The Elusive Light and Sound Vol. 1

The Elusive Light and Sound Vol. 1 is the first album available for individual sale from The Secret Jewel Box, a limited-edition rarities boxed set Steve Vai released last year—one that focused

The Elusive Light and Sound Vol. 1 is the first album available for individual sale from The Secret Jewel Box, a limited-edition rarities boxed set Steve Vai released last year—one that focused on his wildly diversified career. This set focuses on music he composed for the films Crossroads, Dudes, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Encino Man, and PCU. Whether he's manipulating his guitar into emitting a wicked guffaw in Crossroads or strumming a delicate, sparse "Amazing Grace" for Dudes, Vai sets the mood or accents each scene without overpowering it with his musical prowess. From the sound of it, the raucous, non-stop party vibe required for the Bill and Ted project was a perfect opportunity to let the six strings scream and wail to their rock'n'roll heart's content, especially on the comical, sound-bite-sampling "The Reaper Rap." In Crossroads, Vai also played the on-screen role of the devil's axeman who musically dueled guitarists for their souls. The result is some of the album's most inspired pieces—which is fitting, considering that some suspect a negotiation with Satan (and not good-old-fashioned hard work) is the only explanation for Vai's otherworldly talents.—CLT