Real Illusions: Reflections

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
For his first studio album in five years, Steve Vai came up with a "rock fable" described as follows: "Real Illusions: Reflections is the first part of a multilayered menagerie of vignettes based on the amplified mental exaggerations of a truth-seeking madman who sees the world... Oh, never mind." Sound advice there. Each tune has a description of the "story line" and further track-by-track description is available on Vai's website, but the reality is that the concept doesn't get in the way of the music on this largely instrumental offering. "Building the Church" is everything you'd expect right out of the gate: crunching heavy riffs and wild elastic soloing, but Vai's...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
For his first studio album in five years, Steve Vai came up with a "rock fable" described as follows: "Real Illusions: Reflections is the first part of a multilayered menagerie of vignettes based on the amplified mental exaggerations of a truth-seeking madman who sees the world... Oh, never mind." Sound advice there. Each tune has a description of the "story line" and further track-by-track description is available on Vai's website, but the reality is that the concept doesn't get in the way of the music on this largely instrumental offering. "Building the Church" is everything you'd expect right out of the gate: crunching heavy riffs and wild elastic soloing, but Vai's always been more interested in solid melodies and great attention to sonic detail and tone than he is in empty showboating. As a result, his playing is restrained and lyrical just as often is it is flashy, with the composition itself taking precedence over the soloing. He's got a great ear for arrangements, and can build a track with a thousand guitar parts or turn around and sound just as full with a single guitar, bass, and drums as on the beautiful "K'm-Pee-Du-Wee". He's also got a couple surprises: like getting funky with scatted mouth percussion and horn charts on "Firewall" or the amusing and experimental "Yai Yai," with its ticking clock rhythm and crazy talkbox work. "Freak Show Excess" title says it all is a wild guitar fest with cool electric sitar, and then there's "Lotus Feet," a live track taken from concerts Vai did with the Metropole Orkester one of Europe's finest orchestras in Holland in 2004. As a vocalist, he's gotten way more confident, and while it's doubtful his singing will ever be the primary attraction, he does a fine job here. The playing and production is fantastic, but it seems that with the different styles and feels along with excellent pacing Vai really tried to craft a solid album as opposed to a series of dazzling tracks and succeeded nicely.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2005
  • Label: Red Int / Red Ink
  • UPC: 766922515120
  • Catalog Number: 86800
  • Sales rank: 83,891

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Building the Church (4:58)
  2. 2 Dying for Your Love (4:50)
  3. 3 Glorious (4:35)
  4. 4 K'M-Pee-Du-Wee (4:00)
  5. 5 Firewall (4:19)
  6. 6 Freak Show Excess (6:51)
  7. 7 Lotus Feet (6:45)
  8. 8 Yai Yai (2:37)
  9. 9 Midway Creatures (3:42)
  10. 10 I'm Your Secrets (4:26)
  11. 11 Under It All (8:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steve Vai Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Billy Sheehan Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Bryan Beller Bass
Gregg Bissonette Percussion
Laurel Fishman Spoken Word
Gary Grant Trumpet
Jerry Hey Trumpet
Dan Higgins Saxophone
Charles Loper Trombone
Tony MacAlpine Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. Trombone
Pia Vai Harp
Dick Bakker Conductor
Thomas Nordegg Spoken Word
Stacie Ellis Background Vocals
Chris Opperman Piano
Michael Mesker Spoken Word
Jeremy Colson Percussion, Drums
Larry E. Williams Saxophone
Dave Weiner Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Electric Sitar
Len Birman Spoken Word
Ruby Birman Spoken Word
Jeff Mallard Spoken Word
Fire Vai Spoken Word
Technical Credits
Steve Vai Composer, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production, Instrumentation
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Hooshik Bayliss Art Direction, Collage
John A. Sepetys Management
Priscila Bara Management
Ruta E. Sepetys Management
David Kole Orchestration
Andrea Cobb Cover Art
Daniel Schmidt Management
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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    Posted March 11, 2009

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    Posted September 22, 2009

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