Vinnie Moore - Aerial Visions
Aerial Visions leaves me with just word: Damn! Vinnie Moore is at it again, and the music world would be wise to stop what it’s doing and listen up. Aerial Visions, Moore’s recent solo project, is a well produced conglomeration of various styles all performed spot on and with class. The dexterity and musicality here is fantastic.
The album opens with the all-out “Mustang Shuffle”. This song reminds me of the guitarist I always thought I was in my head, regardless of what everyone around me was having to endure! It is an air guitarist’s dream, except Vinnie’s actually playing this stuff! It’s captivating in the sense that you kind of know what’s coming and can’t wait until it gets there. It’s a great opening act.
Often when writing songs solo guitarists will create lackluster chord progressions that blandly support ultra high speed, intensely scale oriented guitar melodies. That’s really great if you happen to be the guitarist or someone interested in dissecting the intricacies of a player’s prowess. But for many listeners it just becomes a compressed, endless run of sixteenth notes with no intrinsic value other than the speed at which it is being played. Fortunately for those listeners, Aerial Visions is not that kind of album. There is enough taste on this disk to pack the tables at a high end restaurant. There’s elegance to Moore’s guitar work. He does not have to continually play at warp speed to deliver emotion. Songs like “Faith” and “Looking Back”, and “Calling Out” all have moments of subtlety that show Moore is a much deeper musician than just a great guitarist. This is not to say that Aerial Visions isn’t filled with the chops that helped put Moore among the elite guitarists in rock. There are heavy doses of that as well; the guy is a great guitarist after all. It’s the combination of flash and subtlety that make this album extremely listenable and ultimately enjoyable.
One of my favorites on the album is Moore’s version of "La Grange." It is not to be missed. When I read it on the song list I wondered how he was going to pull it off. He did, with his guitar assuming the vocal lead, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. The cats in ZZ Top should be very pleased with this rendition.
All in all, Aerial Visions is fantastic all out guitarist fest featuring one of rock’s elder statesmen. Whether you’re into UFO or not, this album is worth your time.
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By Roy Rahl
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