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Sex & Religion

43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 16, 2009
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Sex & Religion + Passion & Warfare + Ultra Zone
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 16, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002BWS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Murat Batmaz on November 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Sex & Religion is in my opinion the best thing Steve Vai has released as a 'solo' artist. Most of his fans tend to diss this record because it isn't as 'wicked' as Passion and Warfare or as 'deep' as Fire Garden. I bought my first Steve Vai album in March 1991 and over the last 13+ years I never really liked his music. He has excellent technique and is a virtuoso in every sense of the word but his songwriting has never appealed to me for some reason. Not to mention his tone, his production and his song arrangements. The guy has excellent prowess over his instrument but his choice of notes does nothing for me.

This is the reason why I think Sex & Religion contains some of his best moments as a 'solo' artist. This was released under the VAI moniker instead of Steve Vai because initial plans were to put together a band with competitive players like Terry Bozzio, T.M. Stevens and Devin Townsend where each musician could contribute their ideas and talents in a healthy exchange. Isn't that the point of forming a band anyway? There needs to be unconditional acceptance of everybody else's contribution. Obviously Vai was not ready for that kind of commitment. He wasn't ready to sacrifice his own 'quirky' songwriting attitude in order to write songs together with the rest of the amazing singers on the bill. He himself admitted this years later and seemed to regret it greatly. Well, too bad -- cause the album begins to drag horribly after the first 7-8 tracks and it turns into this Steve Vai solo project with amazing players merely backing him up, rather than adding something unique to the mold of the songcraft.

I've always considered Sex & Religion to be an album with some of the most amazing musicians coming together to play some of the most mediocre music ever.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Lynes on July 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Steve Vai is Steve Vai, not [other people]. The intensity and uniqueness of Steve's music, especially this album, defies categorization. With Sex and Religion, Steve courageously transports his listeners beyond the surface and deep inside the human heart - in all its glory and ignominy - and paints us an unabashed, wide-eyed portrait while giving us some of his most interestingly intense musical expressions along the way.
As Steve's recordings go, this one is especially weird but that's EXACTLY why genuine Vai fans will love this. He's unique and eclectic and his music reflects this. Devin Townsend is the only vocalist on the planet that could have adequately given voice to Steve's vision for this album and while his voice is not my favorite, it is nonetheless a perfect fit to Steve's intense, unapologetic, pure musical genius. From the opening glass shattering through the last notes of "Rescue Me or Bury Me", Steve takes you on a musical journey of unparalleled intensity - he even includes audio from his son Julian's birth, probably his own most intense spiritual experience - hence this is not for shallow-minded [people] who lack the capacity to listen past the surface.
As a guitarist myself, I stand in humble awe of his incredible talent, creativity, and genuine eccentricity. Most geniuses border upon madness and Steve [turn] it up all the way, and hold on for dear life because Steve is going to completely blow your mind!!....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Iain Veitch on July 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Warning...Do not expect Passion & Warfare 2 from this album, 'cause it ain't gonna happen. Ever the eclectic, Vai goes all vocal on us, trying to fit his guitar pyrotechnics into *gasp from the cheap seats* real songs. To be fair, Vai was always going to struggle to compete with the onset of the "grunge (and I hate that word)" explosion: his songs tend to sound a bit too 80's. Here & Now for example could easily have found a home on Whitesnakes Slip of the Tongue album, while In My Dreams With You is a classic power ballad featuring the writing abilities of Desmond Child. The album veers from noisy, thrash (Pig and Dirty Black Hole) to the harmonies of Survive and Sex and Religion. It's the one typically Vai-esque instrumental that really reminds us who we are listening to. Touching Tongues features an ingenious melody played using a Whammy pedal as well as some great runs.
Not as essential as Passion & Warfare but still well worth a listen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By King OCD on July 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Despite the criticism given to this album, there's a lot of terrific stuff here that will please intellectual music listeners of all demographics and creeds.
"Still My Bleeding Heart" and "Touching Tongues" are simply amazing, and Devin Townsend's vocals are spirited and exciting. Sure, there's some weird stuff here, but it's Vai juxtaposing his artistic vision with his musical abilities. Great effort!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LM BUTCHER on October 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The theme, sex and religion, is pure Steve Vai -- and something I don't think he'll ever tire of exploring or expressing. I would say Vai makes better vocal music when he's a hired gun (e.g David Lee Roth etc) but in recruiting a young Devin Townsend he picked an almost equal to himself. Some may disagree but how anyone can remain more salient over Vai in a recording studio is anybody's guess. Devin Townsend is an extremely insightful and intelligent musician in his own right and when he's not writing his own parts things are bound to suffer, therefore; the results are a little mixed. The musicianship overall however, is not - this is absolutely stellar. And herein lies my biggest criticism: it's not what you hear but rather what you *don't* hear. With a line-up including Terry Bozzio on drums and TM Stevens on bass, it's a crying shame this wasn't more of the "band project" Vai lead us to believe. The demon-fingered one pens virtually every song (music and lyrics) and although each band member puts their own distinct stamp on things, the collaborative aspect is ultimately lost. For guitarists however, there's some great stuff to get your teeth into - "Here and Now", "Still my Bleeding Heart" (cool solo tone!) and "Rescue me or Bury Me" are particular standouts. But there's also some nonsense too, so be warned. Bottom line is that this album doesn't leave you wanting more, which is a shame, because on paper, this line-up of musicians promises the Earth.
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