Steve Vai continues to be one of the more interesting and brilliant guitarists of the last 30 years, for he is more than capable of doing anything and everything with his music, and how he delivers “the show” in the form of an album is interesting in itself. The Story Of Light (Favored Nations) consists of material that continues to explore the mind and world of Vai as he experiences and sees it. He has never been afraid to show his spiritual side, and on this album he takes it on with bursts of heavy metal but also gets into down home gospel. The album is a nice mixture of instrumental tracks along with vocal track featuring a number of different singers.
The last paragraph might sound like something straight from the press release, but I didn’t do any copying of any kind. I tend to prefer his earlier works when he seemed a bit more chaotic in nature, but this is someone who has played guitar since he was a kid, so there’s a level of maturity that comes not only in his playing, but everything else that has to do with these songs, from the arrangements and structure to understanding space and control. When he’s ready to explore the universe, he does it very well but isn’t also afraid to come back to Earth and share his martian experiences in the language of the planet we live on.
That Story Of Light that he speaks of in the title is perhaps the story of us, why we exist, why we persist, and why we do what we do. He doesn’t argue nor question, merely explains himself with his guitar work. In fact, it would be a much better world if we could solve all of our political and culture problems with sound. It wouldn’t surprise me if The Story Of Light has spiritual connotations, but that’s for him to explore even further, and the interaction fans have with his music and how they interpret it. Whatever the language, Vai’s music continues to show the mindset of a storyteller that hopefully continues to inspire all musicians.