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Vinnie Moore - 'Aerial Visions' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/80/a3/e7/vinnie-moore-aerial-visions-19-1456176313.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 22, 2016    
 
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A very entertaining piece of work that does engage the listener throughout.

I've always found instrumental albums a bit of a curious one. In this case, there's a definite crossover effect too. It is his role as guitarist with UFO (with six albums under his belt) that Vinnie Moore is probably best known for these days. But his name and reputation was first made with a string of instrumental albums dating back to 1987 with 'Mind's Eye', part of the classic Shrapnel Records guitar shredding era that brought so much talent to the fore.

'Aerial Visions' is Moore's ninth solo effort, his first for six years, and as you'd expect, it covers a variety of styles from Blues and Boogie to Funk – all held together in his expected Classic Rocking sound. The first thing that this album highlights is just how much of an influence and part of UFO's current sound he has become. Throughout there's lead sections and phrases where you could easily imagine Phil Mogg's vocals or a Paul Raymond harmony is about to follow. Not surprising to learn then that there's a couple of the tunes on offer here, originally written as instrumentals, that have already found their way into UFO songs with the addition of Mogg's lyrics.

The album opens up with 'Mustang Shuffle' – precisely as you'd expect – a standard Boogie/Shuffle rhythm that Moore weaves his best Bluesy lead work over. The pace doesn't drop with 'Now's The Time' and 'Faith', a couple of fairly straight forward Rock tunes that allow plenty of space for shedding and riffing in a classic style with variations in pace and rhythm; it's entertaining throughout, not falling into a repetitive trap that can easily lose interest.

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An instrumental version of ZZ Top's 'La Grange' is a highlight, its lengthy lead breaks fitting seamlessly over the classic riff. If you didn't know better, it's not inconceivable to believe it was written this way.

If there is a criticism, it can only be that the tone and sound of the guitar work is so similar throughout. Technically perfect, just played through what sounds like the same set up of effects throughout, yet all are instantly identifiable as Moore, whether solo or with UFO. But whilst I guess that's sort of the point, I'm equally sure that he's capable of producing something a bit different. I don't get that "dripping with emotion" sort of feel to anything; it feels more like a statement of fact rather than a heart and soul storybook.

That said 'Aerial Visions' remains a very entertaining piece of work that does engage the listener throughout. It certainly shouldn't disappoint any UFO fans looking for a further insight into Vinnie Moore's roots and is a most creditable addition to his catalogue of solo works.

Ian Parry

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