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Neil Schon - 'So U' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/56/df/f7/neil-schon-so-u-7-1401211949.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 27, 2014    
 
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An amazing album from the absolutely amazing, mature and broad-minded musician.

Hard Rock aficionados will need no introduction to Neal Schon, a guitarist known from a vast range of bands, from his early days alongside the mighty Carlos Santana to a great deal of Melodic Rock acts (Journey, Bad English, Hardline). And since counting the number of his other music projects and involvements could literally take a half-century (almost as long as Schon's career within the music industry actually lasts), let's not forget the Journey axe-man is a prolific solo artist and vocalist too. It's been only two years since the instrumental album 'The Calling' saw the light of day and the follow-up is due for release soon. For this, Schon teams up with bassist Marco Mendoza (Black Star Riders, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai) to pay homage to their mutual Jazz, Blues and Rock inspirations in a modern way; and yes, also to share microphone throughout the whole album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'So U' dazzles one with many shades and colours. From the first track 'Take A Ride', a Bluesy, Zeppelin-influenced, dynamic Hard Rock tune enriched with some serious shredding by Schon, to the Jazz-infused 'On My Way' and 'Shelter'; there's an amazing diversity to this album. Sound-wise, it's very modern (smooth, hypnotic 'So U'), but also bears traces of traditional inspirations (Progressive 1970s influences in the also Bluesy 'What You Want', which at times reminds me of the classic Uriah Heep – especially the background vocals). As for the slower tracks, there is a mellow ballad 'Love Finds A Way' and a mid-tempo tune 'Serenity' which is melodic enough to be considered a bit of a throwback to Journey/Bad English. Lastly for or each and every guitar lover out there, there are two different instrumental tracks – 'Exotica' which is nearly six minutes of guitar wizardry (against the background of the dynamic rhythm section) and 'Big Ocean' with its soaring, wailing guitar sound. The latter stands for a beautiful instrumental coda to the startling, varied collection of music that is Schon's other recent solo album.

Neal Schon's 'So U' is not really an easy listening kind of album nor a radio-friendly compilation of catchy tunes. It is very diverse and at times challenging, it's Jazz-spiked, Blues-infused Hard Rock enriched with stellar guitar work. As clichéd as it may sound, it's an amazing album from the absolutely amazing, mature and broad-minded musician.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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