Sound — 8
This is the first Vai album I have bought and admit it's got a nice ring to it. Vai is very emotional in his guitar playing and can express himself well but I'm rather disappointed by how it sounds like he loaded alot of the tracks with effects, I personally prefer a straigh clean or distorted guitar but just 'cause its difference doesn't make it bad. The overall album has a powerful surrounding sound to it and it motivates you to play or do something that makes you confident.
Lyrics — 4
Vai much like Satriani needs to drop his lyrics and vocals altogether. I find Vai better at writing lyrics and singing them then satch but they both should stick to the guitar and leave vocals to more accomplished vocalist. Vai should have stock with his plan of getting Lenny Kravitz to sing for him along with others. But his own voice and words are decent enough for the album to play through without skipping the vocal tracks.
Overall Impression — 10
It's a good album with some high and halfway points. It's not terrible but it is strange. How is a concept album not strange though? Vai goes all out and accomplishes an album that is very moving and has a meaning behind it rather than just ripping out his virtuoso skills and leaving the rest of us axe slingers in the dust. Steve is very talented in putting together an album loaded with pieces that I will be spinning for years to come.