threw for Mel Blanc.” Every song is excellent, but some are on a whole other level, including Blue Powder, Sisters, Erotic Nightmares, The Riddle, Answers, and the breathtaking tour-de-force For The Love Of God.

Steve Vai makes music that non-musicians can love, and musicians can worship.

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