Steve Vai The 7th Song (Epic)

Christmas Records

Steve Vai

The 7th Song (Epic)

The gist of The 7th Song is that all tracks appeared as track number seven on a previous album, except "Melissa's Garden," which is the seventh song on this record, and bonus tracks "The Wall of Light" and "Boston Rain Melody," which are songs No. 7 nowhere. It's only the most marginal of holiday albums, as it includes "Christmas Time Is Here," which was song No. 7 from the holiday guitar wankathon Merry Axemas album. Not that any of the others are particularly seasonally appropriate, but there is a fair amount of tasteful restraint (particularly "Burning Down the Mountain," and "Melissa's Garden") shown at times by a guitarist who can shred things so thoroughly. And while Vai doesn't display the knack for pure melody as, say, Eric Johnson, his playing flows consistently, almost like Allan Holdsworth by way of Joe Satriani. Of course, Vai does let his chops fly every now and then, especially on opener "For the Love of God," and the über-Zappa break of "Call It Sleep." On the other hand, his take on Wes Montgomery, "Tender Surrender," goes over the edge. But that's what Vai is -- a guy with serious skills and enough flash to want to let loose. Sometimes it's a wonder he controls himself as much as he does. Even so, The 7th Song is more suited for a guitar wanker's celebration than either Christmas, Chanukah, or even Kwanzaa. Unless maybe it's a really bitchin' Kwanzaa.

**.5

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Bertin
Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

June 30, 2017

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle