Power of Metal.dk Review

Neal Schon
So U
Style: Hard Rock
Release date: 16 May, 2014
Playing time: 51:25

If you put the amazing guitar legend Neal Schon from Journey together with and the spectacular drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Hardline) and spice it up with the bass oracle; Marco Mendoza (Black Star Riders, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy), you have an album with massive experience from several high class hard rock bands. This powerful trio has made an interesting album with an unique mix with jazz and blues-inspired virtuosic hard rock. Neal's latest instrumental solo album 'The Calling' was an almost too advanced album to digest, but this disc is far easier to consume.

There is a few hard boiled jazz fusion tracks (Exotica and So U), which demands full attention of the listener. I fancy that the three members splits their time by the mic. (I didn't know that Marco was such a good vocalist.) 'What You Want' is a heavy blues inspired rock track with super groovy rhythms. This is a much more fun to listen to than 'The Calling', because it sounds much more fun and their musical joy is contagious when it's blown through the speakers. In the beautiful song 'Love Finds a Way', the trio delivers an awesome performance.

I'm a little frustrated by not having information about, who is is singing on each song. Probably will it be available on the physical disc. 'On My Way', a funky track with stunning guitars and it has a nice beat. 'Serenity' is probably the most "normal" classic hard rock tune on 'So U' with quite straight forward rock sound. The six minutes long 'Shelter' is a full-blood blues-rock song with a big bucket of US southern rhythms. There is two instrumental songs on this album, the jazz/fusion track 'Exotica' and the calm and tranquil song 'Big Ocean'.

This album is more commercial than the previous album and I appreciate that Neal choose to walk this path. Only nine tracks, but this is a very classy musical piece of art. Very elegant and stylish performed rock music for the demanding audience. 'So U' is an album that demands several spins to sort it out. It grows and grows and I find new delicacies every time.

The most advanced track 'Exotica' is a song for the heaviest rock fusion lovers.

A given purchase if you are a fan of adult hard rock with technical instrumental perfection.

01. Take a Ride
So U
What You Want
Love Finds a Way
On My Way
Big Ocean
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Patrik J Skoglund
Date: 11 May, 2014
Website: www.facebook.com/schonmusic