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Reviews

Stephane Vaillant — Crazy Stuff
(Brennus BR 8052.AR, 1999, CD)

by Jerry Baiden, Published 2001-03-01

Crazy Stuff Cover art

Okay, let’s get one thing straight; this guy can play guitar. It’s obvious he can play circles around any of these modern thrashy guitar heroes. Stéphane Vaillant has got very nice tone and good feel to go along with his killer chops. However, there is always a danger in displaying your virtuosity over and over without songs that serve as an adequate carrier wave. This is what happens with Vaillant’s Crazy Stuff. It is a common problem that plagues rock guitar virtuosos like Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Vinnie Moore, Tony Macalpine, and the list goes on. Great guitar players, not so great songwriters. Every song seems like just another vehicle for the player to blow his chops on. If Vaillant and his colleagues could somehow feature themselves within songs that are musically substantial enough to be remembered by, their legacy would probably be much more enduring. With rock guitar instrumentals, you have a disadvantage in regards to harmony. Straight ahead rock tunes in general are not as complex in rhythmic or harmonic structure as jazz- or classical-influenced pieces. Therefore, what usually happens is that a guitarist like Vaillant is stuck with overused foundations to build upon. Your ears have most likely heard what he is playing a thousand times already. Though, if you like to hear guitarists just blow, it’s worth a listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Stéphane Vaillant

 

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